Histories of those three women confirm that the gentle sex may find their way in a programming or testing job. All there is to do is to be open-minded to learning and to not be afraid of risk and changes. On the occasion of International Women’s Day, we invite all of you to read an interview with employees from SotwareHut, who state that IT industry is not associated only with men.
Question: Have you started working in IT industry by coincidence, or you wanted to work as a tester or a programmer from the beginning?
Paulina Szokalska, Software Quality Assurance Engineer: It was a coincidence. I’ve been studying Civil Engingeering, and at my first job I was responsible for creating a content for websites about construction business. Testing was the next step.
Karolina Mijacz, Software QA Engineer: It was similar in my case. I was in another industry, when I started looking for a job elsewhere. I found a tester job offer for at SoftwareHut, where no experience was needed.
Natalia Prokop, Front-end Developer: So it looks like I am an exception there (laughs). I wanted to work as a programmer from the beginning. And I started to study Information technology because of that.
When and how your interest in testing or programming has begun?
NP: I have started to learn programming already at high school. It was giving me a lot of satisfaction and that’s when I thought about becoming an IT developer.
KM: I have known a few people working in IT. I was not afraid of changes, even the radical ones, and I thought that working in IT was worth trying.
What are you or have been studying, and why? What can you learn on studies?
KM: I have done my Master’s Degree in Space Economy with specialty in Space and Real Estate Management. I have learned that everything is connected to everything and it is not possible to focus on just one particular thing.
PSz: I did my Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering. I made my mind about that at the last minute, because at the beginning I wanted to study Economics. When I look backwards, I think that it was a good thing. It seems to me that Economics is too much theoretical, and I like creating (laughs). Recently I have also graduated from Front-end Development postgraduate studies. I think that aside from getting specific knowledge during studies, I also developed analytical thinking.
NP: In my case it was simply natural. As I have mentioned before, I was focused on Information technology at high school already, and it was surely a long-range degree course. My studies show me that logical thinking and the approach to the problem are critical in programming. Technologies are changing at rapid rate, and you have to be inquisitive and ready to learn new things every day.
Did you have any concerns because of the fact that working in IT is associated with men?
PSz: Probably not. Maybe because of the fact that it was a coincidence that I have started working in IT, and I did not have to think about it a lot.
NP: I was not thinking about that at all. By the way, I do not think that a programmer’s job is associated with men’s profession.
KM: I think the same.I know women, who have been working in IT for at least few years.
What projects are you working on? In what languages do you code? How does this job look like?
PSz: I am testing web, mobile, and desktop applications. I have also tried my hand in front-end. My job is about finding errors. I pay attention to simplicity and user-friendliness. My duties demand accuracy and incisiveness.
KM: In contrast, I do not know any programming language. Projects are very differentiated – from specialized web application to mobile games.
How does your typical workday look like?
NP: At the beginning of the week, together with Project Manager we prepare a to-do list for that particular week. Then I simply complete my tasks. If any of them causes troubles to me, more experienced programmers willingly help me. And if I do not want to stare at a monitor anymore, I can have a cup of tea or coffee, or I can play table tennis.
KM: It depends on a progress of development and a stage of the project. The final stage is the most hardworking one, and the first stage is the most quiet one.
PSz: I start my standard workday by checking an e-mail and Slack. Later, I am taking care of given tasks.
What does a job in IT gives you? How do you evolve and fulfil yourself?
KM: IT job allows me to evolve in different directions. It is possible thanks to taking part in company’s projects and learning new additional things during my free time.
PSz: I also think, that IT job means possibility of ongoing development. I like the fact that I can try different things, so I decided on postgraduate studies.
NP: IT gives me a lot of satisfaction. What I like the most is seeing effects of my work, e.g. when code written by me transforms to a program, which works in a way I wanted it to (laughs).
What are the most desired personality traits of a tester or a programmer? Are there any traits that may give women an advantage over men in IT? Or maybe it is the matter of character, not sex?
NP: I think that patience, curiousness and logical thinking are the most important. There is not any division at work, and an issue of performing duties is connected only with a character.
KM: I believe that a tester should be patient, precise, consequent, very empathetic, and also he or she should have a desire to learn new things. Neither of both sexes have an advantage above the other one. It is definitely matter of a character, not sex.
PSz: Analytical thinking, inquisitiveness, and huge accuracy are things which matter the most in tester’s job. I think that it is rather a matter of character. However, maybe women are more thorough and have an ability to stop for a while.
How many hours do you spend in front of a computer after-work? Are you sick of a computer then?
PSz: It depends. If I have some personal stuff to do or some things to learn, I spend four or five hours at my laptop. If I don’t, I spend like an hour or two. I am trying not to sit in front of the computer without a clear purpose. There are also some days when I am sick of a monitor.
KM: I am trying to limit it. Nowadays, most of the office work is being performed on the computer, so IT is not an exception.
NP: After few hours at work and at school, where lectures are being carried out mostly on computers, I am trying to avoid it at home.
And at the end – how could you encourage women to try their chances in IT industry?
KM: I suggest not following a stereotype that IT is an industry for men. Skills and their development – that is the most important thing. In that case your sex does not matter.
NP: Working in IT means good salary, flexible working hours, and receptive market with interesting job offers. Programming is not so difficult as you may think, and it is definitely worth trying before saying “It’s not for me”.
PSz: Dear Ladies, there is nothing to be afraid of! Although this is an industry dominated by men, it does not feel this way! Working in IT means huge possibilities of professional evolution and satisfaction.