In this edition of our Women in Technology campaign we speak to Lucy Gilleran, Test Team Lead at TrakCel who shares her journey into software testing.

Growing up, did you have preconceived perceptions of the tech industry and the people who worked in it?

Having grown up in a period when mobile phones and the internet were in their infancy, a career in tech had never crossed my mind, this was seen as being a ‘geeky’ career. However, this industry has grown rapidly in the last number of years with people from all backgrounds working in the industry. It is no longer a job for ‘geeks’, but far more inclusive.

What made you interested in working within the tech industry?

I stepped into the world of testing following being put at risk of redundancy as a mortgage underwriter. Within weeks of beginning my time in testing I realised this was what I wanted to do and build a career in. I love delving into how a system is designed to work, what the customer expects the system to achieve, and through testing, determining if the system actually does what it says on the tin.

Have you experienced any personal or systematic setbacks at any point in your career?

Having taken time out of my career on two occasions for Maternity Leave, I feel that I have missed out on big career opportunities to move up the ladder; having to make a personal choice between a promotion to progress my career versus how a promotion would affect my young children at that time. Having stuck at what I was doing during my children’s early years and gaining greater knowledge/experience within the testing field, this has now paid dividends. With my children a bit older and at school, I have received promotions within the last 12 months, proving some hard slog/sacrifice will pay off in the long run.

TrakCel strives to empower its workforce and works to help each individual reach their potential, how has TrakCel supported you with your career aspirations and development?

I joined TrakCel as a Test Engineer on a flexible working pattern which was pivotal to being able to maintain my work/life balance. I was lucky to join a team with a manager who supported me to just run with the task in hand, and use my years of experience of testing to get results. Within a few months I was promoted to a Senior Test Engineer, this tremendous recognition gave a huge boost to my confidence and extra pride in what I am achieving at TrakCel. Now just over a year after joining the company I have been promoted again to Test Team Lead. I couldn’t have done it without the trust and autonomy to just do my job.

Do you have any advice for women interested in building a career within the Technology Industry?

You can do anything if you put your mind to it. We are in a time where women in tech is becoming more ‘normal’ and, if you are willing, there is a career in tech for all of us. My one piece of advice would be to always be willing to learn, attend training courses, read up on and understand latest methods in your area. The industry is always evolving, and you need to keep evolving with the industry.

Lucy Gilleran, TrakCel

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