Women in tech, women working in technology company, huge topic and still trendy. Since my whole career, starting already from high-school, is about IT and I am getting millions of questions how it is, I decided to share with you some of my experiences and give a sneaky look into my life.
How have I started my journey in technology as one of women in tech?
As you probably have already noticed or I hope you have noticed, I am Magento Developer, Scrum Master and Technical Manager. I started my journey with IT already since high-school and currently having around 9 years of experiences in IT (I am 27 this year). I work with teams across several countries, I lead big project and train developers.
How did I make decision about becoming one of the ‘women in tech’?
It is kind of funny story. I always liked math, it was just logical for me and I didn’t need to put so much effort to get good scores. When I started looking into my career and making decision what to do in life I asked myself following questions:
What subject I like and which subject is easy for me? – Math
What I can do after studying math? – Teaching? Nah, I don’t want to be teacher. Science? Nah, I don’t like physic nor biology.
I am women, when I will have kids, what job will allow me to work from home and not to have huge break while delivery baby? – I need to find something which allows me to work remotely
What industry is growing and will allow me to earn a lot of money? – I don’t remember what jobs were on my TOP list that time but some of them were related to IT
What job can be challenge for me and allow me to cross some limits? – Something what only man theoretically can do, let’s cross my comfort zone
So, what job can cover all parts above? – My choice was IT, simply like that
You will ask me now, did you like computers? Did you understand it? – Ha! Quick answer is NO! I didn’t even play any games. I didn’t know how to repair computer. I wasn’t nerd at all, I just loved study and logical way of thinking and, of course, math.
How IT University looks like for women who would like to work in tech?
So what has happened next? I chose my high-school with IT specialisation (Liceum Ogolnoksztalcace in Krzeszowice) and then university with WebApplication specialisation (WSZiB). Let’s stop at this point for awhile.
In high-school there were not so many issues or surprises. I am just extremely thankful for my math’s teacher – Mrs. Kapusta – for being extremely demanding teacher, thanks this, I didn’t study at all while my first year on university. Guys, you should appreciate your demanding teachers, some day you will be so grateful for it.
However university was a little bit different. I was the only one girl in my group and actually only one girl in the whole IT year. Are you wondering how it feels like? I loved it! Girls and women, studying and working with guys is a great experience. It is much easier, no drama, fun and hard work. I need to be honest here, it wasn’t that totally easy. I was great in math or logic, I helped guys with exams (I hope you remember this guys! 😉 ) but I didn’t have so much idea about coding, computer systems and so on. It was definitely magic for me and I want to say thank you for all of you guys, who helped me with exams this time ;). It was definitely huge challenge for me but I still loved it. I felt like I am proving myself that impossible doesn’t exist and learn so much, it is great, right?
How have I started my first job in tech company?
I can honestly say I was really lucky. It came up that I was having one of the highest scores on my year and that time IT start-up was looking for web-developers for internship. Founders of that Magento agency were studying in the same university like myself that time. My great professors recommend myself and that’s how everything has started.
How the beginning of my job, as one of women in tech, was looking like?
It wasn’t easy. It came up that most of my learnings from university has nothing to do with the knowledge which I needed for work. I didn’t know Magento neither, ha! I didn’t even know how to coding neither. I am so thankful for my employers who helped me that time and gave me chance to learn from them and pass Magento Certifications.
I will say it again. IT WAS NOT EASY. I was ashamed that I don’t know stuff, another developers were joking at me and at my lack of knowledge. Every time I needed to prove myself which wasn’t that enjoyable. I was embarrassed so many times. Did I regret it? No! It was another challenge and I was so happy to take it.
With the time I was appreciated because of my logical way of thinking, having soft skills which I used to communicate with clients and teams and I was having a great progress. Ha, I remember my first time working with English speaking customer, what a stress, my english wasn’t that good, I was so worried if I will be able to speak with him. At the end it came up that he liked to work with me that much that when I left my first job he still wanted to work with me while I was a freelancer. Communication and soft skills are a key in IT.
How it has happened that I am living in Philippines and manage the whole office of web-developers?
During my career I have been working as freelancer from my home, having my small agency and remote team but it became boring really quickly, I missed real people around me. I decided to find another challenged outside of my country as I love travelling.
I sent my CV on Friday and on Monday I got so many calls from Germany, Switzerlands and the United Kingdom. In 2 weeks I was already in London working as Frontend Developer in Vaimo. How work in Vaimo looks like? I will write about it in following posts.
After two months I became Scrum Master, I passed my Scrum Master certification and soon became Technical Manager (only one women across the whole company) and leader of the team. I started to lead project as Agent Provocateur, HellyHansen and another known brands which I cannot mention here. After some time, Vaimo was looking for developers who would like to move to Asia for awhile, to train our new developers.
More about my journey in Asia you can read in my previous blog posts.
How to progress with your career as woman working in tech?
Are you wondering how it has happened that I am where I am? I believe that there are couple of important factors in my case. My suggestions are following:
- Having soft skills, which most of male web-developers are lacking, is really beneficial
- Having good communications skills, which most of male web-developers are lacking, is another advantage
- Think logically
- Study, learn and work hard
- Don’t give up even you are an object for jokes
- Don’t give up when you hear from another developers that you are not good enough
- Don’t be ashamed of fact that you don’t know something, just be ready to learn it
- Take difficult tasks and ask if you don’t know something
- You just need to love challenges
- You just need to like working with men
- Be task-oriented
- Push for what you want, don’t expect another to appreciate you or promote you, work for it
- And just love what you are doing!
Women and Girls, you can do it and trust me, you can be the same good or even better as man! What to expect as women who enter IT world?
Zaneta loves challenges so deciding about career path she has chosen typical male industry. Woman who codes. Every 1-2 years she lives in different part of the world. Gym dates is something what she specialised in. Healthy lifestyle, extreme sports and motorbikes have stolen her hear years ago.