Women in Tech – Interviews

In light of International Women’s Day, March 8, and Girls in Information and Communications Technology Day, April 27, we listened to some of our teammates about their experiences and views working in the field as women. With this, we hope to offer diverse perspectives to girls and women soon to be a Women in Tech.

Every Thursday, from 8 March to 27 April, we’ll update this blog post with a new interview and you’ll learn more about different tech jobs, how a regular work day looks like, the motivation to work in tech and much more.

  1. Chuon Hee Tan, System & Support Engineer – Interview published on 8 March, 2023
  2. Sanae El Fassi, R&D Engineer – Interview published on 16 March, 2023
  3. Claudia Mendonça, Program Manager – Interview published on 23 March, 2023
  4. Aziliz Brillet, Support Engineer, Interview published on 30 March, 2023
  5. Juan Buvry, R&D Test Engineer, Interview published on 06 April, 2023
  6. Frédérique Humbert, DevOps Engineer, Interview published on 13 April, 2023
  7. Léa Bertani, R&D Engineer, Interview published on 20 April, 2023

 

Can you share a little bit about what it is that you do and what a regular day for you is like? 

Chuon Hee Tan: My typical day starts with checking customers’ email and handling them in order of priority in terms of operational impact. Otherwise, I work on project deployment tasks, such as installation, configuration, testing, and customer training.

Sanae El FassiI am a developer on the Analytics team, my regular day has different tasks: development of new features, bug corrections, issues investigation, meetings and exchanges with my colleagues and so on… 

Claudia MendonçaI’m working as a Program Manager with multiple Costumers and projects. I’m ensuring the coordination of each plan, monitoring its progress, resolving issues, and initiating appropriate corrective action. My day by day is making sure we are following the plan, anticipating any constraints, verifying if customer and internal engineers have what they need to work, if not, finding who can help, normally a pre-sale or R&I support. I’m always in contact with the customer providing him feedback on where we are, the next steps and understanding what we can do to help with his TV service.

Aziliz Brillet: I work in the EMEA support team. On a daily basis I deal with the issues encountered by the customers. To stay close to the customers I organize follow-up reviews with them.

Juan Buvry: I am a test engineer and my typical day starts by checking my emails and reviewing my schedule. Then, I set my priorities for the day and plan my time accordingly. Depending on the day, I might be working on a regression test campaign or test automation tasks. Regression testing ensures that changes made to a software application or system do not introduce new defects or cause existing functionality to fail. The purpose of regression testing is to verify that previously tested functionalities of the application still work correctly after changes have been made and to ensure that new defects have not been introduced. Our regression tests are automated, which enables us to verify a large number of functionalities quickly and efficiently. I might prepare the test platform to execute the regression tests, analyze failed tests, identify issues, report defects, maintain automated scripts, and send test reports to relevant teams.

Regarding test automation, I review requirements, develop test plans, write test cases, execute tests manually, and then develop automated scripts. I might have a team meeting in the morning, where we discuss our progress, roadblocks, and share information. I might also attend meetings to collaborate with developers and other stakeholders. I provide feedback on user stories and give an update on the progress of testing. Collaboration is essential for us, and I find it incredibly rewarding to work with others who share my passion. As the workday winds down, I reflect on what I have accomplished and make a to-do list for the next day.

Frédérique Humbert: I work as a DevOps Engineer in an agile team that does SaaS. In my case, this means I do full-stack development and have the opportunity to take part in all the steps: front-end, back-end, infra, CI CD, and customer support…I like the diversity of tasks!

Léa Bertani: I’m working as a developer on the Analytics team, so a typical day will be, developing new features, bug fixes, test on the new feature too, to ensure the less possible bug. Sometimes also support, issue investigations, meeting, and exchange with colleagues on all these subjects.

Did you always know that working in technology was what you wanted to do? How did you decide to go into technology? 

Chuon Hee Tan: I didn’t know much about computers in my school days, but my first part-time job was mainly computer data-entry. From there, I was intrigued and wanted to learn more about computers. Subsequently, I enrolled in a course in Information Technology.

Sanae El Fassi As a child, I wanted to be a journalist. It is so far from what I do today. Indeed, the discovery of this field came gradually in time. I think it started at high school, I liked logics, algorithms and also how technology made life easier on different levels.

