"Life is too short, you have to enjoy it while you can!"

Shebnem Harris joined Web Applications a month ago. I decided to sit down with her, find out some facts and ask about her life as a Webbie so far.

Shebnem’s typical day starts at 6.30am, where she needs to make sure her two children are ready for school before she makes her way in to work. Once she’s made it in, as a Software Engineer, Shebnem’s day consists of dealing with any problems received from clients. She deals with urgent issues with client systems and fixes them as well as she can. She says the best part of her job is this problem solving. Making sure everything is ok and her fixes pass all the relevant testing is very satisfying! Then it’s on to the next case…

Web Applications is going through a few changes to do with our systems at the moment so Shebnem is always learning and adapting. Fundamentally she says she likes her job, ‘that’s why I chose it.’ She always knew she was destined to have a career as a Software Engineer; ever since she took a careers test and the results were off the scales for this career path. So she thought it was probably a good idea to ultimately pick computing! Plus being good at maths and science and enjoying being logical helped!

Shebnem went on to obtain a computer engineering degree and masters. After going into industry work for a few years Shebnem found herself lecturing, and what started off as a temporary role turned into a full time position. She ended up teaching for 10 years at Manchester, eventually becoming a senior lecturer. She decided to leave over a year ago now, seeing as her children were older and she wanted to get back into industry roles. She told me she enjoyed her job as a lecturer but you repeat yourself in teaching. When it comes to Software Engineering there’s always something new; every day is a challenge.

Of her time at Web Applications Shebnem said, ‘it is the best company, the culture is so nice and everyone is very helpful.’ She’s amazed by the training benefits. Everyone gets time allocated to learn and is encouraged to do so. There are continuous training events for all Webbies to expand their knowledge. So Shebnem is understandably hoping to learn a lot more and then apply that know-how to every day working life.

Having two children means that they take up a lot of Shebnem’s time but when she gets the chance she enjoys going to the Cornerhouse in Manchester; especially to see futuristic and international films. This is mainly because they show life in a different angle where you can learn a great deal. She particularly enjoys Star Trek due to the fact some of the ideas included have gone on to inspire the latest technologies.

She is an avid skier, regularly going back home to Bursa in Turkey to hit the slopes. I didn’t know you could ski in Turkey…I hope I’m not the only one! Shebnem’s eventual goal is to retire back to Bursa, by the seaside where she grew up. She likes fishing so to retire to this comfortable lifestyle by the sea is something she is keen to achieve.

The last question I asked Shebnem was ‘What is your claim to fame?’ As it turns out Shebnem’s been on TV. She had a small part in a BBC drama as the wife of a Turkish mafia boss for a couple of months. She can’t actually remember the name of the programme so unfortunately I haven’t been able to have a search on You Tube. In the end she decided fame wasn’t for her which is very lucky for us here at Web Applications!