Kyla Dougan

My name is Kyla, I am 25 & a Senior Software Engineer for Flutter UKI. I work specifically within Sky Casino, delivering new features, initiatives and maintaining the website.

The best advice would be to just go for it, I couldn’t imagine myself in any other career that I would enjoy as much (despite my preconceptions at the start). I feel like for technology in particular, there is so much support and it’s constantly evolving. I’d reach out to people in similar careers to get their perspective, to find one well suited to you.

I was previously an English Literature Graduate, but I found although I enjoyed it- it wasn’t my passion. I initially felt discouraged applying to a technology role as I had no experience, until I saw the Sky Bet Tech Academy which was absolutely brilliant for a kick start into a tech career.

I’ve been involved in the re-platforming of Sky Casino from PHP to Next.js, bringing exciting promotions to the site, design work, experiments etc. The projects we get are varied and you can be working on a different tech stack per day- it’s exciting and keeps things interesting.

I am proud of my development in such a short space of time, working in tech is one of the careers with amazing progression and due to the fact it’s constantly evolving you can get ahead very quickly.

We work in an agile company, so have various ceremonies to keep us on track. The majority of time I can spend picking up various tickets of work that spread from BAU (business as usual), bugs, new initiative and site collaboration.

The flexibility, I like knowing that your suggestions are taken on board, and working as part of a team to create company leading products for customers.

I thought my degree being in English would box me into certain career paths, I failed some job applications for careers out of STEM (it is hard being a graduate, and everything is very competitive). But within STEM, I was surprised how willing companies were to take on people with the correct mindset, but needed up-skilling. Hard work pays off, I’d definitely say I had hesitation at the start (the thing about coding is you have to learn to be bad, learn from your mistakes, and keep at it- once you pass that stage you’re all good!).

Before starting at SBG, I wasn’t aware of the amount of role models in STEM- since I have found so many inspiring colleagues. Motivational figures have to be Alan Turing and Ada Lovelace.

I love socialising with friends & family. As I work remotely most of the time, I find this helps keep a good balance!

I have 100% experienced imposter syndrome. I think this is very common in a lot of people, especially being a women in STEM. I felt very lucky to get the graduate opportunity in tech, but felt constantly behind. Tech is a very broad subject and I felt pressure to know everything at the start (when in fact 90% isn’t relevant to your day to day career). I think I dealt with it by speaking to others, focusing on my strengths and enjoying the learning process.

I feel like it’s very important. What makes a place successful is diverse opinions, ways of working etc. I feel like women bring a lot to STEM, and it’s good to see a balance being created in a heavily male dominated work space. I feel very privileged to work with an amazing range of women, and it’s good to see the community growing.

Strengths, I’d say I love to help others- I like to see them achieve, and like problem solving. Weaknesses, I’m not a good public speaker & can get anxious- which is why I like my career in technology as it focuses on my strengths.

I’ve been present at the Tech Academy interviews in the past, hoping to share my experience with others & how great of a career step it is. I’d love to share my passion more and try to as much as I can.

Feel free to reach out on LinkedIn if you would like any guidance or tips. My main one is to trust in yourself and to follow a career that you enjoy, don’t let imposter syndrome get in the way.

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