Celebrating International Women’s Day: from Classroom to Code

International Women's Day

As we celebrate International Women’s Day, I want to share my journey of breaking stereotypes and embracing change. My transition from a primary school teacher to a data engineer has been a path of self-discovery and empowerment that I hope inspires and motivates others to follow their passions.

Teaching to Tech Journey

After dedicating seven years to teaching, I found myself yearning for a more exciting career, as teaching is not as I thought, the focus is so much on Ofsted and inspections these days rather than delivering quality lessons to the children. Looking at the teachers who had been working in teaching longer than me, they looked tired and overworked and this made me realise the need for a change. Recognising my passion for technology, I decided to leap into the tech industry.

My interest in tech was evident even during my teaching years. My colleagues sought my help when trying to set up pretty spreadsheets to track children’s progress or to fix any computer issues they had rather than going to the dedicated IT technician. When COVID hit, I was appointed Online Learning Coordinator, as they knew someone needed to act quickly to pivot learning from the classroom to online and remotely.

Planning for Change

During my pregnancy, I saw my maternity leave as a golden opportunity for change. With a 6-week-old baby, I embarked on a 13-week remote data engineering boot camp. Despite the sleepless nights, managing a newborn, and learning complex coding concepts simultaneously, my dedication fuelled my journey, and I successfully completed the course.

I now had this shiny certificate, but the clock was ticking during my maternity leave. If I didn’t secure a job in tech I would have to go back to teaching. Fortunately, an interview opportunity at Adatis came, and I secured the job. Six months into my new role, I have no regrets—each day brings new challenges, and I find immense joy and drive in what I do.

Transferable Skills

When I secured the junior data engineer job at Adatis, imposter syndrome hit me strong, and I thought what do I possibly have to offer as I was new to coding? However, until I started the job, I didn’t realise how important the transferable skills I had developed during my teaching career were to consulting and how much they have helped me succeed. Communication skills are a crucial skill in teaching, to be able to convey complex ideas simply to pupils. This can be directly compared to communicating with non-technical clients. Problem-solving abilities are also essential to the role as you need to come up with creative solutions to tackle problems, just like you might do in the playground. Teachers pay close attention to detail to students’ work especially when marking. In data consulting, attention to detail is crucial for accurately interpreting client requirements, preventing and spotting errors, and ensuring the quality of deliverables. These are only a few of the skills I have already developed and have helped me in my new career.


When transitioning to the tech industry my initial concerns were that I would probably have a worse work-life balance compared to teaching especially the total of 12 weeks of holiday that teachers get in a year. But in fact, I have found it’s quite the opposite. Working from home has enhanced my work-life balance.  I can drop my son off at school in the mornings and spend quality time with him, something I couldn’t do in my previous job. I have also recently been able to enjoy walks around my neighbourhood during lunchtime as the weather has started to improve. And from time to time, I can complete the odd chore, like putting a load of washing in during a break.

Career Advice

We are pressured to define our futures by the age of 18 and this often feels overwhelming. A decade later I’ve come to appreciate that maturity and clarity comes with time. What I’ve learned is the importance of researching your options and not just following norms. Discovering boot camps as viable alternatives to traditional degrees was a game-changer for me. These boot camps, respected and often government-funded, offer shiny certificates and promising career paths without the burden of student loans. I don’t regret going to university as it taught me valuable life skills, but my message is, that it’s not too late to make a drastic career change.


As we celebrate International Women’s Day, my journey is a testament to change, risk-taking, and finding fulfilment in unexpected places. I encourage everyone, especially women, to embrace the unknown, take risks, and believe in the power of resilience and commitment to personal and professional growth. Remember, it’s never too late to step into the unknown and discover new possibilities. Happy International Women’s Day!