13/06/2017 Uncategorized

I moved continents, but one thing remained the same

We asked our Frontend Teamlead Nupur to contribute to the ICT day and share her story.  The wonderful article was very well received and we want to repost in our blog, so it will not be forgotten on the intranet. 

My interest in computer science began when I was fifteen, and the credit largely goes to my high school computer science teacher. She was brilliant at teaching the subject, and she made me fall in love with problem solving and algorithms. A lot of her passion rubbed off on me, and it was no surprise that I chose computer science as my major for college.

After completing my studies, I moved to Bangalore to work for Amadeus Labs. I worked as a Frontend Developer in Mobile Airline Solution for 4 years, and after wearing multiple hats in the same team, I felt it was time for a change. That is when the opportunity at travel audience came along, and I was thrilled when I got the job!

From Amadeus Labs to travel audience

So, in the summer of 2016, I switched continents and moved to Berlin. I joined travel audience as a Frontend Developer and have since been working on the rewrite of the Campaign Management Tool.

Our goal is a modern rebuild of the tool to make it faster, stable and more user-friendly so that our team can work more efficiently. It is a technically demanding project with a complex architecture, but that’s also the biggest perk – we get to solve new challenges everyday!

After working in different technical teams in two countries, I have observed a number of differences in the work culture, development processes and communication practices – but one thing has remained the same – the number of female developers in both teams has been consistently low. I have been in countless meetings when I am the only female engineer in the room. To be honest, I did not think too much about it until I found out about Women Techmakers online and joined the community.

Women Techmakers

Women Techmakers is a global initiative led by Google that provides resources, mentorship and visibility to women in technology. Talking to the different engineers in the community and reading stories about other members made me realise that what I had been shrugging off as a coincidence until now is actually a modern day global phenomenon.

The proportion of male to female developers in technology roles is skewed towards the former and I believe it can negatively impact teams in the long term.

In March, I applied to and was accepted to attend the International Women’s Day Summit by Google. The event was a part of a series of events organised by Google across the world, and took place at their beautiful campus in Zurich. It was an inspiring event, full of tech talks, workshops and panel discussions- all by some incredible women who have built their careers in technology.

Different perspectives

As I listened to high performing women narrate their experiences about working in the industry, my belief was reinforced that we need more women in technology. It’s not just because they are hardworking, collaborative good communicators, it’s also because they bring diverse perspectives to the team, which in turn, makes teams perform better.

The tech industry today needs conscious efforts to bridge this disparity. One such initiative is the International Girls in ICT Day, which aims to create a global environment that empowers and encourages girls and young women to consider careers in Information and Communications Technology.

In retrospect, I would not be in the field that I’m in today if it weren’t for the encouragement provided by my teacher. A little goes a long way, so let’s encourage all our friends, daughters and other young women we know to have a dream in ICT – we’re stronger together!