I’m Miho Inagaki, Junior Frontend Engineer at Subly. I was born and grew up in Koganei city, known as a home to Studio Ghibli in Tokyo. Deciding to be a software engineer in the UK, I left Japan and my research life in a graduate school and moved to London in March 2022.
Born to parents who are super curious and love traveling, I’ve visited 15 countries across Europe, Africa, and Asia, and many ski resorts, onsen accommodations, historical cities across Japan from an early age. I’ve studied in the UK, worked in Cambodia and Australia. So I use Japanese, English and some Khmer.
Obsessed with learning, highly adaptable and flexible, curious, ambitious, intuitive but disciplined and organized are the best words to describe who I am🤡
My early dream was to be an expert in humanitarian aid, so I chose a department which has year-long study abroad programs in English speaking countries. During my days in Rikkyo University in Tokyo, I studied Sociology, Philosophy, Cultural Studies and Anthropology.
In my second year, I got a chance to study at the University of Manchester as an exchange student and learned French, Sociology and Anthropology. Throughout these early days, I enjoyed connecting academic learnings with my own experiences by traveling to other countries during holidays and interacting with locals.
After several years of working, I went back to university to study how villagers in Cambodia are experiencing the inflow of ‘nutrition’, which has been largely absent in their understanding about the food they eat.
At this point, my interest had shifted from working as an expert in humanitarian aid to understanding the perceptions of people who have very different backgrounds and live in very different environments from mine.
Sponsored by the Japanese government, I joined a master course called ‘Anthropology of Food’ at SAOS, University of London and wrote a dissertation about how nutrition has become a political interest in the modern history of Cambodia in 2020.
After completing my master’s, I decided to continue my research in Kyoto University in Japan hoping that I could visit Cambodia to conduct a year-long field research. But continuing Anthropology under COVID-19 restrictions was extremely challenging.
While waiting for the situation to improve so I could visit Cambodia, I started to search for other options for my future career. Yes, that eventually became a turning point and I began learning how to code by myself.
Many people would think there’s no connection between Anthropology and Web development. So did I. But interestingly enough, I’ve discovered that many skills I gained through Anthropology including logical thinking, project management (researchers are managers of their own project), flexibility (we’re studying a group of people living in this constantly changing world) and adaptability (Anthropological research is essentially jumping into an unfamiliar community and becoming a part of the people we study) are so useful in IT development.
Before starting Anthropology, I worked in rural development in Cambodia and food production in Japan and Australia. My first full-time job was in Cambodia where I managed three different projects focused on improving the life of low income households, organized on-site study-tours for sponsors and visitors, and worked on networking, recruitment, and accounting. I also spent one and a half years helping a permaculture project and businesses in Australia.
While I was researching in graduate school, I ran a business with my friend and worked as an online Japanese language teacher to make ends meet. In this role, I designed and conducted one-to-one lessons for my regular Chinese and Taiwanese students and created learning materials (a video with Japanese subtitles!!) for them after each session.
Since I started learning web development, I’ve worked on some individual and collaborative projects. My first original solo project was an app that allows users to share events and to discuss housekeeping issues with their housemates.
I’ve always been driven by my strong passion to create an app that can provide a real solution to users’ problems. Until very recently, I’d been working for a Japanese tech company that is developing a web app where users can learn how to code without setting up development environments in their PC.
As one of their React team members, I designed and created a number of coding lessons as well as mini project challenges. Fortunately, I joined Subly a week before writing this bio!
There’re many milestones in my life and I believe all of them were the result of luck, effort and support from others. First was getting an opportunity to study abroad at the University of Manchester after getting a high score in IELTS (English proficiency test) and doing interviews with professors.
I remember I became too emotional and cried in the final interview😱 This was my first stay in the UK and the experience of living abroad formed a strong foundation for my later life.
Second was getting a fund that fully covered the cost of doing my masters at SOAS after a highly competitive application screening and interview process. And finally, making a decision to be a developer in the UK, learning coding as a self-taught, and getting hired by Subly!
Before joining Subly, I’d been heavily using Next.js, React and Typescript for my projects. My expertise also includes Firebase, CSS frameworks (Material-UI and Chakra-UI), and Headless CMS. In addition, I have experience of project management and Agile development. As of writing, I’m learning RxJS. My learning list includes: Node.js, Express, Postgresql, and UI/UX.
I love to continuously expand my tech skills both frontend and backend, materialize ideas by writing code, and seek for better and simple solutions. Even outside of work, I listen to podcasts, read articles and invest time into learning new skills with tutorials and building mini projects.
Outside of web development, I’m really obsessed with things related to food. So I spend lots of my free time on browsing recipes, cooking, watching food documentaries and films, learning and discussing politics and social issues around food with housemates.
I’m currently learning how to make Cambodian food. This, by the way, doesn’t mean I’m a great cook😝!