Never think that you can’t do something
I believe that I chose a career as a software developer because it goes in the family. My father is a radio-electronic engineer who has made many inventions, devices and holds several patents. My mother is an embedded software developer and my brother is a software developer.
The decision to study computer sciences came quite logically to me. In school I liked mathematics, geometry, informatics, even visited optional programming courses. So, I entered Odesa National Polytechnic University to study Computerized Control and Automatization Systems.
I’m lucky to have a very supportive family and a great environment. My family, friends, teachers - never let me think that I can’t do something. When I began studying in the university, it was obvious that there were not so many girls among tech students. However, my teachers or fellow students never focused on gender. Besides, there were many women among my university teachers.
In my fourth year in the university, I had a chance to join an internship in a software development company. After some time working in that company I took part in several projects as a freelancer. With this experience, I was accepted to a Junior Software Developer position at Sigma Software. It’s been 11 years since and many projects for various clients.
During my whole career in IT, I faced prejudice only once. One of my colleagues was surprised to find a girl as a fellow developer and didn’t expect of me much first. After several months of common work, he made sure that I was a qualified developer and performed at the same level as other team members. It happened 7-8 years ago when there were few women in IT, especially who worked as a software developer. But even in those times, it was the only one case.
Nowadays, I think IT became more popular in general and now we can see many women in different specialties in IT. I think a female engineer doesn’t surprise anyone anymore. For instance, recently I worked in an all-women team: Software Developers, QAs, PMs, Graphic Designer. Analyzing my experience in various teams, I can say that I don’t feel any difference working in a female, male or mixed team. We are all professionals in the first place and personal features play a more significant role than gender.
My advice to girls who consider a tech career but have doubts is the following: only your tastes and preferences matter. Study what you like to do. Don’t think about any possible prejudices or other people’s opinions. Do what is interesting to you, whether it is tech or not.