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What It’s Like to Be a Female Software Developer

Eva Lichnerova joined Datavard as a developer and quickly became the technical lead for one of our most popular and successful products – BW Fitness Test. Eva supervises every stage of the software development – from creating the specification and design requirements, coding itself, to  testing and documentation. She is also one of the few who keep their own special cup in the kitchen, hers is the one with flowers.

 

What made you smile today at work?

 

We have new colleagues, fresh graduates, and I’m showing them around. They are very clever and eager to start, so I’m really looking forward to training them and introducing them to their tasks. It’s very satisfying to see how the time you invest in teaching others later pays off and you get to work with true professionals.

 

Eva during the interview

Eva during the interview

Do you remember your first day at Datavard?

 

It was four years ago. When I joined, we were 30 people squeezed in a shabby office and we treated each other like a one big family. I remember that from the first day I knew I was in the right place – the atmosphere was very relaxed and guys greeted me kindly. All problems were solved in the kitchen during heated debates. It was an amazing experience to witness and participate in the company’s development – now we have 2 floors in a proper office building, and new locations keep opening up worldwide. But the core is still there – we still like each other, go out together and meet in the kitchen, so we managed to keep the spirit of a garage start-up.

 

In your team, you are working mostly with men. What is it like?

 

I enjoy it a lot, we joke around often and to be honest I got used to it so much that it’s hard for me to imagine a different setup.

 

Did you have any problems with building authority?

 

No, never. I got some doubtful looks from the students during job fairs that I attended when promoting the company, but at work I didn’t experience any issues with it. There is no rivalry or unhealthy competition, and at the end of the day these are really your skills that matter.

 

Why do you think women are still a minority in the IT business?

 

­It’s a good question, and I really don’t know the answer to it! It’s not like women are not smart enough, quite the opposite – when they set their mind on studying technical subjects, they often excel at it and successfully graduate. Maybe it’s because computers and gaming used to belong to the boys-only club, but now we live in the age where technology is present in every aspect of our lives, and even toddlers get to play with tablets. There are also various projects supporting and motivating women to study IT, so I think those distinctions will blur eventually.

 

And how did you decide to become a developer?

 

I wanted to become a developer ever since I was a little girl! When we got our first PC, my mom would code some games for me and I was absolutely amazed by it. I played with it a lot and from then on I knew I wanted to learn coding.

 

What was your biggest challenge on the way?

 

Combining studies with work. I wanted to get work experience in an IT company, but at the same time my grades suffered.

 

What are your professional plans for the next year?

 

Some complain that SAP technology that we work with is old and has a lot of shortcomings, but on the other hand it’s a very dynamic area that keeps posing new challenges, and you keep switching projects, so you don’t get bored. My one-year plan is to tweak BW Fitness Test to perfection – it’s a product I take care of and I believe it’s one of the best available on the market. I’d like to focus on it and give it a final touch, so that everyone enjoys using it – not only customers, but also consultants, developers, and my boss. So I’ll just keep coding.

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