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Spotlight: Bola Ajose, Senior Technical Operations Analyst at Permutive

Bola Ajose, Senior Technical Operations Analyst at Permutive

ARTICLE SUMMARY

SheCanCode recently spoke with Bola Ajose, from Permutive.

Bola Ajose is a Pharmacy graduate from the University of Nottingham and self-taught programmer. She currently works for Permutive as a Senior Technical Operations Analyst. With experience as a Logistics Manager for Stemettes, and as a Programme Manager at Coders of Colour she is passionate about STEM communication and amplifying Black Women’s voices in these spaces.

1.TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOUR CAREER JOURNEY SO FAR AND HOW YOU CAME TO JOIN PERMUTIVE?

In 2018 I started working in STEM communication and landed a job as a Logistics Manager at Stemettes. Stemettes is an organisation aiming to promote STEM to young girls. In this job I spent a lot of time planning events with Tech companies and facilitating our workshops were we taught basic HTML, CSS and App building.

This exposed me to the world of Tech and I started to think more about how I could enter this industry. I then started working part time and teaching myself how to code at the same time. Once I felt a little ready I started applying for jobs and a friend sent me the Tech Ops Analyst role for Permutive, the company was exactly what I was looking for and luckily got the job!

2.HOW DID YOU SECURE AN ENGINEERING SECONDMENT? DID YOU ASK FOR ONE? WERE YOU OFFERED THE OPPORTUNITY?

I’d been interested in pursuing an engineering role for around a year as I wanted to develop my technical skills. Throughout this time I was encouraged by my manager to understand more about what our different engineering teams did. I then suggested to my manager it would be good for me to get to know the teams more and maybe even shadow them. He then suggested a secondment could be a great way to do this and that’s how this began.

3.WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED SO FAR?

I’ve learnt about specific tools that we use in our company, Kubernetes, Docker etc but most importantly I started to learn about how product teams actually work. How they plan their tasks, how sprints work, their workflows and how they collaborate in the team and outside the team. This was great to understand how products get made and released and made engineering less intimidating to me.

4.WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS AFTER THE SECONDMENT ENDS?

I’d like to try another secondment into the DevOps team, as I’ve enjoyed learning more in this area. I have started looking at different online courses to delve deeper into this area.

5.WHAT FIRST SPARKED YOUR INTEREST IN WORKING IN THE TECH INDUSTRY?

Working at Stemettes, I realised I loved facilitating the most out of my responsibilities. I really enjoyed the problem solving aspect of coding and helping the students build a project. In the summer of 2019 I started working for Coders of Colour as a Programme Manager for their Summer Programme, this further exposed me to the vast amount of careers I could explore in Tech and really solidified this would be somewhere I would want to be. The more I learnt about the industry and the creativity and flexibility the industry offered, I knew there would be a lot of potential for me to grow.

6. IS THERE ANY ADVICE YOU WOULD GIVE OTHER WOMEN IN TECH CONSIDERING A SECONDMENT BUT ARE UNSURE ABOUT IT?

I would definitely encourage them to take the plunge and ask. Talk to your manager about what you’re interested and how the secondment would be helpful in your development. You can also talk to the team you’re interested in to ease any anxieties about joining that team, it’s helpful if it’s the manager in that team but not essential.

It can be anyone in the team you know, just a way to start forming relationships so when you do your secondment people already feel familiar and you don’t feel too out of your depth. Also, you won’t know everything and that’s ok, don’t feel like you have to have perfect knowledge about the team or even the technologies in the team, just come with an open mind and you will be able to absorb everything. The whole point of the secondment is to learn so don’t feel too intimidated.

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