Tech Trailblazers

Tech Trailblazer - Sharon Ross

  • Name: Sharon Ross

    Role: Technical Engineer, Expleo

    What does your typical day look like?

    Navigating the world of consultancy injects each day with a fresh dose of variety, however I usually begin by organising emails before our team stand-up meeting, where we discuss upcoming projects over the months ahead. Following that, I check in with my clients to update them on progress and discuss plans and upcoming projects. I then launch into my daily tasks. This can range from performance test scripting – this is code that we use to test a product’s performance by automating real-world user behaviour – to reporting on tests, or conducting accessibility audits to ensure digital platforms can be accessed and used by everyone, including those with disabilities.

    What are you currently working on?

    My work is very diverse, and I have had the opportunity to work with many clients, across many countries in a variety of services. Presently, my focus is on a performance testing project using LoadRunner for a client based in the Netherlands and France. 

    Looking ahead, I'm gearing up to lead a comprehensive training programme for a client based in Portugal. The initiative aims to equip their team with the skills needed to conduct thorough accessibility audits. It's an exciting opportunity that not only underscores the global impact of my work, but also reflects my commitment to promoting inclusivity and accessibility in digital environments.

    With each project, I embrace the opportunity to leverage my skills and expertise to drive positive change and deliver tangible results for clients across borders and industries. It's this diversity and breadth of experiences that invigorate my passion for my work, propelling me forward with enthusiasm and purpose.

    What inspired you to join this company in particular?

    My journey with Expleo began through their graduate programme, which offered a holistic approach covering technical prowess and essential soft skills. Hearing glowing reviews from peers who had experienced the company firsthand further fuelled my decision. What truly inspires me to remain part of the Expleo family is their unwavering dedication to nurturing talent.

    Expleo's commitment to investing in their people shines through their comprehensive training programmes and strong emphasis on mentorship. The supportive culture they have cultivated, championing inclusivity and multiculturalism, creates an environment where everyone can thrive and contribute their unique perspectives.

    Moreover, Expleo's ethos extends beyond the workplace, evident through their numerous charity initiatives. Their reputation as a company dedicated to making a positive impact on society resonates deeply with me, reinforcing my sense of purpose and belonging.

    Did you always want to work in this industry (tech)?

    I had an unusual start to my journey, working in McDonald’s for four years. It was here that I was introduced to the software that they used for predicting sales, stock orders and scheduling, which inspired me to go to university to be on the other side, understanding the statistics behind that software.

    I went to University of South Wales, Pontypridd, and graduated with a 1st Class Hons in Mathematics in 2022. During my studies, I explored Data Science and Operational Research, discovering a newfound interest that led me into programming—a skill I once considered beyond my reach. 

    Enter Expleo—here, I found a nurturing environment that allowed me to thrive in ways I never imagined. Through continuous learning and growth opportunities, I surpassed milestones I once thought were unattainable. Expleo not only supported my professional development but also nurtured my confidence, empowering me to realise my full potential in the tech industry.

    At Expleo, I found more than just a job; I found a supportive community and an inclusive culture that fosters growth. As a Technical Engineer, I thrive in an environment brimming with opportunities for personal development and career advancement. It's not just about climbing the professional ladder here; it's about evolving as an individual while making strides in my career journey.

    What’s your favourite part about your work?

    The most rewarding aspect of my work is connecting with great people who motivate me to do my best work. At Expleo, I have had the chance to team up with awesome colleagues internally and work with clients across Europe. We have tackled projects in automation, performance testing, and accessibility auditing, delivering high quality solutions that mage a real impact.

    I was also involved in a project with our Aerospace Engineering team, focusing on digital innovation. Together, we aimed to automate processes to increase efficiency and accuracy in compiling material codes for various aircraft components and comparing layups to ensure strength requirements were met. It's been a great opportunity to learn and grow while contributing to meaningful projects that make a difference. These experiences have not only helped me to improve my skills, but also to build strong relationships that keep me passionate about what I do in the tech field.

    What would you say to other people considering a job in this industry (tech)?

    To anyone considering a job in the tech industry, I would say: don't let the initial fear or intimidation hold you back. I have seen many colleagues come from diverse backgrounds and fields of study succeed and thrive in their roles. Surround yourself with supportive colleagues and mentors, and you will discover that you are far more capable than you might think. Embrace the learning curve, stay open-minded, and remember that growth often happens outside your comfort zone. With the right support and determination, you can find success and fulfilment in the tech industry.

    How do you see this technology impacting on our lives? 

    The technologies and sectors I work with in Expleo are so diverse that they have an impact on many aspects of people’s lives. At Expleo, we help make technologies work, whether it be common business applications or new leading-edge technologies such as AI. One element of this is performance testing, which isn’t something that an end user thinks about much, but then they try to buy concert tickets and find themselves sitting on a loading page for 20 minutes before being kicked out and losing their spot in the queue!

    What do you consider to be the most important tech innovation or development in recent years?

    I feel the most important innovation is Gen AI, but we are yet to see its full capabilities. In coming years, we will learn better how to harness it by personalising our prompts and the data that we use train our models with. It’s not yet something we can put our total faith in, and we should remain sceptical of responses and always fact-check the output, but it is a great starting point for automating onerous tasks.

    I am also excited to see the shift to a greater focus on accessibility auditing to make content available to more people. Approximately 16% of the world’s population has some form of disability and humans are defined by our ability to care for others. We have taken strides to make our physical world more accessible to those with disabilities, now it is time to start making our digital world more accessible, too.

    What tech gadget could you not live without?

    Probably my laptop – you don’t even need a TV if you have a laptop and a monitor!

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