We interviewed Jana Schoeller, Senior Software Developer at Caplin on her experience and thoughts on women in tech.
Currently, I’m a senior software developer and I’ve been at Caplin for eight years. I’ve had different roles during my time here such as being a team lead and a line manager. I would also visit our customers and teach them about our software. Caplin last year offered me to go on a sabbatical for 1 year. Which was a great opportunity for me to have more time for my family. I have now returned to work and I am happy to join my colleagues again.
I always start my day with a cup of coffee and go through the tasks for that day and see what meetings I have or need to arrange. As a team, we start with a stand-up meeting where we discuss what we are focusing on for the day and raise any issue that we have and then continue our day. This could be working on coding a feature, fixing bugs, looking at deployments, or having meetings with colleagues or customers. It can also involve planning tasks for a new project and analysing the work.
When I was growing up we always had computers in our house. So I started off playing games and making little videos using CorelDRAW. I did a little bit of Turbo Pascal programming but I think this is nothing on the scale of what kids can do nowadays.
I started studying art history and realised I didn’t enjoy it and that I was more practical orientated. Luckily, I had the opportunity to switch my degree to computer science and I immediately felt at home. I really enjoyed working with the other students and thinking more logically.
At first, it was the practical nature of the course. You could create a programme that works and someone else could use it. I also enjoyed the mathematical side and studying theoretical computer science where we learned about algorithms and logic.
I think when you start computer science as a woman at university, then you definitely come to a situation where you are the only woman in the room full of men, so you should not be intimidated by that and you have to learn to get used to that kind of environment.
I’ve noticed in myself that I try to be more assertive in the way that I communicate but also in the way that I dress. I knew that if I wanted to become a manager I had to change my outfits from the usual techie dress code to make more of an effort to wear a more business-like attire.
I think the main thing is to be open to new challenges and be curious and show interest, ask questions and learn from others but also be bold and present the work you have done.