8. March 2023 By Cindy Jong
Voices from the Tech Industry: An Interview with a Frontend Developer on Breaking Barriers and Fostering Diversity
Women have historically been underrepresented in technology roles, with only a small percentage of women occupying positions in technical and leadership roles. Despite efforts to address this issue, the gender gap in tech remains a persistent challenge.
However, in recent years, there has been a growing movement to increase the representation of women in tech. More and more women are entering the industry, and they are making significant contributions to the field. Women in tech are breaking down barriers, challenging stereotypes, and paving the way for the next generation of female technologists. They are leading the way in innovation, driving change, and transforming the industry for the better.
In this context, it is essential to have conversations and discussions that highlight the experiences, perspectives, and contributions of women in tech. These conversations help to raise awareness about the gender gap and the challenges that women face in the industry. They also provide insights and inspiration for women who are interested in pursuing a career in tech, as well as for organizations that want to create a more diverse and inclusive workplace culture.
That is why we decided to interview a fellow woman in tech who generously shared with us her experiences, insights, and perspectives on what it means to be a woman in tech. Her story is a testament to the progress that women are making in the industry and the challenges that they still face. We hope that her story will inspire and encourage other women to pursue their dreams in tech and that it will also provide valuable insights for organizations looking to foster a more diverse and inclusive workplace.
What was your background in technology and how did you discover your calling to work in this area?
I did study Software Engineering at the University of Applied Sciences Utrecht and graduated as a full-stack developer. However, through their courses and projects, I discovered my passion for frontend development and when I started working in IT that is what I chose as my profession.
What most motivates you to work in IT?
Having contact with clients and discovering requirements of the application that they want to see built. Clients are not always the easiest to work with, being that they have no experience with software development, not knowing what exactly they want, budget constraints that need to be kept in mind. Clients are human after all, and software development can be tricky. Guiding them along the path of software development is what I see as my main task and in the end, we always have great applications together.
Which programming languages do you prefer and why?
Not a programming language but a framework, I'm totally hooked on Angular. I love that it is so opinionated and makes working for different clients easy since the project structure/libraries used mostly stay the same.
What challenges did you face at the beginning of your career?
I had the most trouble finding work that I LOVED. I did work for 10 different employers, with all kinds of projects, from making web apps for hospitals, and the government, to the financial sector and everything in between. I discovered only a year ago that I love context-switching a lot, working on different projects, and getting to know different clients. That is why I chose to work for a deployment agency.
In your opinion, what could be done to include more women professionals in the technology field?
I think more women (and men) should get a taste of IT at a young age. The technology field is widespread and not only limited to programming; you can be a manager who leads a developer team or a network and systems specialist, the choice is up to you. Getting a taste of what kinds of jobs are out there might motivate more people to start a career in IT.
What advice would you give to companies looking to bring more diversity to the technology field?
I once had an interview with a company where only my gender was noted and not my skills, don't be that kind of company that wants to hire women to raise their 'female quota'. You should hire women for their skills, maybe they are not the best programmer in the building, but maybe they are great at communicating with a customer or keeping their team on target. Having a diverse workforce with people with different skills and mindsets can make or break your company or product.
What strengths can women bring to the IT field?
I have often noticed that women are great at communication and keeping track of the overall project progress. I think having a woman in a software team would greatly benefit the team with these added skills.
What advice would you give to young women starting out in tech?
If you have done an IT study and first start working, don't be surprised when you have a feeling that you know nothing. Knowledge comes with years of work, a study is just the start. Just ask a million questions to your colleagues (until they become tired of you and then be extra annoying with questions), how would they set this up or what is the best way to implement so and so? Just keep asking, keep learning from the people around you and keep going, you will get there. Also, don't forget to network! LinkedIn can be a good starting point for finding jobs.
What would be a message of encouragement for women who wish to work in IT?
Just do it!
We hope that this interview has shed light on the experiences of women in tech and the challenges they face. At adesso we recognise the importance of gender diversity and are committed to creating a more inclusive workplace culture. We believe that diverse teams lead to better outcomes, increased innovation, and a more dynamic and creative work environment.