Women in tech: Interview with Marina Sirenko, Frontend developer
While being a woman in tech is still quite challenging, the gender gap is inevitably closing. Female Tech positions are filling up at a stellar speed and growing 238% faster than their male counterparts.
Today we talk to Marina Sirenko. The one and only female developer on Devhouse team so far, she has no doubts that this will be changing rapidly. Marina talks about stereotypes that limit women within the industry (or not) and gives some tips on dealing with them.
Female Tech positions are filling up at a stellar speed and growing 238% faster than their male counterparts.
How did you decide to pursue a career in computer science? Was it your childhood ambition or a spontaneous decision to work in the field?
Honestly, I couldn’t even imagine working in IT. Up until a moment in my life when I realized I can afford playing with a few roles and choose whatever suits me best. I registered on one of the freelance exchanges, started taking some simple jobs from different fields. After some time, I tried to prepare a web page layout and immediately felt like it was something I’d be comfortable doing every day.
Do you feel that women have the same opportunities as men in the tech world?
That’s a great question. Any new skill requires lots of time and energy, no matter if you’re a man or a woman. What’s important is to be ready to spend this time and energy to master the technology and develop both hard and soft skills.
Why aren’t there more women in tech?
I think this entire industry grew from geeks, mathematicians, radio engineers, and historically, there weren’t many women in such groups. There’s a belief that the introduction of TCP/IP protocols made the existing communication channels between computers into what we know as the Internet. It was 1983. That’s only 39 years ago.
Even though the industry has changed dramatically, I think the stigma around it has stayed. But now with IT growing as fast as ever, there’s a great need in talent, companies are ready to pay the best people, they really don’t care what’s in your pants. So, in my opinion, the situation will resolve itself in the nearest future.
Even though the industry has changed dramatically, I think the stigma around it has stayed.
Could you name a few challenges (or obstacles) women in tech face?
There are a lot of stereotypes: IT is too difficult, you have to be good at Math, know algorithms, and should probably write your first code in pre-school, the list goes on. But you have to understand that IT is a huge industry with lots of different tasks. You don’t always have to be a tech genius to fit in.
What are your biggest achievements in the workplace?
Working at Devhouse I am involved in front-end development for a project called Cake it easy. It’s a huge and long-lasting project which is scaling pretty fast. Since I joined in December, 2021 I have had a chance to study it, bring some order to the code, implement new features and we’re on a fast track to closing this exciting big task.
What skills are essential for your field?
You need to be stress resistant, sometimes code breaks and you have to keep your cool to efficiently come up with the best solution for that. Attention to details is important. We all know the story of a lost hyphen destroying NASA rocket. Algorithmical thinking is something to take into account. It really helps to implement logical and clear steps for decision-making process.
What advice (and tips) would you give to women who want a tech career?
First and foremost, go for it. This has become annoying already, but I also believe that it’s better to do something and fail, than regret not doing it.
Second, have a nice work-life balance. And emphasize on life, find a company that recognises you as a person with family, hobbies and a will to live.
Last but not least, find someone in the IT industry to drive and inspire you.
How do you keep yourself informed about the latest trends in tech?
I won’t be any original here, there are so many channels available! Although, my personal favorites are Telegram threads, podcasts and YouTube.