Discovering code changed my life

Luce Carter, software developer, shares her experience working in the Manchester office, the mentoring she is involved in outside of work along with becoming a Microsoft MVP!

Tell us about what you do?

I am a Software Developer in the Price & Promotions team in Manchester working on Forecasting as a Service or FaaS.


You recently became a Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional) – can you tell us how you got there?

It was through a mixture of my community contributions and my blogging. For anyone who wants the longer, more detailed version I wrote a whole blog post about becoming an MVP which can be found on my blog;

I have a passion for Xamarin, a cross-platform mobile development technology, and run the local Manchester user group, write blog posts about things I have learned and occasionally make YouTube videos.

What's your involvement with Code First: Girls and other community activities?

Code First: Girls is a not for profit company that works to increase the number of women in technology by offering free community led programming courses to anyone who identifies as female.

Here in Manchester two friends of mine run the HTML/CSS/Javascript course that teaches a variety of skills every Monday evening over an eight-week period. My role is to act as a mentor, floating around to check on the students’ progress during the practical exercises and answering any questions they have. I also act as a judge for their final competition submissions. I have also recently signed up to be a mentor/organiser for the course running at University of Manchester starting next month carrying out a similar role but also having duties to stand up and teach some of the skills such as JQuery and basic Git.

In addition to this, I mentor with Hac100 who run events for young people such as Hack Jr and an All-Female Youth Hack. I also mentor each month at Codebar, another event organised to help anyone from an under-represented group in tech who wants to learn to code.

Discovering code changed my life and helped me become part of my first ever group of friends so I am really passionate about making sure that anyone with an interest in learning to code has the chance to without barriers or stigma.

What does diversity mean to you?

Everybody is different. No matter who you are or where you come from, your perspective and experiences will be slightly different from the next person. It is this variation in thought that breeds the most progress. If we were all the same, things would never change or get better. Workforces that are more diverse are proven to be more successful which is never a bad thing!

I have seen first-hand from my own experiences the benefit of having diversity of thoughts and opinions on the team. The main thing I would say dunnhumby is great at, is having a culture where everybody feels safe to disagree or make suggestions.

What's it like working in the Manchester office?

The Manchester office is fantastic. The whole office has a really good atmosphere and social scene. There are groups for a variety of sports that meet regularly as well as board games and video games. People are always willing to help, have a laugh and make you feel welcome.

I hadn’t even been in the company for a week before I was playing five-a-side football with a group of people. I wasn’t treated like the new person at all. It is also filled with people who really care about their work and want to make a difference. If you reach out and ask for help someone will always find the time to help you and share knowledge.

What does working at dunnhumby mean to you?

For me it means work that challenges you and teaches you new things while making sure you have a good work-life balance. As mentioned above, the people I work with are great and we have so much going on socially that we are never forced to sit at our desks until 8 o’clock at night. We are always treated with respect and encouraged to be ourselves.

Discover more:

Luce is a regular contributor to our data science and engineering blog. Read her features here: