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Is a Career In IT For Women?

10 February 2021
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The first programmer was a woman, so how did it start?

Usually, achievements in the information technology area are associated with men. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg are known names of the most influential people in the IT world. However, it is rarely mentioned that the first programmer was a woman!

Ada Lovelace, because we are talking about her, was the daughter of George Byron, one of the greatest representatives of English literature. It is Lovelace that we owe to the first computer program! One hundred years before the development of the first computer, the British made great strides in laying the foundations of computer science.

It started with the notes she wrote for the translation of an article on the analytical machine, the creator of which was the mathematician Charles Babbage. Her metaphysical abilities inherited from her father, combined with her love of mathematics, resulted in Lovelace creating a diagram that is considered the first computer program. Had it not been for this event, who knows how the computer age would have developed later.

Ada Lovelace

Women in technology today – why there are significantly fewer women than men in the IT industry?

Now let’s move to modern times and look at the current situation of women in the IT industry. Admittedly, more and more women decide to start working in information technology. However, the IT industry is still male dominated. What could be the reason for this?

  • Let’s start with education. Computer science studies are still chosen mainly by men. Women choose this direction less often. This may be due to the lack of faith in their own abilities and the belief that men are more predisposed to it. Which is not necessarily true. It is commonly believed that men are scientific minds and women are humanistic. However, it is worth to be on your own and if there is an interest in the topic, it pays to follow it.
  • Another element is the conviction that women in IT have fewer job opportunities. Women may suggest that, among other things, there are men in programming positions. Which does not mean that they are accepted reluctantly. On the contrary. However, the vast majority of candidates who apply for recruitment are still male.
  • Let’s remember that the IT industry is not only programmers. Unawareness of the career path in this profession may be the reason why women choose this industry. But I’ll get to that in a moment.
  • Another aspect may be the lack of self-confidence, which may be due to the well-known stereotype that it is a “male industry”. However, we live in a time when the division into “female” and “male” professions should not matter. Let us not be pigeonholed and try our hand at what we feel best at, regardless of stereotypes.

The above factors may be the reason why there are fewer women in the industry than there are men. It is true that every year there are more and more women working in IT, but they are still a minority. However, I hope that this will continue to change, because women in this profession are as needed in our market as men.

IT is not only about programming

As I said before, you don’t have to start your career in IT with programming. We will now take a look at which direction to go in to start your IT adventure. I will take into account the positions where there are the most women in the industry.

Testers

What skills are required to start working as a Software Tester?

  • insightful thinking – finding the issue is one thing, understanding its root is another,
  • communicativeness – not only between team members, but also often with the client. Often it is her task to present the entire project, because the tester knows best all the strengths and weaknesses of this product,
  • meticulousness – paying attention to details that others failed to notice. Finding even minor bugs that may seem insignificant can be crucial for the product to finally work as it should,
  • creativity – testing each function in different ways and seeing everything from different perspectives will help avoid new bugs in the future.

Analysts

This may be a separate stand, but usually it also combines the features of a Tester. So what competencies are needed?

  • analytical thinking – the ability to break down the problem into prime factors,
  • inquisitiveness – this feature is related to the ability to ask questions and understand the client’s needs,
  • accuracy – the Analyst’s task is to create documentation of the IT project requirements. Requirements should be meticulously described, which often requires patience,
  • ability to conduct training – as in the case of the Tester, communication skills are important, which is combined with the efficient transfer of knowledge. The analyst also presents the effects of work on the project to the client.

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Read also: How To Prepare a Good Specification Of Requirements For IT Projects

The above positions can also be a great starting point in this industry and a good start to your career ladder. Of course, the IT industry offers much more than just test stands.

Advantages of working in IT from the point of view of women

Woman with laptop

The IT sector offers many facilities that other companies cannot afford. These are the reasons why women are more likely to consider working in information technology.

So what are the advantages of working in the information technology?

  • possibility of remote work – this possibility may be especially useful for women during motherhood,
  • flexible working hours – thanks to which you can do something in the middle of the day or pick up your child early from kindergarten,
  • facilitating the improvement of qualifications – companies often offer courses that will allow them to constantly develop. This may result in a later promotion, e.g. from Junior to Mid or Senior,
  • relaxed atmosphere – a friendly atmosphere has a positive effect on work, which becomes much more pleasant.

Summary

Woman working on laptop

I hope this article will encourage more women to apply frequently to the IT industry. As you can see, you don’t just need to program to start a career. The demand for gifted women is huge, you just need to look around and try your hand at it. The more women start applying to IT companies, the faster the image of the IT sector as reserved for men will change.

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Katarzyna Baron
Katarzyna Baron
Marketing Specialist Regular film festival goer, passionate books reader and animals lover.
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