Bendigo businesswoman Julie Misson is the founder of Make it APPen, which provides new software which allows you to tailor make your own apps. Here she talks to Women Love Tech about why she swapped Nursing For Coding.
Describe your job and how you got involved?
I am a nurse by trade but a nerd by nature. My two passions are technology and health care, and it is at the intersection of these two that I love to spend my time.
After working in hospitals for over 30 years, I uncovered four consistent frustrations health care professionals experience countless times across Australia every day. These include a lack of resources (time, staff and money), outdated and incorrect information, delayed treatment and disengaged consumers. I thought an app could help solve every single one of these frustrations. So, I took the plunge and taught myself how to code for apps and started my business Make it APPen.
Having produced thousands of software applications in the past decade my business evolved and I now specifically focus on assisting hospitals and healthcare professionals to create apps that will enhance patient care.
Is it a career you would recommend to other women?
For sure. Even though it is a male dominated environment, I would not let that deter anyone who is interested. I find coders a welcoming group, albeit a bit quiet and you may have to start the conversation. Women often offer a different perspective to a project, so it is important for the future of technology that women are involved.
Especially women who have a completely different background to one of a traditional coder, who can bring new ideas and knowledge to the table.
Why do so few women code compared to men and how can we change that?
I think it is because it is a male dominated environment, or that they feel they are not geeky enough.
For me it was a double-edged sword, I was over 50 and a woman. It took me a while to get over the imposter syndrome, but now I confidently call myself a mobile app developer.
My biggest tip, is if someone wishes to code you just need to start.
There is so much help on the Internet, through sites and programs such as GitHub.
Find something you are passionate or even have an interest in, it could be data manipulation, building databases, creating games or mobile apps. Then find what sort of coding is required to build these, then just start. You do not need a degree in computer science. If you like logic or math and you enjoy creating things, then you are bound to enjoy coding, no matter the gender.
What are your favourite apps, gadgets?
The following is a list of tech tools/apps that I use to run my business, this is by all means not complete, but I would use these on regular basis (at least weekly).
- Visual Studio/Xamarin Forms – The platform to write the code and build my apps
- GitHub – Thank goodness for companies such as GitHub where people freely share their code and their knowledge if it wasn’t for them I would not have advanced as far as I have.
- Azure – to manage the database linked to the apps I build
- Zapier – Automates processes, such as sending an email if a record is added to a database in Azure
- Gmail – for email
- Adobe Suite – for editing images for use in my app.
- Sketch – for editing images for use in my app.
- MeisterTask– to manage workflow processes
- And Co – for proposals, contracts and invoicing.
- Buffer – to manage my social media
- Invision – For designing and prototyping the apps that I build
- Upwork – To source design freelancers
- BlueDog – Webhosting (which includes Word Press)