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Presentation: Panel: Non Traditional Moves Into Tech: A Blessing and a Curse?

Track: Career Hacking

Location: Windsor, 5th flr.

Duration: 2:55pm - 3:45pm

Day of week: Wednesday

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This panel will share their varied non conventional routes into tech and along the way will discuss the pros and cons of choosing to move into a role in tech - what the benefits and pitfalls are for both them and employers.

Speaker: Robert Rees

Head of development @wegotpop

Robert Rees is the head of development with filmtech startup We Got POP. He has previous worked at the Guardian as a developer manager, GDS as the community lead for Technical Architecture across government and at Agile consultancy ThoughtWorks as a Senior Consultant. His first job in technology was a tester and is a self-taught coder.

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Speaker: Charlotte Fereday

Software Engineer @thoughtworks

Full stack Developer at ThoughtWorks. Passionate about finding new and innovative ways to make positive social impact through technology, education and open source projects. One of Wise and EdTechXGlobal 50 global Makers and Shakers in Edtech, and Women in Tech scholar. Working hard to deliver the best quality code, and Build a More Equitable Tech Future.

Find Charlotte Fereday at

Speaker: Misa Ogura

Software Engineer @BBCRD

I'm a Cancer Cell Biologist, turned Software Engineer. My growing interest in understanding and utilising data led me to take on a very exciting role at BBC R&D. I'm currently developing a machine learning based system for automating metadata extraction from broadcast content. As a Co-founder of Women Driven Development, I organise hackathons where women and non-binary people at all stages in their careers come together, to work with leaders in the industry and use technology for social good.

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Speaker: Anne Byrne

Payments Risk Team @Deliveroo

Anne is a software engineer at Deliveroo, currently in the Payments Risk team after having spent a year building features to help users track and manage their order. Previously she was at the Guardian working on the Content API. Across her roles in the past 3 years she’s used Scala, Ruby, Javascript, Python and Go. Before teaching herself to code, she worked at Amazon and a boutique headhunters in commercial roles. Outside of shipping code, she is a poet and alumni of Barbican Young Poets.

Find Anne Byrne at

Speaker: Stephan Fowler

Senior Product manager @guardian

Stephan is a senior product manager at the Guardian, an organisation he initially joined as a software engineer. He previously worked in a variety of sectors as a freelance developer, ran a security technology startup, and has held various dubious roles in the music industry. His first band was called Fatal Teabag. He is a self-taught coder.

Find Stephan Fowler at


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