Meet Danielle Nanton, Founder & Editor of Tech City Blog.
What's your background?
I was born and raised in Vancouver, Canada on the west-coast of North America and very close to the US and Canadian border. I studied English and History at University and the first job after my undergrad at University was working for a web-hosting and domain-name registration organisation where I was the only person in my cohort without a Computer Science education to pass my probation. It was a steep learning curve where I learned and honed my technical skills. I then went on to the University of Windsor (Canada) which is literally five minutes across a bridge from Detroit, where I studied to qualify as a teacher. Once I qualified as a teacher, I came to the UK and worked as a teacher for a year and decided that I wished to transfer the skills that I had learned, into a corporate role, so I attended night classes in order to obtain my Associate Membership to the CIPD (the professional HR organisation in the UK). I then went on to work in HR-related finance roles which has resulted in my current role as a Cost Controller.
What inspired you to start your tech city blog?
I have been very lucky to have a number of mentors. One, the director of Innovative Solutions at a large Advertising organisation which is headed in Canary Wharf, met with me over lunch and suggested that I get involved with the London Tech Scene, and learn as much as I could and create connections and potential collaborations. This is something that I have been attempting to do ever since. Another mentor who owns her own company suggested that I write about this journey as there may be some people who would be interested, so I started to write about my journey as well as learn/teach myself/ and undertake research and then write about my findings both for myself and others in the blog.
What's the most exciting thing you have learnt whilst writing your blog?
Everyone can learn from each other and the blog has allowed me to take some topics that I have heard about superficially and really research them until I understood them more. For example, I have written one entry on accelerators and incubators in London and another entry on the Worshipful Livery Companies of London. These are two subjects that I did not know much about, but once I started writing about them, I was forced to research until I did learn and thereby learned about the subject matter.
Tell us a little bit about Women 2.0.
I am the Team Lead & Speaker Coordinator for the London Group of Women 2.0. Women 2.0 is partnered with Google for Entrepreneurs and creates an inclusive community for anyone working, innovating, or investing in technology.
Which tech organisations are your excited about at the moment and why?
Women 2.0 (which I have described above), Apps for Good (which teaches students technology/entrepreneurship/start-up skills in schools through engaging with tech professionals; the students build an app and then engage in pitching competitions), Stemmettes (which encourages students to get involved with STEM careers) and, of course, Geekettes.
What achievement are you most proud of?
Meeting and being introduced to the Queen at Buckingham Palace during a conference on Youth, Education and the Commonwealth.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received?
"If you're on a path that's beaten, it's not your path."
“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”
What are your plans for the future?
To allow myself to be open to serendipitous opportunity. To connect, collaborate and empower.
Any advice for the Geekettes of London?
London is a really exciting place to be a Geekette, there is so much opportunity to learn! Go out and do things and make connections. I would suggest the Tech London Scene which exists in all over London and some places to start would be attending a Women 2.0 event (our next event is on May 1st), getting involved in Apps for Good, going to Google Campus, and meeting other like-minded people as well as people who will complement your skill-set.