Neelam Bhandari

neelam bhandariWhat did you study (at school, college or University)?

I studied maths, physics, chemistry, and biology in school. I completed my B.E. (Bachelor of Engineering) in Electronics and Computing. After working for a couple of years in the IT industry, I took a study break and did my MSc (Masters) in Electronics and Computing at the University of Birmingham.

What do you do in IT Services?

I work in the Web and Digital Team as a Lead Developer. My primary responsibility is to act as a technical lead for the Portal (my.bham) and to provide on-going support for it. I'm also a technical lead for UoB Dubai Portal and played a key role in the development and UI design of the Dubai portal.

Recently, I completed my Professional Scrum Master certification and was keen to put the knowledge in to practise. As of writing, I was given an opportunity to act as a shadow Scrum Master for 2 projects. I believe this will help me in honing my soft skills. 

How did you get into technology?

When I was in the third year of my undergraduate degree, I worked for an IT Company during a campus work placement. For the first three months of my employment I was trained primarily in software programming along with basic Linux commands and database programming. After completing my training, I was put on my first real IT project for a Japanese client where the learning curve was very steep but I knew then I was going to stay in technology for a long time. I still learn something new every day and feel like it’s an ongoing process.

What advice would you give to girls considering a technology related career?

Do what you enjoy doing the most. Nothing is difficult; with practise you will get a hang of it no matter what background you are coming in from. If you have started something, own it and finish it. Take the criticism positively and work on it. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and be confident. You are as capable as anyone so go for it! 

What advice would you give to women thinking of working in IT Services at UoB?

IT Services is a great place to work and has flexible working in place.  Be prepared to push for your own learning as there are plenty of development opportunities available. Join a women's network to meet wonderful women working in various roles at different levels in the University. It will help you in widening your horizons and options as IT is not just about being technical.

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