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Chloe Langford and Zara Syversen, of Gene Commerce

Chloe Langford and Zara Syversen are both front end developers and mentors at Gene Commerce, talking together about their experience as young talents getting into tech, how each of them found Gene Commerce and are creating their paths into the digital sector.

Chloe speaks about her experience in apprenticeships and in employment training, before coming to Gene Commerce.

Zara, who grew up in Sweden, speaks about her own journey in work and training, especially her desire to move abroad. Once she’d got to Brighton, she decided to stay and develop her career here.

When Zara came across women's coding and networking group Code Bar she started attending regularly. Both the networking and the coding itself were very useful – just being surrounded by these people helped Zara stay motivated and feel supported, part of a network.

They met at Gene Commerce, who jumped at the chance to host Code Bar. So many benefits in both directions, quite apart from the free pizza.

Through Code Bar both Zara and Chloe have met a lot of useful people. After a while they opened Gene Academy – to help young people with CVs, work development skills, building a Wordpress portfolio and even giving them mock interview experiences.

Gene has stayed in contact with many of the young people and apprentices.

Chloe gave her first talk at Talent 2017 and found this very rewarding. It was watching Chloe give her talk – and speaking to the team at Gene, that got Zara her job then – and the two began a mentorship relationship.

The development team is supportive but it’s scary to ask questions when you’re new, so it’s very useful to have a mentor to connect you into the team and answer questions.

Both women absolutely love their jobs and are proud to work at a company like Gene. Recently they’ve taken on a new junior apprentice, who is being mentored by Zara, so it’s gone full circle.

Great talk – lovely to hear directly from younger voices and the first hand experience that many people in the audience hope to connect with their own young talent.

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