There are numbers of incredible women at intive. A lot of them work in our Quality Assurance department, making our products flawless and establishing the highest standards of quality. They are smart, professional, and funny. We’ve talked to some of them about their background, work and general feelings about being a woman in IT. Enjoy their stories!
My journey with IT started with… educational science! When I studied to become a teacher, I had a minor subject at the university about developing web applications in the e-learning context. While I participated in this course, I realized how much I actually enjoyed programming. So then I thought: “Ok, that was so much fun, should I perhaps go in that direction?” That was a kind of a trigger, a point when I decided to switch to informatics.
Being a woman in tech. I’ve been working at intive since 2013. Started as a trainee in the software development department and later transferred to QA. But I still do some Android developing and really enjoy both sides - programming and testing. I think we have quite a few women for a tech company. On my team, we have even more women than men! So there’s diversity and as a company we are really open-minded. That feels so wonderful.
Women empowerment activities. I really like the idea behind activities dedicated to women in IT, and I am even thinking about organizing a “Women Techmakers” event here at intive. For now, I act as an organizer for a local Google Developer Group, which hosts tech-related events, workshops, hackathons, and conferences. It’s not only for developers but for everyone interested in the field. Some time ago we organized workshops about Android development, and I must confess - there were more women participating than men. Women are really interested in learning something new about development!
Advice for women in IT. Women should be more confident, should believe more in themselves, and speak out! Women rarely express their opinions loudly, it’s more expected from a man than a woman. But as soon as women start doing that, we all will feel positive changes.
By the time I graduated from high school, I knew I wanted to study Programming. Engineering is one of the fields that solves the most impactful of our problems in the world – and I always wanted to help the world through technology. Having a passion for analysis and math, I planned my career path from the very beginning. I like to think that engineers are like the wizards of our society: no one is quite sure how they came up with great solutions to a lot of people’s problems. Being an engineer, I get to use magic to create things every day.
Being a woman in tech. I started by being a Pascal developer. Later I discovered that working in the QA field is what I enjoy the most – it’s my hobby, my passion, and my way of learning. Every day we interact with technology in hundreds of different ways, and all of those (and so many more) are opportunities to make a difference in the world.
I think there is an unfortunate lack of women in technology. Of course, I’ve seen teams that are pretty equal, gender-wise, but overall there is definitely more men than women in the field. This general gap probably comes from misinformation and a gender-biased education. Having limited or no representation at all of the women in a companies’ leadership can make the industry miss out on valuable insight - so I genuinely hope for a quick change.
Women empowerment activities. I participate in informational activities for teenage schoolgirls by sharing my personal and professional story; showing the younger generation the great leaders of the future that live inside them. I believe that such kinds of activities help others to lose fear and to understand that it is all about passion and love for what we choose to do. Each woman needs to walk their own steps but if someone was there before you to open the road, the better.
Advice for women in IT. I’d like to encourage women to challenge themselves. There are a lot of different roles and skills needed and so many different things a woman can do within the industry - just go for it and try.
At the age of 6, I made a statement that I would become one of two: an IT specialist or a princess. Dad said that being a princess is not an option, because he wasn’t a king. Well, then it was decided. I had some kind of a role model in my family - my older sister's husband who was a programmer. His work inspired me and made me interested in sciences. So I joined a math class at school and studied IT at the university. In college, we had around 20 girls for a group of 350 people. But what's interesting - the girls were more persistent, stubborn and determined. About 100 guys did not last until the end of the studies, but all of the girls did.
Being a woman in tech. I feel good at intive. I feel appreciated. But in general, I notice that my women-colleagues are less self-confident than men. Maybe some additional motivation or praise from the managers can be helpful?
I believe that a lack of diversity in tech companies comes from inadequate education. It’s important that we start to change it as well as spread the knowledge about the history of women in tech. Women have been in IT for a long time now, but people seem to have forgotten. During World War I and II the women were ones who dealt with mathematical calculations and programming. We need to talk more about it, create symbols of women in IT.
Women empowerment activities. For more than 3 years now, I’ve been an organizer at a polish Women in Technology group. The main objectives of this non-profit organization are women integration and spreading knowledge. Meeting with other women motivates and inspires us as well as gives us a chance to talk about problems and get support. It’s especially important for women who are just starting their careers. A lot of women finish tech studies, but do not actually start working in the IT sector. Therefore, at our meetings, we help them by sharing knowledge and experience, and by breaking stereotypes.
We also have a program called “Tech leaders” - a mentoring program for girls who would like to change or learn something more. For example, the tester who wants to become a programmer. We give such a person a chance to fulfill this dream under the guidance of a mentor, who trains her for 3 months.
Advice for women in IT. In my experience, women rarely talk about their achievements. But why? I think women should not be afraid of presenting themselves more. They sure deserve it.
I have always been interested in mathematical sciences. My dad is a programmer, and I studied IT. When I started my adventure with tech, the environment was different; it was harder. People often assumed that women are not as capable at programming. I remember that once a professor at my university recommended women to leave the lecture room before the exam, as he didn’t believe we’d manage to get through it. To his surprise, we actually passed the exam.
Being a woman in tech. Nowadays the situations of women in IT is better. Although there are still fewer women in IT, they usually make up for it with their diligence and commitment. In my experience, cooperation with women-engineers is really great. I’ve been working for over 4 years at intive, and I feel great here. There is no stagnation, projects change all the time, and I can constantly learn something new.
A lot of girls with whom I work haven’t finished technical studies - but they are great testers. The most important thing in this profession - to think, to associate facts, to note details.
Women empowerment activities. For some time now, I’ve been conducting QA training in cooperation with the Polish organization testuj.pl. The idea was born at intive when I was asked to prepare a test automation training for another team. Later, I realized that it gives me great satisfaction and motivates me. Even though the training is usually difficult and demanding.
At testuj.pl, I usually carry out 3-day training courses. The groups are small, diverse and in fact, it requires an individual approach to each participant. Both women and men participate in training, but I must say that I often get the impression that women are more committed. Maybe they still want to prove with all their strength that they are as capable as men?
Advice to women in IT. Earlier, a diploma in the IT field played a big role, but those times are gone. There are a lot of cool resources on the Internet to learn QA. There are groups of testers on facebook as well as sites where women can try testing out for themselves. So I’d like to say to all the girls who are just starting their adventure with IT: do not worry, just try!