We interviewed Gabriela Rogelova, Exploratory Tester at Client Server on her experience and thoughts on women in tech.
The days are really very dynamic and different. Some days I will have to test all day long something that we are working on. Some days I will be having more meetings like today, where we plan our test strategy for an upcoming project or a new feature that we want to add to our product. Some days will be triaging bugs, some days will be training. So it really depends. And we also have to find time for personal development. So I constantly look for stuff that I can upgrade my skills or my knowledge
It sounds strange to many people when I say that I didn’t have any exposure to technology whatsoever when I was growing up. I grew up in a small town in Bulgaria during the 90s, so we didn’t have computers until a very late age. I studied psychology at university and after graduating, I worked in the HR department where I started learning more about tech and programming. I didn’t want to be a recruiter who was mocked for not knowing enough about tech – I wanted to be more, to understand more, to understand the answers to the questions being asked. The more I learned about it, the more interested I was.
No, I studied psychology at university. I took about a year and a half sabbatical and I graduated every online tech boot camp I could find. Because I didn’t come from a tech background, I needed a couple of years to orientate myself and figure out what my strengths were.
I worked in the HR department of a tech company. I was recruiting developers, project managers, QA, everything. In order to have a good understanding, particularly during interviews, I started learning more about tech and programming.
We don’t have much diversity in the tech world. The better companies are trying to hire a diverse set of people, but if you don’t have applicants, you can’t do it. At one point I was working in a company where I was the only woman on the whole floor. And there were more than 10 startups working at this time on this floor. It’s very weird to be the only person, the only woman there. When you don’t have a diverse set of people, you just end up with the same ideas and the same way of working and it doesn’t enrich the environment and the work.
I think encouraging women to give it a try because it’s a great field, it has a lot of opportunities and it lacks women and it needs more women.
When I think about my experience, I always thought that technology was something very complicated. But in real life, it’s just something that you just have to work hard and learn, like everything else, every other skill. Everything you do in life you started from somewhere and you build upon it.