Emma Cheney

Software Developer

Emma has been part of the Headforwards team for 5 years, working as a full-stack developer. She has a particular interest in user-centred areas of technology, such as UX and AI, recently working on an AI project which used software to recognise brands from items of apparel. This experience has developed a real excitement for her in seeing where AI can take us in the future.

As careers go, software development is now one of the most exciting and wide-ranging opportunities for school leavers and graduates exploring their options – and increasingly, people looking to reskill from other professions. 

In a recent discussion with one of our own Full Stack Developers, Emma Cheney, we discovered that far from being an inaccessible, unglamorous career, aspiring to be a software developer is now highly desirable in an industry that’s continuously changing. 

What’s more, the support and opportunities for budding developers abound like never before – attracting the much needed diversity that the industry only dreamed of a decade ago. 

“Computer technology has always come easily to me, but I wanted to be a lawyer after I left school,” says Emma. “I tried law at A-Level, but it wasn’t for me. That’s when I started to look at my options. I had a really supportive teacher who told me to try a foundation degree in web technology. It immediately felt like the right fit, so I went from there to finish a BSc in computing at the University of Plymouth.” 

A graduate in demand 

Following her studies, Emma was quickly snapped up by a major retailer, writing test scripts for APIs, followed by further experience at a Cornwall-based fundraising organisation. But as Emma explains, it wasn’t until she secured a job at Headforwards that her skills were truly put to the test and her development accelerated.

“Things move so quickly at Headforwards – the work offers so much variety,” says Emma. “Working in the Special Projects team means I could be working on up to six different clients every day. It’s a wonderfully challenging role.”

Creating Agile teams at Cornwall Council through behavioural change

Becoming the full package – balancing hard and soft skills for a better end result 

While Emma had to hit the ground running when she joined Headforwards, she also attributes the company’s recruitment policy to much of her success in the role – including the company’s dedication to team working. 

“I wasn’t just recruited for my skills and previous experience, Headforwards also saw my ability to be personable and work as a team,” says Emma. “So, it doesn’t matter if you’re not the finished article when you join the company. We’d much rather have people with wide-ranging technical and personal skills who we can nurture on the job.” 

This culture of learning and development is something that Emma believes has helped accelerate her progression more than any previous role over the past few years. Headforwards’ development teams are structured in just the right way to ensure each client is served to the highest standards while also giving opportunities for developers to upskill. 

Advice for aspiring coders: stay focused but don’t neglect your soft skills 

With significant advances in technology and the need to be front and centre with clients, the role of a software developer has undergone rapid transformation over recent years. It’s also meant that coders have had to adapt to new, more collaborative ways of working – demanding more varied skillsets. 

At Headforwards, our people are handpicked for their technical prowess, ability to work as a team, communication skills, and future potential. And as someone who has risen through the ranks rapidly, Emma has some words of advice for anyone looking to start a software development career.

“My advice for anyone interested in becoming a developer is to build your personal skills and get experience working within collaborative teams,” says Emma. “The truth is, you could be the best coder in the world, but if you can’t work in a team and communicate effectively with clients, it might not be the job for you. It’s not easy, but if you like solving problems and getting stuff done, it’s a hugely rewarding career with so much potential.” 

Discover a fast-paced career that’s centred around your development

At Headforwards, we recognise everyone’s potential. That’s why you can expect a job with endless possibilities and fast progression. Head over to our careers page to find out more

To find out more about the kind of roles we offer, read our other Meet the Team articles for inspiration

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