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Byline: Edited by TRICIA PHILLIPS

Sophie cracks the code to a career

HAVING no clue what she wanted to do with her life, Sophie Parkin decided to turn to her favourite subject at school - and got into IT.

Not only did the shy teenager find her passion for coding, but she gained confidence by the bucketful and today the 22-year-old from Rotherham is a lead web developer for online printers Instantprint in charge of her own team.

What's a typical day like?

Pretty full on, but I wouldn't have it any other way. My main responsibility is making sure my team are happy with the tasks they have for the day ahead.

I'll review our progress, ensure we're on track and help resolve issues that come up. It's up to me to guide the web development team. I also work with heads of different departments to help bring their ideas to life.

For example, I might be working with our creative lead on a new project, right through to our marketing department who might need site speed changes.

When I'm not coding something or helping a developer find a fix, I'm planning the next lot of tasks for my team.

What have been your techie highs?

When customers upload artwork, our site provides them with a proof for them to sign off before we send it to print. It used to involve a lot of complicated words, was slow and clunky. I worked with the guys to cut the jargon on the site, create a timeline that shows customers exactly what part of the processing journey the artwork is at, and speed up the process. Result.

How did you get into this?

I'm of our female I studied Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) at GSCE which I loved. So I started to look for courses related to IT and found an apprenticeship. I worked very hard to find a work placement outside college and went on to learn all of my skills. I got a full-time job when I finished and was able to try different places of work and develop many skills. Two years ago I joined Instantprint and became lead developer.

Are you the only woman on your team?

Yes, and being the only female developer in the building is something I'm proud being only proud of. It's a great feeling to break a stereotype and I'd like to show other young women that they can get into a male-dominated industry and thrive.

For me, talent doesn't have a gender. So, if you're passionate about something, give it your all, apply yourself, remain focused and clear on your goals. Then if you're still not recognised because of your gender, it's their loss. I've never encountered another female developer. I guess the world of code isn't for everyone, but it's a well-paid job and the demand for people who can code is at an all-time high, so any women thinking about getting into the industry should just go for it.

What difference has working since 16 had on your life?

I'm just about to buy my second home and I have really come out of my shell. I can drive and have a car and I'm shortly going on a management course to further develop my people management skills. It is an amazing career.

Bag an IT job

We have found 17,340 IT jobs. If you fancy working alongside Sophie check out At there are 3,581 jobs ranging from an IT infrastructure engineer in Hugh Wycombe (PS41,625) and a programme administrator in Dumfries (PS19,202 to PS22,017) to a technical support analyst in Dewsbury, West Yorks (PS31,948) and a product development engineer in Penryn, Cornwall (PS18,000).

We found another 2,644 jobs at gov. uk/jobsearch including a data analyst in Bridgend, Wales (PS10.25 per hour), a senior technical support engineer in Hinckley, Leics (PS34,788 to PS38,813) and a database administrator in Manchester (PS40,000 to PS50,000).

There are 5,533 jobs from software engineers to web developers at, including an IT support engineer in Newbury, Berks (PS25,000), a helpdesk support analyst in Woking, Surrey (PS23,000) and a support engineer in Croydon, South London (PS23,000 to PS28,000). We spotted a further 2,003 roles at including a helpdesk analyst in Harefield, London (PS25,000) and an IT manager in Bristol (PS40,000 to PS50,000). The NHS (jobs. is looking for 2,268 IT personnel ranging from an IT team lead in Tanton, Middlesbrough (PS24,115) and a senior IT lead in Darlington (PS10.17 an hour).

If you're starting out an apprenticeship might be right for you. We found 1,311 at

I'm proud of being our only female developer


IT GIRL Sophie Parkin
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 16, 2019
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