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Get to know Emily Conaghan, She Codes alum who is now leading the Auto & General Technology Academy

Get to know Emily Conaghan, She Codes Plus alum who graduated from the Brisbane program in 2022. Earlier this year Emily announced her new role of Technology Academy Lead at Auto & General. The new program is an internal training program that provides staff the opportunity to upskill and learn Full-Stack development over 6-12 months. This opportunity has also been extended to include graduates of the 2022 She Codes Brisbane program, which was supported by Auto & General.

When asked how she first discovered She Codes, Emily shared the following.

“I discovered She Codes when I was working in recruitment. As part of this role, I was attending many industry events to educate myself about the tech industry and to meet people who were growing their own careers in tech. In 2021, I attended the She Codes Showcase and while I had heard about the She Codes before, this was my first in-depth experience with the program.”

“In 2022, when it was time to consider my professional development goals for the year, She Codes sprung to mind as a way to further develop my technical knowledge and ultimately, better understand the candidates that I was working with every day.” She continued. 

Discussing what her expectations and experience were like with tech prior to joining the program, Emily shared the following.

“After a semester of biomedical science in university, I changed to studying computer science. My experience studying computer science didn’t paint an accurate picture of what a career in tech would look like as the technologies we were learning were outdated, the cohort was 90% male and the ways of teaching weren’t practical or rooted into real-world examples.”

“Following another pivot, I landed in technical recruitment and this showed me a variety of careers that are available in tech. On top of this, I’ve also become exposed to the wealth of businesses based right here in Brisbane solving real world problems with technology. It’s pretty cool!” she continued.

When asked what her career highlights are so far, Emily shared her top two.

“Firstly, during my time in recruitment, I co-produced a video and podcast series called What’s The Stack with my colleague and friend, Carly Shearman. We were able to speak with some of the best and brightest technologists in Brisbane. I feel incredibly grateful to have had some really robust and thought provoking conversations with some incredible minds.”

“The second would have to be graduating from the She Codes program. After six months of hard work and commitment, it was pretty amazing to get to feel that sense of accomplishment and to have a whole room of people there to support us and our entry into technical roles.” Emily shared.

When asked what advice she’d give to someone considering a career in tech, Emily shared that it’s going to take some time, but to keep chipping away at making the jump and to invest your time in building and developing your skills.

“Programs like She Codes are great to both enhance your technical skills while also giving you opportunities to catapult your career in tech.”

Discussing her new role as Technology Academy Lead at Auto & General, Emily shared what she’s most looking forward to.

“To me, being able to support our Technology Academy Trainees as they enter into their first role in technology is what I’m enjoying the most. Making a career transition is a huge deal, so being able to provide support over this period is a really rewarding experience for me.”

There are a range of benefits of the Tech Academy program for both employees within Auto & General as well as the 2022 She Codes cohort who are involved.

“The benefits of the Technology Academy are far reaching! Not only does it bring a diversity of thought and experience to the Auto & General technology team, it also allows people across the business to provide mentorship and support to the next generation of developers coming into the business.”

“For the She Codes cohort participating, it’s a really awesome opportunity to enter a career in tech in a really supportive environment where ample training and mentorship is provided. It’s a fantastic opportunity and I can’t wait to see where the careers of those involved head!” Emily concluded.

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