Michelle Garett only learned how to code three years ago. Today she is a software engineer and developer advocate at huge brand Condè Nast International. Based in London, she works with React, Node and GraphQL.

Michelle also organises Node Girls London, which hosts free JavaScript workshops for gender minorities in tech.

So, what she told us at Codemotion Berlin might surprise those who attended her talk, Build the API you want to see in the world (with GraphQL).

I never really thought that I could get into coding because it seemed very mathematical and scientific and very intense. I didn’t think I could do it.

Michelle stressed that you don’t need to put up with an unsatisfactory third party API that doesn’t work the way you want it to. As inspiration, Michelle shares her own experience of transforming unruly JSON into the GraphQL API of her dreams.

She also spoke about how GraphQL helped her to access the data she wanted, and shared some strategies for designing schema. The main aim of the talk was to help the audience understand how GraphQL can improve the quality of one’s data and life.

Not bad for a woman who dropped two key subjects at school.

I dropped maths in high school – maths and science – because I just didn’t really enjoy it. When I went to university I did an arts degree and studied languages, gender studies and English literature.