Imposter syndrome: a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success. 

Imposter syndrome is real, and without the right support and assurance, it can hinder our career growth and overall happiness. For Statisticians and Programmers working on important clinical trials, such as the ones at Veramed, the pressure can be daunting and the question of belonging or being good enough isn’t unheard of.

When it came to applying for a role here at Veramed, Emily Gutleb, Programmer II, faced similar doubts. Emily joined Veramed’s graduate scheme in 2019, and with a background in cybersecurity, she wasn’t sure if she would be able to switch careers successfully. However, we here at Veramed like to make sure all our employees not only have the right training at their fingertips, but also the right support network and company culture to help address issues such as imposter syndrome.

Emily is an employee who is going from strength to strength. We sat down with her to discuss her background, find out what ‘type’ of Programmer she is at Veramed, and share tips for those thinking about taking the leap into programming.

What got you interested in becoming a Programmer?

Coming from a less technical and more management based role in Cyber Security, I was finding technical things to do in my own time. I knew when looking for my change in career that I needed a role where I could use my technical logic skills from university in a real life application. 

I also have dyslexia and have always struggled with word heavy based subjects. Maths lessons felt like a chance for me to challenge myself without getting held back by my dyslexia. Though I did not program much before starting the graduate programme, I had messed around with different programs in my spare time, e.g with my Raspberry Pi.

What does your typical working day at Veramed look like?

My days change a lot depending on delivery timelines. I have been involved with the creation of specifications, programming and QC of datasets and TFLs, as well as CDISC submission packages. Every day I have a team stand up where we hear any study updates and share our priorities for the day. This is a great opportunity to get support from others if you need help and ask any questions to the study leads. I’m also involved with the development and delivery of internal training including the GPP training for the new graduates – very exciting.

Do you consider yourself purely a Delivery Programmer?

No, I have been developing lead skills recently, and also see myself as a Technical Programmer. I have helped set up a coders corner, mentored 2 graduates, and recently took part in the pilot R training course and Veramed Study Lead training course. 

What advice would you give to those who are interested but a bit scared of taking the leap into Programming?

Start by doing online challenges, such as Advent of Code, to get a taste of programming. I’ve been redoing the challenges to relearn R after first completing it in SAS. I think if you enjoy something like this then you will enjoy the challenges of a programming role.

Not every programmer has experience before starting, you don’t need to know everything! All you need is to be keen to learn and develop.

Why do you like working at Veramed?

I love that there is no such thing as a stupid question – you are encouraged to be curious, learn and develop. There are also plenty of opportunities to define your own role and develop within it. 

What key skills do you think people need in a role like yours?

Problem solving.

 

Communication – you are normally part of a bigger team and being able to communicate when you are struggling is important.

 

Curiosity – asking questions and learning why and not just how things are done

 

Attention to detail – you are the first line of quality control.

How do you see your career progressing as a Programmer?

I’m keen to develop more programming skills within different languages, and keep up with the shifting industry. I also want to develop further into a study lead role.

What Programmer type are you? Visit our Programming Careers page to discover the career journey you could have at Veramed.

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