Anna McDougall

Former opera singer turned engineer.
Skills: HTML, CSS, JS, React
Public speaking topics: JS, Diversity, Career, Motivation

A few words about you, who are you?

I’m a former opera singer who moved to Germany originally to pursue opera, but ended up programming again after a long break and pursuing that career instead. I now work as a Junior Software Engineer at Novatec Consulting in Berlin.

When and how did you get interested in coding?

I started making webpages as a kid after picking up a learn-at-home HTML book with my parents. I then made websites and did some software development at high school, before leaving to pursue other things.

What do you like about coding most?

Solving problems. For me, coding is like a giant logic puzzle, and the way it forces me to think and to expand my mind is really attractive.

What do you like to try/learn/know?

I’m a very practical person, so for me I like to see how anything new I learnt can impact a project or open it up to new possibilities.

What is your biggest challenge as a programmer?

I get so excited that I often dive into code and make too many changes at once. I’m working on taking things one step at a time and coordinating that with better testing so that I can be more methodical.

Do you have role models?

As corny as it sounds, my mum. She’s a very patient, open, and intellectual woman.

Which stereotype of a programmer can you prove wrong?

I’m a massive extrovert so I guess that would be the main one!

Can you recommend a book / podcast / tutorial / film or event?

The book “Technically Wrong” is a great introduction to how data bias can impact real-world applications.