Motivation this week comes from tech journalist Georgie Barrat, discussing women in tech, VR trends and tips on going freelance.
1. First can you tell us a bit about yourself and your job?
Primarily I’m a tech journalist, but I work in a number of different sectors around tech and journalism, some traditional print stuff – I write for the Mirror, Tech City News and the Metro, and then also broadcast material with ITV and channel 5. I also take part in radio discussions on the BBC Worldwide service and Talk Radio.
I’m continuously developing ideas around technology, pitching ideas and features or commenting on the latest tech news. I also frequently take part in events across the tech community, talking at live events or hosting panel discussions.
2. What brought you to this area?
I’ve always loved technology, I grew up with two brothers so tech was the common ground for us all. I then wanted to go into journalism, so studied English at university, after graduating I did some work in TV for a while and just wanted to bring all my passions together eventually leading me to go freelance.
I’ve now gone back to my first passion which was writing about tech and being part of the tech world – I love the tech community, I find it a really progressive thing to write and talk about, it’s exciting, and compared to other forms of journalism which can sometimes be more heavy and negative.
I genuinely find it really fascinating, and love the scope of innovation and all the gadgets. I also love the entrepreneurial spirit and how tech is directly changing our culture and shaping our society. I’m currently putting together a TEDX talk about how tech is going to shape feminism over the next 10 – 15 years, from remote working to education, to automating things in the home, you can visibly see how tech has and will continue to make a difference for women worldwide.
3. What is your position on the argument that more women should be in tech?
Technology is progressive thinking and I completely believe that there should be more women in tech – I’m passionate about shining a light on it and writing to encourage more women into the tech field. There is some really good work being done and more tech companies are introducing practical solutions that should encourage more women into the field, whether that’s support systems or flexible working. But the whole pipeline has to change, from encouraging girls at school age to take tech related subjects to further down the process to stop women dropping out so much.
4. What time does your day start, and what does your typical work day schedule look like?
Now I’m working freelance I try to get up around 6.30am and work for a solid two hours checking emails etc – the joys of remote working. I then like to go for a run and then head out to meetings and events.
5. What do you consider the greatest achievement in your work to date?
That’s a difficult one because I’m at a stage where everything is still building momentum, there is some really exciting things in the pipeline that I can’t quite talk about just yet. But for me, knowing that I can do a job that I love, which has been created and orchestrated by me, and knowing that there is some really exciting things to come is my greatest achievement.
6. What is the one app you could not live without?
WhatsApp – but that’s quite a boring response, I love Instagram as a social media app and I really like the KAYAK app, which allows you to bring together all your trip details, from hotel bookings, to restaurant reservations into one beautiful, comprehensive itinerary – it’s just so clever.
7. What makes London a good city for technology and startups?
London is just so incredibly supportive, it has a fantastic infrastructure for startups and entrepreneurs. It has amazing programs with an abundance of opportunities, accelerators, competitions and events which are easily accessible. There is also a strong community providing support, mentorship and venture capitalists, there is just such rich pickings for everything you might need as a startup.
Just the sheer opportunities available, compared to other startup hubs, London still feels like there is potential with areas still growing and it’s a really exciting thing to be part of.
8. Which tech trends are you most excited about?
I’m really excited about VR and AR technologies, people haven’t yet fully engaged with them yet and I find that so exciting, it is going to have such an impact on everything, from the classroom to the wider society.
Something that is really exciting and revolutionary right now is the Cloud, allowing people to work remotely and just providing a streamlined experience across everything you do. In the last six months I’ve noticed myself transitioning to the cloud, and it has really benefited my work flow, and it just seems to be having an impact right now on everything we do, the way we bank, shop and even interact.
9. And finally, what is the one piece of advice you would give to someone wanting to start out freelancing?
I would say it’s tough to start out as a freelancer, so make sure you plan your day in a real focused way, setting up proper SMART goals and thinking really practically about how you are going to plan your weeks and months as well as end goals what do you want to achieve in six months to a year. It requires a lot of self discipline so find work systems that work for you and keep you productive and focused.