Introducing Laura

Hi, I’m Laura and I’ve just finished my 6th week as a developer at dxw.

I’ve been a developer for nearly 19 years. I started in September 1999 as a junior web developer at Southwark College, and my most recent role was as a Ruby on Rails developer for a blockchain fintech startup called Bitpesa. In between, I have worked in many different sectors and companies, from tiny startups like Livestax (where I worked with Agz) to large corporations like the BBC, Telegraph Media Group and SpringerNature.

I don’t have any formal tech related qualifications. Instead, I graduated at the height of the boom and decided I wanted to be involved. I blagged my way into my first job and the rest is history.

Over the years I’ve been a WAP site developer, an XML/XSLT specialist and a front-end developer. I moved into Ruby in 2014 while working at SpringerNature. I was bored with FED and there was an opening in the Ruby team, so I talked my way into it without any Ruby experience. Currently, I’m really keen to try more devops things, and I also like to dabble in the front end to keep my skills fresh.

I’m a 9-5 coder; I used to do side projects (mostly IRC bots) but these days I try to stay away from anything work related outside work hours. My main hobby is powerlifting, which I’ve been doing since Spring 2009. I was not a sporty person at all before my early 30s and I’m still really surprised that a sport takes up so much of my life now.

In October this year, I’ll be travelling to Belfast for the British Powerlifting Masters championships. Last year I placed 10th and I’m hoping to be top 10 again this year. I’m not very competitive compared to the ladies in my class who place top three, but I’m enthusiastic and I really enjoy competing.

As well as training & competing, I’m also a National Referee in the British Powerlifting Federation and an amateur coach (I have my BP level 1 coaching certificate).

dxw is the first time I’ve been involved in agency work. Previously I’ve always worked on long-term products and I’m interested to see how I find working on a variety of different projects. After nearly 20 years as a developer, I’m always keen to find ways to keep development fresh and interesting for me. So far I have been working on a middleware project for the Judiciary, and I’ve been making good use of dxw Fridays to try out new things, including working with a Raspberry Pi in my first week.

I have gravitated towards dxw a few times in my career but there wasn’t really a suitable opening at the right time for me before this year. After meeting David at WomenHack last year (with Agz!) the company has been high on my list. I’m excited about working for a company that values its people so much, which has a great product process, and which centres users in everything it does.