In this “Meet n’ Greet” series, we’ll introduce you to some of the incredible people working at xDesign who help us drive our growth and success, every day.
This week, we’re highlighting our backend software engineer, Laura Brewis.
Read on to learn about the various aspects of her role, her passion for getting more women and minorities into tech and her one-word description of xDesign.
1. First things first! What is your role at xDesign and how long have you been with the company?
I’m a backend software engineer (primarily Java development), and I’ve been at xDesign for nearly one year.
2. What’s your professional background & what led you here?
I originally went to university to study mathematics, as at the time I had no idea what code or software engineering was! In my first year I had to pick more than one subject so I took a module in this new concept (well, new to me!) called "computer science". From the very first lecture, I was hooked and decided to change my degree to Computer Science.
Since graduating five years ago I have moved down to Brighton for a graduate scheme at American Express, then moved up to Edinburgh where I had a job in a financial software company for a few years before coming to xDesign. I chose xDesign because a friend already worked here and said such great things, especially about the culture and the social aspects of the Edinburgh office.
3. What’s involved in your day-to-day role?
My day-to-day is less writing code and more analysis of the client’s code, figuring out why things aren’t working and creating releases for the codebases I work on. I also get involved with other xDesign initiatives, such as technical interviews and managing a small project that new starts work on. I like the variation that this brings, and it challenges my time management skills!
4. What’s something you’re passionate about when it comes to your work?
I’m passionate about getting more people into tech, especially women, minorities and those from disadvantaged areas. I wish I had been exposed to programming at a younger age, but due to being from a rural area, we didn’t have the facilities at the school for that subject.
Things are definitely getting better these days, especially with an organisation called STEM Ambassadors. These are volunteers who go into schools to encourage children (especially girls!) to study STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and to want to go into those careers when they’re older. I’ve recently become an Ambassador and I’m co-leading an initiative to get more xDesign employees involved in this.
5. Describe xDesign in one word.
Interested in joining the team? We have a range of opportunities which you can view and apply for here.