Her Story in Tech: An Interview With Vanesa Savino

At intive, we continue to highlight the stories of our women professionals. Their paths to a career in tech form a valuable, international collage of experiences. This time we feature Vanesa Savino, former developer and current Project Manager with over 15 years of experience in the IT world.

1. Did you always know that working in technology was what you wanted to do? How did you decide to go into the IT world?

Ever since I was a little girl, I knew that when I grew up, I wanted to build things. I always felt that the exact sciences should be used for creating tangible things and not just in a theoretical way. That is why I chose engineering as a career, to be able to give the ideas swarming in my head a material shape.

I decided to enter the world of computer science when I was 13 years old, and my parents bought me my first computer. My dad always challenged me to learn more math, physics, and chemistry, he always taught me things outside the school program. He studied engineering and loves math.

When I started high school, I already knew I was going to follow that path, because I liked the subjects known as "hard", and they came to me really easily and naturally. In computer science I saw the possibility of creating something with my hands at a low cost, because I only needed a computer.

2. Why motivated you to change your career path?

Some years ago, in one of the first companies I worked for, I realized that the management world was far from what was needed to lead a software development team. The lack of understanding of processes and workflows in IT hampered the working dynamics.

Unfortunately, I did not have the support I needed from my managers, and I decided to become the one to change things. I choose to stay in this role, and I keep at it day by day, trying to coordinate business and development visions. Every day is a learning day.

3. What was the biggest challenge you faced when you changed your career path, and how did you overcome it?

The biggest challenge was having to learn different tools for my new role, I needed patience from my mentors, hours of study, and persitence to continue with the change.

Now, I still keep helping with small development issues in all the teams in which I worked as Project Manager. However, first and foremost, I am a developer, and proud of it.

4. What's your take on gender gap in technology?

We still have a long way to go to be on an equal footing.

If a woman decides to enter a career in technology today, it is usually because she was lucky to get the support of her environment at an early age, both from her family and educational institutions which championed her interests. In general, however, the disciplines associated with ICTs (Information and Communications Technology) are not considered "feminine" careers and are not promoted as much as others. We are still the exception rather than the rule.

5. What advice would you give to women who want to pursue a career in the tech industry?

Keep going, don't give up.

I’m aware that we have to prove we are proficient all the time, but it is our opinions, actions and determination which are key if we want to change things for real.



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