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Who Codes? Tara O’Donnell Codes!

Get to know She Codes Alum, Tara O’Donnell who recently graduated from the She Codes Plus Sydney program. Below she shares her experience with the program.

When asked how her tech journey began, Tara shared that while she doesn’t have any formal tech qualifications, she had always had an interest in technology and put her hand up where she could to help with new systems and data related tasks at work.

“This often led to falling into an ‘accidental tech support’ role at organisations, a role which I have enjoyed. However, it was in early 2022 after going on a training course for developing online courses that kickstarted a more proactive search to learn coding.”

When asked how she first discovered She Codes, Tara shared that she was looking for coding courses online when she found the She Codes program.

“This was exciting as I couldn’t find any other face-to-face courses that were supporting women working full-time in Australia, particularly for a program as long as six months”.

Tara goes on to explain that at the time, She Codes programs were only offered in Perth and Brisbane, so she signed up to the mailing list to keep up to date on any further expansion of the program.

“To my delight, only a couple of months later I received an email announcing that the 1-day workshops and Plus Program were coming to Sydney. I signed up for the 1-day workshop immediately and enjoyed it so much that I went on to attend the information night for the Plus program and ultimately submit an application when they opened”. She continued.

When asked how the Plus Program has impacted her, she shared the following.

“I think one of the biggest impacts so far is gaining the confidence to take the transition into a tech role seriously. Without a degree or background, I found the industry intimidating. In hindsight it seems silly, but I honestly thought that people would laugh at me if I mentioned the idea of becoming a software developer. However, everyone around me has been extremely supportive.”

“Going to class each week and seeing women on a similar journey as me is very encouraging and the mentors take each person’s goals and aspirations seriously. The more time I spend in the program, the more excited I am to think of tech as a realistic career path.” She continued.

Discussing what her favourite aspects of the program were, Tara shared that the mentors have been a huge highlight for her.

“Hearing directly from people currently working in the industry about their experiences and how they first got started in their careers has given me lots of insight into the industry.”

“It’s also very encouraging to have so many amazing people supporting the cohort and working so hard to help us succeed.”

When asked what success looks like and what’s next after the program, Tara expressed that these were questions she asks herself every week.

“To me, success is the motivation to continue learning and building upon the skills and tools that we have gained in the program. I am still discovering the many different roles out there, but so far have enjoyed working more with the backend projects.”

“Ultimately, I would like to remain working in the not-for-profit sector but move into a developer role where I can continue to learn while working on real projects. I also hope to give back to She Codes in the future by being involved in the growing alumni community in Sydney and perhaps one day even being a mentor myself.” She concluded.

To find out more about She Codes Plus, and stay involved in upcoming opportunities, make sure you sign up to our mailing list here and follow us on socials!