Alice Rosam has just been named one of the 25 Under 25 women in tech by CodeFirst:Girls, an initiative by Entrepreneur First to “hunt for the most talented and awesome young women in the tech startup world.”
Here she explains why she’s pursuing a career in software engineering after a degree in aeronautics.
“As a kid I was fascinated by all things science and loved problem solving. This led me to study maths, physics and languages at A-Level. With so many interests, I wasn’t sure what to study at university but I was drawn to aeronautics because it looked both fun and challenging.
“Although we did some programming in my degree, I didn’t get a real taste for it until my third year when I got the opportunity to work at CERN where I contributed to a software which simulates a particle accelerator. That’s when I realised that if I became a software engineer, I could work in almost any field I like. To reflect this I undertook my final year project at the Barcelona Supercomputing Centre where I got to work with code especially designed to solve large scale physics problems.
“When I graduated I joined SwiftKey as it would allow me to pursue a career in software engineering whilst working with another one of my interests: languages.
“My proudest moment to date was the completion of my first project at SwiftKey – contributing to complex languages research. I went from having little programming experience (basic Python and Matlab) to developing the code to test the conceptual design of a new feature to improve the quality of SwiftKey’s language models – from scratch. I’ve now joined SwiftKey’s languages team on the basis of that one project.
“I’d urge anyone interested in how things are made or how they work to consider a career in science or technology. I help run a weekly Code Club at a local school where we teach kids from 9-11 years to write their own games and websites to inspire them about computers and software development.
“The best thing about working at SwiftKey? Being surrounded by motivated people who are good at and love what they do and who are always willing to share their knowledge and discuss new ideas.”