Jahannavi Durgi

Learner Testimonial — Women in Tech Skills Bootcamp

Despite being married to a “tech enthusiast” who encouraged her, Jahannavi Durgi was not interested in tech at all. She studied for an MBA in Finance and received a job offer before graduating. She really enjoyed her Customer Service role at Axis Bank managing Branch Operations.

However, one day, it all clicked. Her young daughter asked her for help on the computer and, realising she wouldn’t be able to help, said, “You don’t know about this! I’ll go ask Papa.”

“This intrigued me,” Jahannavi said; “I took it as a challenge,” and she was soon browsing social media to research how she could build tech skills. An interesting opportunity caught her eye – a female-only Women in Tech Skills Bootcamp with finance industry leader, Lloyds Banking Group. “As soon as I saw the advert for Lloyds I thought, this is where I have to be,” so she registered her interest straight away.

“I had zero background in technology, so, in the beginning, I was thinking, is this right? But once I joined, it was an amazing experience. Our Success Coach, Zaira [Martinez-Delgado], and Firebrand Learning Mentor, Jonathan Billington were both encouraging, responding right away to everything I asked. Even though I was a beginner with zero background in technology, the coaches and trainers were very patient with me.”

With her background in making sure customers understand complex bank processes, Jahannavi really appreciated the training method. “They had to train us from scratch in such a way that we understood. The way they taught us was amazing, and the 3-month schedule and exams really helped us learn. Without exams, we might have been tempted to postpone studying!”

The very first certification Jahannavi took was Microsoft Azure Fundamentals. “The first time I attempted, I failed, and started thinking, will I be successful on this journey? But I wanted to challenge myself and I took it again and I passed.”

Being in an all-female environment helped boost her confidence too. “Lloyds and Firebrand set up a beautiful opportunity for us women who did not have the chance to study tech before. It really helped us. We all came from different backgrounds and helped each other along the way. If we had any doubt, whoever knew the answer would respond. I’ve made good friends – we still keep in touch!”

After this, she took the Microsoft Azure Developer Associate exam and passed first time. Then, it was time to interview with Lloyds. Bootcamp learners passed through two types of interviews, individual and group, and six of them, including Jahannavi and Alba Farruku, were selected. Jahannavi received the call the day before her birthday – “I was over the moon!”

This was in December, and her new Software Engineer job would officially start in March. With three months to go, Jahannavi chose to study even more. “Due to my Finance background, I was really interested in the Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM certification; I did this on my own, as well as a Python certification. Going through the Bootcamp gave me more confidence to explore tech.”

Now, Jahannavi is a Quality Engineer on the Commercial Credit Suite Commercial Lending Platform team. Her Skills Bootcamp peers work on other platforms, and they enjoy catching up.

Jahannavi works on type script language, test automation with Cucumber tool, automating test cases and running them. It’s a detail-oriented, complex job that she really enjoys. “As the requirements come in, Developers may miss tiny things, so, as Quality Engineer, I need to have a keen sense of observation on those requirements, a clear vision,” and her previous experience in Finance helps her understand these processes on a deep level.

So, would Jahannavi recommend Skills Bootcamps?

“I definitely do. It’s an opportunity for us to evaluate ourselves. With tech, it’s hard to know whether it’s for you before you try it; as soon as you sign up, you will know! And…it’s not that difficult. It may take a year to learn, but it’s just a matter of time! Everything is possible.”

Thank you for your feedback, Jahannavi!