How this Deloitte Digital graduate is shaping the future

Deloitte Digital Analyst, Duyen Ho, explains why writing code is like writing fiction.

Deloitte Digital is currently looking to recruit a record number of graduates across disciplines such as digital technology development, design, software engineering, digital and innovation strategy, digital marketing, data science, and experience design.

Everyone at Deloitte Digital has a passion for digital, but everyone has a different journey. To learn more, we caught up with Duyen Ho, part of the 2017 graduate cohort and now a Front End Developer with Deloitte Digital in Melbourne.

Talk me through your background and education?

My background is in the arts. I did a BA in Media Studies and a Masters in Creative Writing. I initially wanted to work in the film industry, in script writing. I had a job working in arts administration on a project for the City of Gold Coast called 2970 degrees. This festival really connected with me in terms of how technology plays a part in understanding our past, present and future; I realised I wanted to be a future maker and that technology could be an enabler for that.

What was your journey from writer to web developer?

I was inspired by the 2970 forum and also a female artist, turned coder, Jennifer Dewalt. She taught herself to code by creating 180 websites in 180 days. I kind of followed her example: I left my arts job and went to a co-working space every day to teach myself to code. I started by turning pieces of written dialogue into animated works that I could see in the browser. I explored the 100 days of code community and went to Meetups and women in tech events. That was a good entry point – it was a very encouraging network and I found out about Girl Geek Academy.

In 2016, I applied for and won a scholarship with Girl Geek Academy to do the Web Development Immersive course at General Assembly. From there I applied to the Deloitte Digital graduate program. I am now thrilled to be an Analyst at Deloitte Digital. I love working in teams where I can help build useful, beautiful and human web applications.


Do you use any of your writing skills in coding?

I definitely feel that my arts experience brings something different to those with a computer science background. I’ve gone from fiction writing to code writing. It’s been about learning another language to communicate in, but many of the same principles apply.

I try and see web programming as an art and consider how to bring my storytelling skills to my job. A program is like a story, it can take you here and there and has a beginning and a middle, but not necessarily an end.

Ultimately, coding is about problem solving: you need to be good at breaking a problem down, but there are lots of approaches to that. It also means you are learning every day.

Why Deloitte Digital?

Deloitte Digital has a very strong brand and I thought it would be an exciting place to work. The director who interviewed me has an inspiring vision for the Front End Development team and I liked the culture: the people are interesting, innovative and creatively minded.

The idea of working for the digital arm of a major player in the corporate world also appealed; it provides the possibility to change traditional notions of what our industry is.

The size of the businesses we work for also means you are learning best practice web development, working on enterprise-scale web applications.

What’s next for you?

I love my job. I’m learning all the time, as part of a team that fosters personal growth and autonomy. It’s great being immersed in the problem solving process every day and knowing that despite the challenges, you will figure it out. The people that I work with really make this job. They are generous, nurturing and equally passionate about digital.

I’ve worked across six projects since joining Deloitte Digital, across insurance and superannuation businesses and government departments. I like the variety and learning to adapt quickly to new environments is the nature of consulting.

I’m looking to improve my maths skills to work on more complex programming applications.
The problems I want to work on will get progressively harder. But that means you never stay stagnant in your career.

I also want to encourage more women to learn to code. It’s very important for women to be pushing this, so we can all help shape the future through technology.

Learn more about Deloitte Digital here.

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