Women in Web Development
A female Web Developer? What’s one of those?...
It’s hard to believe we are living in the 21st Century and only 23.6% of web developers are women. After all, they are the world's most powerful consumers and their impact on the economy is growing year by year. What’s more, women are strong tech users, outnumbering men on all major social media sites (there’s no surprises there).
There is a clear gender divide when it comes to the tech industry. Breaking these barriers are organisations such as PWC, one of the largest graduate recruiting companies. They are inspiring women to not only study STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) but also pursue a career in these fields.
According to an extensive survey carried out by PWC in 2017, 50,000 girls were turning away from a STEM education each year (PWC, 2017). The survey also showed that only 3% of females expressed that a career in technology would be their first choice, with only 5% of females holding leadership positions in the sector.
One such woman that is breaking down these gender divides is our very own Jayme Tibbatts. She is joining Fishtank as our new Junior Web Developer as of July 2021, putting her amongst the 11% of women developers in the world (FRG, 2021). We had the pleasure of catching up with Jayme about her journey to becoming a web developer and how gender has affected her career.
We delved deeper into the world of web development with Jayme and asked her all about her experience and where her passion came from.
When did you first discover your passion for web development?
It started when I was around 6 years old when my grandmother introduced me to computer games. Being involved in computers from such an early age, I was fascinated with technology.
Becoming a teen, I joined MySpace which gave you the capability to change your profile layout using HTML and CSS. This, combined with my love for technology, is what inspired me to start my first course in Software Development at college. This particular course explored every corner of the industry from graphic design to games development to databases and computer hardware. I really enjoyed and excelled in the web modules and this sparked my interest to progress into Web Design at University.
University helped me realise my love for being a programmer, which led to me switching from Website Design to Website Development. Allowing me to further explore application development and to learn more about programming.
Was it difficult as a female developer to find your place in the ‘tech’ community?
I have been very lucky in regards to finding my place in the industry and community. I have been a gamer pretty much all my life and this helped with any disregard of being female in a male-dominated community. I always stood my ground and if anything, this fuelled my passions even more.
During university, we had 7 females in my year group of 30 students (compared to the previous year that had 2) and our two web/programming lecturers were both females. This was really empowering and the lecturers were very keen to empower us during our studies.
What do you enjoy most about your career?
Being presented with a flat design that I can then bring into the web and help a client bring their vision to life. It’s a continuous cycle of being impressed with your advancing capabilities as well as exceeding clients’ expectations. This is what I love about my career.
What do you enjoy least about your career?
The web industry is a huge sector. It is also constantly evolving with new technologies, frameworks, and workflows. As someone who loves to learn, this is great, however, it can be hard to find your place in the industry.
Before joining Fishtank, it was very difficult to find other agencies that used the technologies that I am familiar with and this can be a factor for a lot of developers being unable to find their role in a company that speaks a different technical language.
What experience in web development do you have so far?
I started in the industry, working for another agency for just over a year. I have worked with a multitude of clients and each project developed me further as a person and a developer.
During the pandemic, the agency I was working for had to downsize and I was, unfortunately, let go. However, I did not let this stop me. I began to do freelance work for a friend’s company and I also developed my skills in new platforms such as Shopify and Squarespace.
What are you looking forward to most about your journey at Fishtank?
I am looking forward mostly to learning from the other amazing developers here at Fishtank. I have dived in headfirst and I am absorbing all the information thrown at me. This will not only help me as a developer but also the team and the company as a whole.
What do you think you will bring to the tank?
I hope that I can bring a different perspective to the development team. I have experience within the industry, as a freelancer and other agencies, which I hope will cement my place within the team and give the guys the confidence to rely on me to deliver results on time to the highest standards.
I’m pleased to be the first female to join the Development Team at Fishtank and I hope to bring some diversity and empowerment to encourage other females starting out in the industry to continue with their passion and reduce the gender gap in this industry.
What would you recommend to any women thinking of joining a heavily male-dominated role such as web development?
The industry is more supportive and encouraging to women than most may think. It’s also incredibly empowering to be a female in a male-dominated industry. Use any negativity as fuel for the fire and explore the passion to become even better.
To find out more about Jayme and her love for web development, visit her team bio here: https://fishtankagency.com/about/jayme