Paula Moughton-Weems spoke about her journey into the field of tech (beginning her talk with a description of her journey across an actual field!)

From humble beginnings, Paula knew she wanted to have an impact on people’s lives, but did not follow the traditional university route into tech. She met people who worked in software, and knew she wanted to be a part of that world, so she applied for a job at Thoughtworks, not expecting to actually get the job as she lacked the qualifications and experience of her competitors!

Nevertheless, the Thoughtworks team wisely saw her passion and potential and hired her. Paula’s first impossible thing was “Don’t let them know I have no idea what I’m doing!” She faced a steep learning curve, with plenty of trial and error and asked lots of questions. She knew that asking questions would get her the information she needed, but without knowing what she didn’t know, how could she know what to ask?

Her next impossible challenge came when Paula was asked to train up an intern. She didn’t feel she had the expertise to train someone else, but very quickly found that the best way to learn is to teach. When the intern asked a question she couldn’t answer, they found out together!

Paula is glad that Thoughtworks believes in passion and potential, and says she now gets to make an impact on the world because she faced those seemingly insurmountable challenges and “made impossible things possible.”