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Leading the line, like a Rebel woman. Stories & insights from women in tech.

It’s March, which means that besides enjoying the weather getting warmer, this month we celebrate women a little bit more than we do during the rest of the year. We make sure to bring chocolate, flowers and all the kind words with us at the office, all to make them feel special.

At RebelDot, we are over 20 women software engineers, delivery managers, HR, marketing, business development specialists and product managers. We love the tech community we get to work and experience with every day, but we know it hasn’t always been easy for women in tech to pursue a tech career. Some of us still struggle today.

We had a few of our rebel girls share bits of their own experience as women working in the technology industry. Grab your favourite cup of coffee and put on your superhero cape, you’re about to get some empowering messages from our rebel, women in tech.

Allowing yourself to be vulnerable and soft is an act of courage.

I love how my experiences taught me, many many times, that choosing to be kind, perceptive and allowing yourself to be vulnerable and soft is an act of courage. That it’s actually the hardest thing to do, yet it’s still perceived by so many as being a weakness.

I love that not a single day goes by without seeing the importance of empathy, active listening and emotional intelligence. And I love how in the world where we encourage people to speak-up, stand-up, do this, do that, fit templates and checkboxes, the thing that helps us stand out is being true to ourselves and embracing our imperfections.

So don’t “toughen up” if you don’t want to — no matter if you’re a man, a woman or you’re still trying to figure that out. Come back to yourself.

Be confident in who you are and what you can achieve.

Growing up, I have always been fascinated with technology. I think innovation and the fast pace at which technology evolves has been something that has drawn me towards it, since forever.

I give credits to the fact that I was brought up in an environment where I always felt equal to boys, although I know it is not the case for every girl that is in school as we speak. To them, the girls that wish to pursue a career in technology, all I can say is, dare to believe in your abilities, and have the courage to start doing whatever you are passionate about, despite the odds.

The lessons you learn while being a stay at home mom will help you get back on track faster and better than before.

In a such evolving and changing world, and as a new mother, being disconnected from the business’ world for two years can be discouraging. What I’ve learned from my experience is that attitude is a game-changer in this situation.

You took two years to grow a little person, but you also gained so much strength, brainpower and endurance that you`ll bring back to the business field and that will help you get back in the game in no time, better than before, more efficient and more driven.

So, now you have a new set of skills to play with and to bring into the equation. Also, another aspect that helped me was to go back to the basics, learning what`s new on my professional field. For that, I took 1–2 hours per day for study, two months before getting back to work.

Keep fighting for your dreams.

There is a place in technology for everyone, keep fighting for your dreams. Lyndsey Scott, Florina Muntenescu, Sheryl Sandberg are some women who are influencing the landscape of tech and IT.

 

Find mentors in your niche that can help you with their knowledge and experience of navigating the tech industry as a woman.

I was brought up in a world where girls and boys were equally exposed to exact science and technology. As a child, being a girl meant doing great in school. They would also expect you to maintain an eloquent speech at all times, don’t get too covered in mud while playing outside, don’t scream, don’t cry, wear a dress and of course, smile at all times. You’d often find yourself in a constant aim for perfection, being good at everything and excelling at nothing while trying to fit in and please everyone you meet. You grew up comparing yourself to everyone, without even knowing how lethal to your soul this is.

Translating this into the tech business scene, as women, we often become victims to the feeling of not being good enough, lonely, and many times, outnumbered. A lesson I learned in my three years of doing marketing & business development for tech, is the importance of mentorship and communityThere are women out there who look forward to helping and sharing their experience with other women. Find female mentors in your niche that can help you with their knowledge and experience of navigating the tech industry as a woman. They can be your peers, your colleagues or female leaders you look up. Look for a community and if you can’t find one, go ahead and create one. Keep an eye for people you can learn from, and be savvy when it comes to learning from the experience of others. It will help you move faster in your career.

 

To succeed, you need to make sure you have people around you that can help you grow.

My passion for tech & informatics goes back to high school. I was in the 10th-grade and 16 years old when they brought in a new informatics teacher, a female. At the time, I was doing great in school, but I had no idea I was ever going to pursue a career in tech. This new teacher happened to be one that changed my perspective. She came in with a unique, empowering vibe, and she had her way of making things seem more attractive than before. I would not give all credits to the fact that she was a woman, although this might have helped me resonate with her. All I know is that the informatics class became, in short, one I was looking forward to attending. Little time passed by, and I started doing research at home and being keen on discovering new things. Years passed by, and I decided to study at the Technical University of Cluj Napoca, pursuing my dream of becoming a software engineer.

University came with its challenges. I vividly remember the front row, filled with young males all with exceptional merits in the field. We were outnumbered, that’s for sure. In my study group, for example, we were 30. Out of this, only 10 were women. Despite the odds, just as in my high school story, I had the right people around. All of our university teachers would continuously encourage us to get involved in research projects and were there to equally support us. I wasn’t surprised when our valedictorian was a woman.

Being fairly new into the work scene and having these two past stories to guide me, the pursuit of a job in tech was highly guided by the people I met during the recruitment process, and whether I felt that I could quickly learn from them.

Today, I believe that to succeed, whether you are a male or a female, and especially if you are at the beginning of your career, you need to make sure you have people around you that can help you grow. It can be your teacher, your colleague or your team lead.

Get involved. Participate. Ask questions & stay curious.

Growing up as a teenager, I had somehow always been passionate about technology and informatics. I can say I am blessed with parents and relatives that had never tried to frame me when it came to choosing a career path. It has always been clear to me that the intriguing problems and the practicability of the challenges you find in this field were for me to choose, from the very beginning.

Today, I am a software developer at RebelDot.
I’ve been asked, multiple times, what makes a great developer, and what are those practical activities you can do to become better in your field. Looking at myself, I believe it is essential to have the passion and to be confident in what you do. I am lucky to be able to say that I get to live my passion every day. This does not mean it is a challenge-free zone. After all, challenges make it all more interesting.

Second, I’ve always been very keen on getting involved and participating. There’s so much you can learn from just showing up and sharing the experience of building something with a team of developers. It helps you overcome fear and uncertainties, accumulate information and build experience. It’s simple, and I like to think of it as the snowball effect. The more you experience, the more you know. So have that curiosity, and keep an eye on those experiences you can benefit from the most.

 

Like what you read? At RebelDot, we are on a constant search for amazing women to join our team, and we are always happy to share more of our experiences with the tech industry. Check our openings, and come by for a chat and a coffee! We look forward to meeting you.

Love,

The Women at RebelDot

Andreea Pop

Andreea Pop

“If you want to build a successful product you should definitely go design first, think outside the box, look beyond aesthetics, build a cross-functional team and most importantly, believe in your idea!"

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