Colateral Team Insights: Meet Laura

We’re kicking off our series of team Q&A’s with our brilliant junior developer Laura.

Tell us a little about yourself…

My name is Laura, I’m a 21 year old French developer. I have lived most of my life in the south of France, but when I started my studies I moved a lot, always looking for a new city and adventure. I started with mechanical engineering, but I hated it so much that I swapped to web studies and learnt design, development, video and communication in two years.

How long have you worked for Colateral?

I started in the beginning of March 2019, so it’s still quite new!

How did you join the company? How has your role changed since then?

First of all, I was in the UK due to a mandatory internship for my web development studies. A company in Cornwall took me on, but sadly they had to shut down for multiple reasons. I then looked for a new job where I could stay until my period of internship was done. Luckily the first company I worked for helped me by sharing my details, and Colateral found me! I started as an intern learning JavaScript, React and Redux and then at the beginning of the summer, I started working as a true developer, fixing bugs and helping to create new features for Colateral.

Do you have any advice for anyone starting an internship?

My only advice? Don’t be afraid. No one is perfect. From what I have learnt through my internships, asking questions is the best and quickest way to learn. At some point, it will all become obvious, but it will probably take time at the beginning. Also, ask for practical tasks! Watching people complete tasks can be inspirational but it’s not very productive.

What was it like moving to the UK and working in a foreign country?
Were there any challenges?

I think that when you are moving to a foreign country, you always have the same challenges: language and culture shock. A few years before, my English was so bad that I couldn’t even say a correct sentence… French people’s problems! However, when I came to the UK my English was good enough to understand people and vice versa. There are still misunderstandings sometimes, mostly because I still don’t know how to pronounce certain words, but at least it ends up with laughter!

I didn’t expect many culture shocks here, maybe the fact that English people are very polite and it can be disturbing at first! I remember buying food and the cashier asking me if I had a nice day and what I did… And now, when I go back to France, there is always someone to tell me that I have an English vibe, such as my clothes and the tiny accent I have kept by talking English for such a long time. It’s funny to think that living in a country makes you behave a bit like the people there.

What does a regular day at work usually look like for you?

Every morning we have a Stand Up meeting where each of the developers talk about what they did yesterday and what they have to do today. A regular day is mostly creating features, checking the code of my colleagues, fixing bugs and talking with the non-development team to help them understand what we are working on.

What do you like most about your job?

Probably the fact that most of the time I’m working on something that I’ve never done before. I also enjoy seeing our product evolve the more features we add to it.

What are 3 words you’d use to describe Colateral?

Only. Three. Words. No seriously, I would say innovative, positive and versatile.

How do you define success?

For me, success is your own. Don’t listen to people, to society, and do what you want, what you truly want. You’re living for you, so make your own success with your own dreams, and you will be happy. My own success would be to travel around the world, have a dog and maybe have my own company at some point!

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