24 min

GDS Podcast #37: How to break into a career in tech Government Digital Service Podcast

    • Government

The Government Digital Service (GDS) talks how to start a career in tech. According to a Tech Nation Talent report, young people could be wrongly counting themselves out of a fulfilling career because they’re worried about things like their skills background, where they came from or their lack of “network”.
We asked 3 of our developers to respond to the report’s findings, and hopefully put some of those myths and misconceptions to bed.
 
---------
The transcript of the episode follows:
Louise Harris:
Hello and welcome to the Government Digital Service podcast, and our last episode of 2021. Today, we’re going to be talking about careers in tech. Now chances are, if you’re a regular listener, you’re probably already working in a digital, data or technology role. Maybe in government. Maybe in the public sector. Maybe somewhere else entirely. 
 
But hopefully you’re aware of, and are sort of bought into, the long-term career opportunities, flexibility, creativity and satisfaction that a job in tech can bring. But unfortunately, according to a Tech Nation Talent report - that’s not the case for everyone. They surveyed a thousand 15 to 21-year-olds and tuned into almost 80,000 Reddit conversations to understand what young people in the UK thought about a career in tech.
 
In that research, 32% of men and 45% of women worried they didn’t have the right skills to pursue a tech career. And 24% of women and 21% of men said that tech careers weren’t for - and I quote - “people like them”. People in the UK feel that there are barriers standing in the way of them getting into tech. And they’re potentially counting themselves out of a great career as a result. Which is bad news for them, and bad news for all of us too.
 
Because diverse teams are better. Teams that reflect the society they serve are more effective. And teams where you can bring your whole self to work are - frankly - happier teams to be a part of. And that’s what we’re trying to build here at the Government Digital Service.
 
So we decided to dedicate this episode to anyone who is thinking about starting a career in tech - whether they’re 22 or 62 - but who’s maybe been put off by a little voice (or a loud one) telling them they shouldn’t or can’t. 
 
Joining us now are senior developers Rosa Fox, Iqbal Ahmed and Kelvin Gan. They’re going to reflect on what the research found and hopefully, put some of those fears to bed. So Kelvin, Iqbal, Rosa - over to you.
 
Iqbal Ahmed: 
Hi to everyone I'm Iqbal and I'm a senior frontend developer at GDS, which is at the Government Digital Service and joining me today, we have Kelvin and Rosa, who are both senior developers as well. We're here today to chat about some common misconceptions about pursuing a career in tech. I've just been handed a list of things that people, particularly younger people, seem to think about tech careers, and I'm excited to find out what the three of us think about these sort of myths or preconceptions that people have. 
 
So the first one we have is “I don't have the skills to work in technology”. So Rosa, what do you think about this common preconception?
 
Rosa Fox: 
Well, firstly, I think that there are many different jobs underneath the umbrella of technology. So it's not just coding skills. So at GDS, we have jobs such as being a developer, where you do do coding. But we also have designers, project managers, delivery managers, performance analysts, content designers. So, those jobs all require lots of different skills, and you probably already have a lot of those skills. So it could be things like breaking down problems, communicating, being creative, helping other people. And so I'd say you probably already have a lot of the skills. And if you feel like there are some skills that you don't have yet - yet being the keyword - then there's always options to learn. 
 
What do you think Kelvin? 
 
Kelvin Gan: 
Totally 100%, I agree with

The Government Digital Service (GDS) talks how to start a career in tech. According to a Tech Nation Talent report, young people could be wrongly counting themselves out of a fulfilling career because they’re worried about things like their skills background, where they came from or their lack of “network”.
We asked 3 of our developers to respond to the report’s findings, and hopefully put some of those myths and misconceptions to bed.
 
---------
The transcript of the episode follows:
Louise Harris:
Hello and welcome to the Government Digital Service podcast, and our last episode of 2021. Today, we’re going to be talking about careers in tech. Now chances are, if you’re a regular listener, you’re probably already working in a digital, data or technology role. Maybe in government. Maybe in the public sector. Maybe somewhere else entirely. 
 
But hopefully you’re aware of, and are sort of bought into, the long-term career opportunities, flexibility, creativity and satisfaction that a job in tech can bring. But unfortunately, according to a Tech Nation Talent report - that’s not the case for everyone. They surveyed a thousand 15 to 21-year-olds and tuned into almost 80,000 Reddit conversations to understand what young people in the UK thought about a career in tech.
 
In that research, 32% of men and 45% of women worried they didn’t have the right skills to pursue a tech career. And 24% of women and 21% of men said that tech careers weren’t for - and I quote - “people like them”. People in the UK feel that there are barriers standing in the way of them getting into tech. And they’re potentially counting themselves out of a great career as a result. Which is bad news for them, and bad news for all of us too.
 
Because diverse teams are better. Teams that reflect the society they serve are more effective. And teams where you can bring your whole self to work are - frankly - happier teams to be a part of. And that’s what we’re trying to build here at the Government Digital Service.
 
So we decided to dedicate this episode to anyone who is thinking about starting a career in tech - whether they’re 22 or 62 - but who’s maybe been put off by a little voice (or a loud one) telling them they shouldn’t or can’t. 
 
Joining us now are senior developers Rosa Fox, Iqbal Ahmed and Kelvin Gan. They’re going to reflect on what the research found and hopefully, put some of those fears to bed. So Kelvin, Iqbal, Rosa - over to you.
 
Iqbal Ahmed: 
Hi to everyone I'm Iqbal and I'm a senior frontend developer at GDS, which is at the Government Digital Service and joining me today, we have Kelvin and Rosa, who are both senior developers as well. We're here today to chat about some common misconceptions about pursuing a career in tech. I've just been handed a list of things that people, particularly younger people, seem to think about tech careers, and I'm excited to find out what the three of us think about these sort of myths or preconceptions that people have. 
 
So the first one we have is “I don't have the skills to work in technology”. So Rosa, what do you think about this common preconception?
 
Rosa Fox: 
Well, firstly, I think that there are many different jobs underneath the umbrella of technology. So it's not just coding skills. So at GDS, we have jobs such as being a developer, where you do do coding. But we also have designers, project managers, delivery managers, performance analysts, content designers. So, those jobs all require lots of different skills, and you probably already have a lot of those skills. So it could be things like breaking down problems, communicating, being creative, helping other people. And so I'd say you probably already have a lot of the skills. And if you feel like there are some skills that you don't have yet - yet being the keyword - then there's always options to learn. 
 
What do you think Kelvin? 
 
Kelvin Gan: 
Totally 100%, I agree with

24 min

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