Sarah Burne James | IBM

Sarah Burne James featured

Five years ago, I wouldn’t have predicted I would be working for an IT company today, much less in a technical role. I hadn’t considered a career in technology even as a remote possibility. After studying Linguistics and Spanish at Oxford University and teaching English abroad, I joined IBM as a business consultant in 2015. I was initially interested in applications of technology to improve our world, but I soon realised that I was just as interested in how things work.

My route into IT means I do not have a traditionally technical background, however I see this as an advantage; I bring a new perspective to my team and question the status quo. Since starting at IBM, I have completed assignments in Technical Governance, IT Architecture, Project Management Office, and Testing in the Financial and Utilities sectors. I aim to make a positive impact on each assignment, and learn as much as possible, asking as many questions as I can while supplementing this with books, articles, and training courses. The consistently excellent feedback I have received demonstrates that this has been a success.

I am determined to demonstrate that a successful technical career is possible from an unusual background, particularly because it is disproportionally women who come into technology from other routes. I lead by example, but believe supporting others is key too. I mentor junior colleagues, and enthusiastically share technical events, courses and articles with my network. I am on the committee of IBM’s early professional technical community and am working with technical leaders and executives to run IBM’s annual conference for technical women.

Outside work I have won hackathons proposing Internet of Things solutions for insurance and e-commerce. I regularly volunteer at parkrun UK – providing weekly free community runs. I speak Galician, Spanish, French and Japanese.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.