Manu -  female founded web development agency takes flight

Dev Academy graduates launch Manu, a female-founded Web Dev agency

Janie Tito, Meghan Hughes and Anna-Marie Vos are three women who embarked on Enspiral Dev Academy’s 18 week coding bootcamp late in 2016. They graduated from the Weka cohort two months ago, and have since gone on to launch their own web development agency, Manu.

Meghan says “After Dev Academy we really wanted to keep working together. We had such a good time studying together during the course, and we felt a really strong passion for the tech industry and wanted to be part of it.”

Enspiral Dev Academy is an Auckland and Wellington-based coding school that uses an intensive, full immersion curriculum to take students from beginners to job ready web developers in 15 weeks. Many students are career changers who graduate the programme with the tools to become junior developers.

The founders of Manu are focussing on client work at the moment. But Meghan feels they approach this work with a point of difference from their competitors. “We’re really proud to be three female founders in a web development business,” notes Meghan.

‘We’re not just three females though. All three of us really believe in diversity in tech, and that’s not just a gender thing. We’ve all had careers outside of tech. So we feel like diversity really means embracing people from lots of different backgrounds into the industry because together we have a different perspective on the work we’re doing and we think that’s really valuable.”

Founder Janie Tito, Ngāpuhi, is a strong advocate for supporting Māori and Pasifika into the tech industry. “This is one of our company goals — to be a learning incubator for new graduates and in particular I would like to see us encourage and support tech graduates with diverse backgrounds.”

Meghan notes that diversity was something that Enspiral Dev Academy really encouraged. “EDA gave us the opportunity to really experience how a very positive and supportive teamwork environment can really inspire people to take risks, and there’s also this dedication to continuous learning and to keep going when things get really hard.”

She says the Human Skills curriculum (previously called Engineering Empathy), and the focus on communication skills and how to support and encourage people, all made Dev Academy a very deep and valuable experience for Manu’s three founders.

“It’s really important to us that we still feel like we’re part of a very nurturing community of people. From Dev Academy we still have lots of offers of support and advice, and encouragement to take a chance and do something for ourselves.”

Meghan says the name Manu, which means bird or any winged creature in te reo Māori, stems from their pride in their unique cultural identity based in New Zealand, their desire to help the tech industry in New Zealand grow and flourish, and a nod to their origins at Dev Academy, which names all Wellington cohorts after native birds.

“There’s a whakataukī that we relate to too, ‘Mā Te Huruhuru, Ka Rere Te Manu’. It translates to ‘Adorn the bird with feathers so it may fly.’ It’s important to us because we consider ourselves to be a bird and the things we do together, our learnings and projects and skills, these are the things which adorn us and will help us reach our goals.”

Manu has big plans for the future. “In five years time we see ourselves working with clients to produce really great solutions for people, developing our own applications, and helping to encourage new people into the sector. It’s a really exciting and amazing industry, and we want to help it grow.”

She says she’s excited to watch this fledgling take flight. “We have tonnes of ideas about what we’d like to do. We are working hard and really looking forward to the future of Manu.”

Web development opens doors to a world of opportunity. If you think Enspiral Dev Academy might be the place for you, check out our website and apply today for the next Auckland or Wellington cohort. You will learn the tools you need to become a junior web developer in just 15 weeks.