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Jemma Holmes

Read Jemma's story to discover what it's like to work as a Junior Developer in QBE's technology team.

Tell us about your role at QBE

I'm a junior developer working in the GIS Hybrid Cloud – Self Service Engineering Team and mainly code frontend to help create and maintain various user interfaces. My team are awesome, and together, we create new ways of helping developers and users get the most out of technology. I'm currently working on an amazing project called DevHub using the Backstage platform built by Spotify. I'm also working on a new form of documentation for Cloud, where I'm creating 'how to video guides’, which gives me a lot of freedom to express my creative side.

How have you found starting at QBE?

QBE has been amazing from day one. Even in my interview where I was on exercise with the RAF Reserves, out in a field, behind a tent with very little signal! They saw my dedication and potential and have helped me grow into the developer I am today. My onboarding process was smooth and fun, spending the week at the Leeds office getting to know the team and setting up. Changing careers is always scary, imposter syndrome is very real and working from home can be hard sometimes, but having virtual Quiz nights with a beer and laughing at everyone's attempt to draw with a mouse definitely helps!

What excites you the most about your role?

Coding and programming is super interesting. It allows people to get together to build something unique, share ideas, innovate, and solve problems. Knowing you've created something that made a tangible difference in people's work life gives you a sense of accomplishment. We've started working closely with Microsoft on a really cool project of which we're the first in the world. This year I also joined the QBE Women in Tech group, and we're currently preparing for an event in November which is super exciting! Our aim is to get more women into tech with QBE. We want to provide a network to help break down barriers, changing perception and create an environment in which anyone who wants to succeed can. The group is fantastic, and its really inspiring to see so many women passionate about helping other women.

What career advice would you give to other women starting in tech? 

Do the research, network, ask questions and go for it! The first step is really knowing what motivates you and gives you drive. Being in tech is not all about coding; there are many roles that require a diverse workforce. Finding a mentor is a good idea too, joining the QBE Women in Tech group has really helped me and my confidence.

How has QBE supported your career development?

Within my team we dedicate a morning every 2 weeks for learning anything we want that will help us in our role. A couple of months ago we completed some Microsoft learning challenges about Azure products and the cloud. This is helping me work towards a Microsoft accreditation which I hope to achieve by the end of the year. Again, my managers are really supportive of my tech development.