Inky is our longest serving employee and has been with IJYI since the very beginning! They share their work anniversary with the company as we celebrate 5 years in business so we thought it would be great to have a blog “All About Inky”
Congratulations on your 5 year anniversary at IJYI Inky, we’re so glad that you’ve been with us on this ride from the start!
Inky, you’re IJYI’s longest serving employee and share your anniversary with the company who are celebrating their 5th birthday this year. What was IJYI like when you first joined and how have things changed?
Everything was a whole lot smaller! We had a tiny office situated in a courtyard, a space that wouldn’t fit all the people we have here now. The company has grown a whole lot, not just in size but in how we do things, and in terms of our shared knowledge. We’ve got better at delivering software and working together as a team. Working for IJYI now is better than ever. And I think the way IJYI has changed has had a good effect on me too. When I first joined, I was a completely different person to who I am now (in a literal sense!) and to have positively changed and grown as much as I have done is a huge achievement for me. I couldn’t have done that without the IJYI Team’s support.
How did you get started in IT?
In some ways, IJYI was where I started. Before here I’d only been a student at college, doing a Media-based course, where I was trying a lot of different things and working out what area I wanted to specialise and form a career in. It was the Web Development and Design I got to do during that course that made me decide I wanted to walk that path. I initially didn’t have a lot of idea where to go. I’d decided that I didn’t want to go to university, I wanted to get out there into the IT world and learn from doing the job. I eventually came to the idea of looking for an apprenticeship and signed up with a local apprenticeship agency. It was thanks to this I was then pointed in the direction of IJYI, and the rest is history.
What do you enjoy most about your role at IJYI?
There are so many different things I take on within my role, my work is always interesting! My job title is Quality Engineer, but alongside the testing and quality checking, I also dabble in UI design and User Experience when projects require it. I think what I enjoy the most is that variety. IJYI make use of everyone’s talents and skills in every way they can, and that’s something I really value about working here.
What areas would you like to focus on for the future?
My dream is to be the head of UX for IJYI. This year I have been given some fantastic opportunities to learn about UX and apply my knowledge, and I’ve really enjoyed it. I want to continue to work on my skills, I would like to think that if I can become a User Experience Expert, it would give IJYI the skills in-house to land more User Experience focused projects.
IJYI are really proud to be a different kind of company to work for. What do you value about being part of this organisation?
I love it here at IJYI because there’s always interesting work to get stuck in to – it could be anything from drawing cartoon zombies to testing real-life train data, or designing a new E-Learning platform. If you’ve got the skills, IJYI will take that on board and find you the work to make the most of them. I feel like my abilities are appreciated and valued here, and I’m really proud to be a member of such a fantastic and collaborative team.
What changes would you like to see in the IT sector over the coming years?
The world of IT is always changing. Like many others, I would love to see new technologies being discovered, new tools being developed, and all kinds of new things that will help us move forward and get stronger at delivering software. Though one thing I’ve always hoped will happen is a rise in the LGBT+ community working in IT. I’m non-binary, but I don’t actually know of any other non-binary people that work in tech. It would be really great to continue to see a growth in the diversity of people who work in this industry in the forthcoming years!
What advice would you give young people hoping to start a career in the IT sector?
From my own experience, I highly recommend applying for an apprenticeship. It gets you out there into the world of tech, and you’ll be learning new skills from day 1, both at work and through the training the apprenticeship company will provide you.
Inky, you’re super-creative and have been involved in creating some fantastic artwork for IJYI. Can you tell us a little bit about your artistic hobbies outside of IJYI?
Outside of the office you’ll find me either drawing, sewing or dressing up. I regularly attend Comic Conventions around the UK and sew the costumes I wear to them myself – I love dressing up and portraying characters from fictional media. I’m also a toy collector (anyone who’s seen my work desk would know – it’s covered in Pokémon Figures!), and when I get the chance, I like to customise and repaint various toys and fashion dolls. I enjoy doing a lot of toy photography too, and I’m regularly bringing the weird on social media with my IJYI brand advocates!
You can read some of Inky’s fantastic blogs here:
Laura is Marketing Manager at IJYI. She mostly spends her time planning, creating and promoting content for IJYI. Alongside that Laura manages the website, social media and events.