As part of our Women in Tech series, we recently had the opportunity to speak with Barbara Raciniewska, a Junior Software Engineer at Roqad to explore her career in tech so far.
In this blog, we highlight Barbara's journey as a Woman in Tech, as she navigates the intricacies of the industry, shares her aspirations for the future, and reflects on the hurdles she's overcome along the way.
What is your current role, and what does a typical day look like for you?
My current role is Junior Software Engineer in a start-up company that develops adtech solutions. My day starts with a meeting with the engineering team, during which everyone has the opportunity to share their plan for the day and point out current problems and blockers. I then start working on the tasks assigned to the current sprint. These are usually tasks related to adding new functionalities and fixing current bugs in the code. I write my code mainly in Scala and Python. During my work, I am often in contact with customer satisfaction team, mainly in order to fine-tune the requirements to the client's needs. Every two weeks, we have special team meetings to review the sprint and create a plan for the next sprint.
When did you first realise your passion for tech, and what motivated you to pursue this as a career?
I realised my passion for technology while pursuing a University Degree in Computer Science. My particular interest was in subjects related to Big Data and computational optimisation. I decided to pursue my career in technology mainly because I had always done well in science subjects, but I also saw numerous possible career paths in this sector. The IT industry seemed to me to be intensely developing and having a significant role in creating our everyday reality, I wanted to be part of these changes.
What was your first role in tech?
My first IT-related job was a 3-month internship that I completed during my studies. We developed a platform for students to deal with university matters online. During my internship, I worked with technologies such as Java, databases and code repositories. It was a great opportunity to get acquainted with the work of a programmer and learn about the methods of organising work and time.
Are there any highlights from your career that you would like to share?
A significant moment in my career was working as a Junior Analyst in a large corporation. The job developed my presentation and customer conversation skills significantly. In addition, I had the opportunity to use analytical programs from user point of view. It was a new perspective on technology for me than the one I was taught at the university. I realised that I would like to learn Big Data technology from the inside out as a programmer not just a user. My work as an analyst set me on a path of development as a Data Engineer, which I am currently trying to follow.
What are the biggest challenges that you faced along the way?
It was definitely a big challenge to find my first work experience in IT. I remember sending many resumes, often without a response. However, through patience and determination, I managed to get my first job offer.
As a challenge, I also remember the difficulty of choosing the technology I would like to focus on and develop in. There were a lot of topics covered during the university studies, and most of which I found interesting. It wasn't until after my first few work experiences, which steered me into a Data Engineering field I'm sure I want to pursue in.
What do you see for the future of Women in Tech? What steps can businesses take to be more diverse and inclusive in the industry?
Over the next few years, I would like to continue my path in specialising in Big Data technologies. In the future, I would like to develop my skills towards project management and try my luck in this field as well. It seems to me that a good idea to foster diversity and inclusion in the industry are mentoring programs for students and those starting their careers. Such support will certainly dawn on the opportunities in the industry for those who are just planning to enter it.
Do you have any advice for women who aspire to pursue a career in tech?
Above all, to be persistent in your goals and to look for opportunities to grow and when you find them, don't be afraid to take them on. What is beautiful in the IT industry is a wide range of meetings, training and mentoring programs that it offers. All these programmes allow you to meet amazing people from the industry, exchange experiences, knowledge and tips and often all you need to take part in them is your willingness and time.
We'd like to thank Barbara for her insightful contribution to this blog. Based on her experience, insight and knowledge, we hope that her story will inspire and motivate many women in tech, or women thinking of joining the tech industry.
At UMATR, we encourage diversity in the workplace, and work with tech companies that share the same values as us. We're happy to say that we've placed several female software engineers across various companies, and will continue to do so.
If you are looking for a new tech role, or are currently hiring for talent - reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org 📧