Posted on 10 May 2018

Today’s educators and professional development providers are constantly looking for new ways to provide students with cutting-edge skills and excellent career prospects once they graduate. General Assembly is one such organisation, offering award-winning curriculum and ongoing mentorship to students across web development, coding, design, business, data analysis, and more.

JDS has had a relationship with GA since mid-2017, partnering with them to find new candidates among their graduates. GA grads are part of an immersive tech program, filled with weeks of intensive training with industry experts. They also often have a variety of backgrounds, including in project management, communications, leadership, and more. GA builds on a student’s previous background by adding a splash of tech knowledge, enthusiasm, and ambition—a winning combination as far as JDS is concerned! We’re always interested in meeting tech and business professionals who can articulate and demonstrate their non-traditional pathways and ideas, as this is what helps us as a business stay fresh and innovative.

Our interviewee today is one of GA’s 40,000+ alumni and part of their unique network of techies, designers, innovators, and entrepreneurs. Amanda Sam is also a proud member of the JDS tech family.

Amanda Sam

Amanda Sam, Technical Consultant, Sydney

Amanda was born in Hong Kong and grew up in Sydney, where she developed a passion for the intersection of design and technology. Having enjoyed STEM subjects throughout high school, Amanda used this as a foundation to pursue design going forward. While working as a graphic designer, she started learning more about web design and quickly developed the skills to build and refine websites herself.

Inspired to start a new career path, Amanda undertook the General Assembly program and kept an eye on positions where she could put her new skills to the test. Having secured her position with our Sydney team as a Splunk consultant, Amanda uses her same keen eye for design when presenting new data in Splunk dashboards, and flexes her coding and programming muscles in the backend to make it all happen smoothly.

In this month’s Women in IT interview, we talked to Amanda about her background in tech, what made her want to join the JDS team, and why promoting ICT as a career for women is so important.

A diverse workplace is necessary for any industry; it provides different perspectives in dealing with issues and solving problems.

What drew you to your career?

I started my career as a designer. I was involved with web design in my last job, and I enjoyed building Web/App and the craft of UI design. One day, I had a thought: “It would be fun to build the websites all by myself!” So I quit my designer job and completed the GA program.

During the course, I realised I actually really enjoy writing code and building things.

Therefore, it was a natural progression for me to move from design to tech.

What drew you to a job at JDS?

I heard about JDS through my programming school. I was advised the team was looking for a technical consultant at the time, so I researched the company and the vacant role. I then contacted the JDS HR team and was impressed, so I sent through my application.

During the recruitment process, I learnt more about the company and the broad range of customers for which it provides IT services. I am pleased to be part of the JDS team.

Have you progressed in your career at JDS? If so, how?

Since joining JDS, I have found the workplace culture to be relaxed and professional—which I’ve really enjoyed. I’m currently getting up to speed on Splunk and continuing to develop my technical skill set.

My direct manager and the overall business have provided immediate and ongoing development opportunities, with colleagues who have been very supportive of me. Our teamwork culture gives me the chance to direct questions to our consultants, who have been happy to share their experience.

The training at work has encouraged me to complete additional self-training projects in different programming languages during my spare time.

Why do you think it’s important for women to be in IT?

A diverse workplace is necessary for any industry; it provides different perspectives in dealing with issues and solving problems.

A balance of gender within our industry reflects our society’s diversity and improves our ability to service a broader range of clients and industries. In addition, gender balance provides greater understandings within our workplaces.

Why is JDS a good place to work for women?

JDS is a good place to work. A great training program is provided, encouraging staff to grow and maximise their potential. Senior staff are prepared to share their knowledge and experience. There is a strong work/life balance at JDS.

Women in IT blog series

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