What do you do at Valtech?
I am a Senior Consultant at Valtech, which includes both consulting our clients to reach their business goals with help of technology in the most efficient and fast way, as well as actually developing software to make it happen.
What do you really enjoy in your job, what else do you value highly?
I am really enjoying direct contact with many people, learning and exploring different business domains and keep myself up-to-date with technology that changes so rapidly nowadays. I think it is pretty stereotypical that Software Developer is tightly bounded to his/her computer and focuses only on writing some code, since there is so much round and about it which in combination makes the job even more amazing and inspiring.
Why did you chose a digital agency and a job as woman in tech?
Well, I used to love Maths at school in Ukraine, and in the end studied at the Gymnasium with deep focus on technical subjects. This shaped my future carrier path quite a bit when I had to select a university. Also my parents were both "tech people", so it came quite natural. However I also tried different areas. I studied journalism as an additional degree and did a lot of social projects on side. So I think consultancy is a great match of soft and tech skills and interests. I was always interested in making an impact with my deeds, and I am able to feel this feedback pretty fast by being in tight contact with our clients.
How did you find Valtech?
Honestly speaking, this was quite by chance, via LinkedIn. I was doing my volunteer year in Belgium, which was also "tech" by the way, and in 2014 I started to look for the next challenging opportunity that could help me grow. So joining Valtech made me move to Germany and changed my life a lot not only professionally, but also privately. This was a great match, so I am still part of the Valtech family!
What do you need as a woman to succeed in the industry? What do you think needs to change?
I still feel there are lots of stereotypes around the tech professions. I often heard in the past that I "don’t look like a developer", which was meant to be a compliment! Therefore I feel many ladies are afraid to step in or choose the segments in tech that are not putting you in direct competition with men (like QA, marketing, design, etc.). The situation definitely improves, though of course differently in many countries. However, I still feel women are the minority in lots of tech teams and companies, which maybe starts somewhere with being courageous enough to chose studying technology at university or college and follow this career path afterwards.
Which of your projects are you particularly proud of and why?
I don’t think mentioning specific project would be fair, since I am really proud of all the successful stories I had honor to be part of. I believe there were no other ones during this six years with Valtech, but sometimes not enough time or budget for our common ambition plans to fully come into reality. I value the great teams we have internally and our common will to grow, learn fast and focus on delivering high quality solutions. I also appreciate a lot how our clients approach the change, are willing to make the digital transformation to adopt modern technology stacks for new and existing systems, even though it can be hard and needs serious investment. So I am really looking forward for more upcoming projects to be proud of.
Your son will turn three soon - could you give us a few insights as „working mom’’?
Balancing family and work is definitely a challenge that most likely every „fresh“ parent faces. In Germany we are pretty lucky with the social system that allows women and men to stay long in a parental leave. However as a downside the infrastructure is not offering enough child-care support when it comes to both partners working full-time (at least this is the case for Munich). However we are very lucky, since our son got a place in the municipal child-care, which we found really good. He liked it there a lot and this allowed me to go back to work when he was almost one and continue growing professionally. Since I am definitely not "stay-at-home" person, this was a win-win for everyone and apart from socializing experience and German language my son gained, he also received a happy self-actualized mom as a bonus.
Due to Corona, your husband and you both had to work from home. Could you describe how you managed the situation with your family?
Corona restrictions of course turned our life upside-down. On one hand we spend much more time as a family which was definitely great. On the other hand it was very hard to explain to a toddler that those are not holidays, parents have to work and he can not play with them all day long. Balancing family and work in one house without having other family members here was really tough in the beginning, but I think in the end we managed to build up proper shifts and arrange our schedule. However sometimes I couldn’t prevent my little son joining business calls, so I am having a bunch of my own funny "homeoffice stories". I really appreciate that both my colleagues and clients I worked with, who might or might not be in same situation, had respect and understanding that I can’t be fully available during normal business hours and might have disturbances in between. Luckily, lots of development work could be also done at night. As an overall outcome of this period, my son often played games like having "a business call" and working in front of imaginary computer, asking everyone in the house to keep quiet.