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Nevertheless, she coded

helenanders26 profile image Helen Anderson Updated on ・2 min read

I began to code because ...

My journey so far hasn’t been the most traditional one.

I didn’t study computer science or even IT at university. After graduating with a Business degree I landed in the world of Supply Chain Analysis. I really enjoyed solving the puzzle of how to get the right stuff to the right people at the right time. Putting together a plan based on the customer's needs, the shipping timetables and in the case of my first job shipping apples from New Zealand around the world, what the growers estimated they would harvest. Even though we did everything using Excel it set me on the path to where I am now.

Making the move from working in Excel to coding in SQL happened when I joined Xero three years ago. I started in the Marketing team as an analyst pulling lists for email campaigns and doing post-campaign analysis. I was pretty late to the game when it came to using SQL, but was hooked. Now I am working in the BI team in a role that allows me to support those junior and not so technical analysts, who were ‘me’ three years ago while growing my technical skills working on projects to build data models a new database platform.

I continued to code in 2019 because ...

2019 is my fourth year coding professionally. During the last three years, I've come a long way. From crashing the database with inefficient 'dumb' queries to upskilling in a big hurry when joining a tech team to now upskilling those who were 'me' three years ago, I'm now more determined to build my skills.

This year I'm going to talk the talk as well as walk the walk. I'll be writing at least one post here per week and will be giving my first tech talk in a few weeks.

My advice for other women who code is ...

Be fearless - Don't hesitate in putting yourself forward to lead a project or take on something new.

Back yourself - If you don't shout about your achievements, how will anyone else know? Be proud of what you have accomplished and how far you have come.

Lift others up - You don't have to be a manager to lead. Reach out to others and find where you can help teach, lead and mentor.

This post first appeared on helenanderson.co.nz

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Helen Anderson


Making applications go faster at Raygun, AWS Data Hero, and tag moderator on Dev.to.


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I met my better half while working together in coding, and since leaving that role she hasn't been back to coding because of the male domination and inequality of pay. I'm trying to encourage her to go back into coding because she was good at it, and in 15 years the industry has grown and changed. I'll be pointing her to your posts for sure!!


That's great to hear, hope she finds her place in the tech world real soon :)


Hi Helen,
I thoroughly enjoyed reading your piece, Helen.
I especially think your advice is great for everybody transitioning into #tech from another career.
If it is okay, may I quote you and your advice in a twitter feed?

Thank you for such an informed piece. Mike.


Hi Mike, thanks for the feedback, that's really great to hear.

Yes, of course, feel free to pass on anything that's useful :)


My advice for other women who code is ...

Just do it! - because it is fun and a creative way to express yourselves.


Absolutely! There's more to tech than just zeros and ones. Finding creative and efficient solutions to problems is really satisfying.


Thank you for sharing your journey :) Your post is very inspiring !


I love this post, and as a beginner it's so good to hear from a woman making it in IT here in NZ.


Thank you! There are some fantastic NZ tech companies focussed on lifting up those at the start of their journey. Hope yours is off to a good start :)


Love the article, love your story. Keep inspiring!


Thanks James! Your encouragement means a lot :)