11th June 2024

Engineering at Vodafone UK | Hear from our People – Stacey

Team at Fun Work Event

In celebration of International Women in Engineering Day, we're showcasing some of the incredible stories, experiences and careers of some of our people at Vodafone! Check out the blog below to hear about Stacey's career.

Stacey Fenton
Software Engineering Manager

I’m Stacey, a Software Engineering Manager at Vodafone. With nearly 20 years in the tech industry, I’ve journeyed from being a junior developer to leading teams as a manager. In this post, I’ll share my career journey, what inspired me to pursue software engineering, and what excites me about the future.

My Role Today

At Vodafone, I lead a talented team of developers working on the My Vodafone Online platform. If you’re a Vodafone customer, you’ve interacted with our work every time you manage your account, check your bills and usage, or make payments.

My role involves overseeing project lifecycles from the spark of an idea to its successful deployment. I’m deeply involved in strategic planning, resource management, and code reviews, all while fostering an environment of continuous learning and innovation. One of the most rewarding aspects of my job is supporting my team members and helping them grow and excel in their careers.

Team at Event

The Path That Got Me Here

Growing up in Sydney, Australia, I started my career as a front-end developer. My early roles were at small digital agencies, where I built websites for a mix of clients, from small online businesses to large hotel chains, shopping centres, banks, and property management firms.

After six years, I landed my first leadership role as a Lead Developer at an Australian telecommunications company. Leading a small team of front-end developers, we focused on redesigning the company website. This was a transformative period where I learned the ropes of leadership while continuing to grow my technical skills.

A bit over a year later, driven by a sense of adventure, I made a life-changing decision. With a single suitcase in hand, I left my familiar surroundings in Australia and set off for the vibrant city of London.

In London, I stepped back from leadership and returned to working as a front-end engineer for a few years. Later, I was promoted to Technical Lead in my previous job. Leading a major transformation project and managing a couple of apprentice engineers reignited my interest in pursuing a management path. This experience was instrumental in developing my project management, team building, and strategic thinking skills, ultimately paving the way for my current position at Vodafone.

Panel event

What Sparked My Interest in Software Engineering?

From a young age, I was enchanted by building things and solving puzzles. Playing with Lego and tackling jigsaw puzzles were some of my favourite activities, and this passion for construction and problem-solving evolved into a fascination with technology. Much like building blocks, lines of code could be used to create something from nothing. This spark of interest has only grown over time.

In high school, a computer studies class introduced me to website development, and I was instantly hooked. I loved the challenge of solving complex problems and the satisfaction of seeing my designs come to life as functioning websites. This was the turning point that led me to pursue a college degree in Information Technology, focusing on website development.

During college, I worked on a variety of projects and explored different technologies. I was particularly drawn to the user-focused nature of front-end development. The ability to directly impact how users interact with a product and the visual, interactive aspects of this field solidified my passion for software engineering.

This passion has carried me throughout my career, driving my continuous pursuit of learning and improvement. As a leader, my goal is not only to create robust, user-friendly software but also to inspire the same love for engineering in my team members.

Looking Ahead

What excites me most about the future is the rapid pace of technological advancement and the endless possibilities it brings. I'm particularly interested in the development and integration of AI and machine learning into everyday applications. This could revolutionise how we interact with technology and shape the future of software engineering.

In my personal career journey, I aim to continue growing as a leader. I plan to seek out new challenges and learning opportunities, continually refining my skills and staying adaptable in this ever-evolving industry. I am excited about what's ahead and the opportunity to continue contributing to the world of software engineering and driving projects that make a real difference in people’s lives.


Advice for Aspiring Software Engineers

If you’re looking to start a career in software engineering, my advice is to stay curious and never stop learning. The tech industry is constantly evolving, and you need to be adaptable and eager to gain new skills as technology changes. Relying on a single language, framework, or technology stack won’t sustain your career; instead, focus on developing a broad range of skills to remain versatile and relevant.

Networking is also important. Connect with other professionals in the field, attend industry events, and participate in online communities. Building a strong network can open doors to new opportunities, especially when you're just starting out. Personally, I landed my first software engineering job through a recommendation from someone already working at the company. It can be daunting to put yourself out there, but engaging with the community can provide valuable insights, support, and career opportunities.

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