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From hair stylist to Software Engineer: How one woman followed her lifelong ambition for a career in tech

Raven Reynolds Sears holding a child

ARTICLE SUMMARY

Meet Raven Reynolds Sears, a former hair stylist who quit her job in LA for love and to follow her lifelong ambition of becoming a software engineer.

Mum-of-two Raven, now 35, completed her Makers Bootcamp Course in March 2022 and is now working for BCB Group – one of the world’s leading crypto-dedicated payment services providers.

In April 2015, after 18 months of dating, Raven decided to pack up her bags and relocate to London as she realised life under the California sun was no longer serving her.

MAINTAINING A HEALTH WORK-LIFE BALANCE

Since moving to the UK, she has worked hard to maintain a healthy work-life balance. For Raven, this has meant juggling the responsibilities of being a mum to her daughters, aged 6 and 2, and studying the fundamental skills to becoming a successful software engineer.

She kickstarted her training a tad unusually – by taking on a silversmithing course initially, which emphasised time management, working independently and hitting deadlines. From there, she made the move to software engineering.

“As an expat, I don’t have a support network of family here who can aid in childcare, which would allow for that dedicated learning time. I really had to make every moment count. 

“Long nights, early mornings and strategically planned nap times got me to my end goal.”

LEARNING NEW SKILLS

After applying in July 2021 to the Makers and BCB Group partnership scheme, Raven completed the course after 16 weeks and was referred to BCB Group due to her outstanding performance.

Raven shared why Makers has helped her prepare for her job, saying, “During my time on the Makers course, I learned how to prioritise my mental health, how to put in best practices for coding, how to work from home successfully and, more obviously, how to code in a basic sense.” 

“The bootcamp was a fantastic stepping stone, but the majority of your code learning comes from on-the-job experience.”

“It’s one of those things that you can only truly learn from IRL experiences.”

BECOMING A FULL STACK ENGINEER

Raven Reynolds Sears with colleagues

Raven was hired by BCB Group as a Full Stack Engineer and is one of three women selected from the partnership scheme, which helps bring more women into the tech space. 

Speaking about why she wanted to pursue a career as a Full Stack Engineer and why she wants to encourage more women to apply for software engineering courses, Raven said, “It’s a frightfully male-dominated industry that will only get less daunting if we continue to push ourselves outside of our comfort zones and create a more balanced space for future women to feel seen in.”

“Follow your passion into tech, give yourself that opportunity to have fulfilment in your work life, and be a part of the equality shift in the world of STEM.”

“I’ve always had an interest in tech. I love the cutting-edge aspect of it. It’s why I wanted to work in the crypto/web3 space as well. I wanted to challenge myself and be the one crafting the processes, playing a role in the next wave of the web.”

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