In 2020, we launched a new feature so that you can get to know our team a little better! We’re asking members of staff from across VisitScotland to tell us a bit about themselves and their roles, as well as some of their favourite places to visit in our beautiful country. In the next of the series hear from Gemma Stephen, Senior UI Developer.
Tell us a bit about yourself...
I’m Gemma and I’m a Senior UI Developer at VisitScotland. Originally, I started working here as a contractor and liked it so much I decided to become a full-time employee! I’ve now been working at VisitScotland for nearly four years altogether.
From a young age I was always interested in the internet and coding. After I studied my Digital Media degree at Napier University, web development was the path I took. I enjoy flying the flag for women in tech and inspiring other women to get into the field.
I love travelling, hiking and exploring and can often be found up a Munro or on an adventure at the weekend. I’ve always loved photography too which became a huge focus for me during the pandemic and I love to share this on my Instagram (@gemmalouise_).
Another love of my life is music and I try to go to as many gigs and festivals as I can, especially now restrictions are easing.
What's your role and main responsibilities?
As a UI Developer, my role involves working with a great team developing our various products. Most recently, we have been building the new .com website together with a design system which helps to document our design patterns and guidelines for the new site. Hopefully this will be released later this year!
My main responsibilities are to ensure the products we build are accessible to everyone and optimised for mobile and other devices to provide the best experience for our users. We also need to be able to keep up to date with the latest trends in this ever-changing web development world. I’ve also spent time supporting colleagues with regular 1-2-1s which has been a great way to keep in touch when we are working remotely.
It's not been business as usual during the pandemic. How did your role change during this unprecedented time?
The biggest change for me was the transition to working from home which I was worried about at first being a very social person. However, myself and the team have adapted very well and over the past couple of years, we have managed to adjust and still make progress on our new .com project regardless of what the pandemic threw our way.
Although, it’s been nice to finally meet those that started after the pandemic in person and find out how tall everybody is!
What's on your Scotland bucket list? Is there a favourite place you love to go or anywhere new that you're looking to visit?
I grew up visiting Orkney every year since that is where my dad was born and have family there so it has a special place in my heart. Particularly Rackwick Bay in Hoy, one of my favourite places.
But my bucket list is long. I’d love to visit more Scottish islands, especially Lewis & Harris in the Outer Hebrides, which I think may be the next adventure…