Claudia MendonçaYes, but I didn’t know how to get there. I always knew I would like to work with video streaming but never found any university studies to do it. So, I graduated in Telecommunications Engineering and as soon as I finished, I applied for the biggest operator in my country, and it just happened. I entered in video streaming area. 

Juan Buvry: When I was young, I wanted to become a doctor and help people saving lives. However, around the age of 12, the rapid development of IT, the emergence of mobile phones, and the diversification of multimedia piqued my interest and shifted my focus towards the IT industry. Since then, I have been motivated to pursue a career in IT and make a difference through technology.

Frédérique Humbert: I have always loved mathematics because I felt like it was a game: there was a problem and you had to use your brain to find a solution. Computer science is the same, we have problems to solve and need to find solutions. And on top of that, we can look for solutions as a team which is what I like the most, thinking together in order to build the best solution.

Léa Bertani: I don’t think it was what I want to do when I was child, but around 11-12 years old I started to be interested in computer/technology, When the time came to choose what I wanted to study, computer science seemed the most logical and interesting choice as I had already been interested in it for a while and was doing tech projects on my own time.

Are there any challenges that you have faced as a woman working in this field? Do you think there are enough opportunities for women in the tech field?  

Chuon Hee Tan: I am and was lucky to work in companies that promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace. They do offer sufficient opportunities for women in their career progression.

Sanae El FassiI lived in Morocco before moving to France. I have noticed that women are less present in this field in France. I don’t know the reason ( I hope because they are having more different choices). Based on my own experience, I don’t see problems based on gender difference. In my point of view, women can face challenges especially if they aim motherhood. In this case, they need support from their families but also from their companies in order to continue to grow on both professional and personal aspects. 

Claudia MendonçaIn my opinion, the challenges are equal for woman and men in this field. You need to be passionate about what you do in technology and delivery your work with the best quality you can give, and you will get any opportunity you are looking for. So, I’m sure there are a lot of opportunities in tech for women.

Aziliz Brillet: Assert myself in front of people who do not consider me as their equivalent.

Juan Buvry:  Yes, as a woman working in this field, I have faced some challenges. One exemple is work-life balance. The tech industry can be fast-paced and demanding, which can make it difficult to balance work with personal and family life. I have had to work hard to find ways to manage my workload and schedule to maintain a healthy work-life balance. However, despite these challenges, I am proud to work in this field. I believe that progress is being made towards greater gender diversity and inclusion. I believe that women have just as many opportunities as men in the tech field. Perhaps my perspective is somehow optimistic because I have been fortunate in my own experiences.

Frédérique Humbert: Clearly, the biggest challenge is to deal with sexism on a daily basis. The “jokes” and remarks that may seem innocuous but repeated daily can erode one’s self-confidence. It is insidious; we can end up believing they are right and that we don’t belong in our places. I don’t think it’s any worse than in other professional environments, but as there are few women, we can feel alone. I believe that the best way to fight this is through sisterhood: finding allies, daring to speak out about it and supporting each other among colleagues. At work, I also use techniques to strengthen my female colleagues’ voices: intervening in meetings when a colleague cannot take the floor or is interrupted, or repeating an idea she has that was not considered.

Léa Bertani: In one company where I worked I could see a kind of questioning of my knowledge because I am a woman, everything I said was questioned or not taken into account, even if I knew that what I said or did was right. I had to prove that my work was as valuable as anyone else’s. Eventually, my work was recognized and I was placed in a position with more responsibility. After that, I left that company and have had no further problems of this kind since and have had some very interesting opportunities. So even if an experience is bad, you shouldn’t stay on it and give up, as long as you like what you do, you should go for it!

What advice would you give to a woman considering a career in the tech industry? What do you wish you had known?

Chuon Hee Tan: Before considering if a career in the tech industry is suitable, seek others who can guide you, provide support and advice. Build your network and be willing to take up work challenges, as these are opportunities for learning and accumulating work experiences.

Sanae El FassiIf you are passionate about this field, don’t think about any kind of barriers, go for it! You need just to keep your motivation high.   

Claudia MendonçaMy advice is to not be afraid of working in tech. You should always keep your curiosity, to know how that technology works, do questions, understand it end-to-end. I wish I had known before how to communicate for different cultures. This is a big key in Tech area. To know how a technology works is 50% to have success. But to communicate is other 50%. Sometimes can be learning a new language to improve the communication, other times just a simple call or to take a flight to the customer office, other times is to take the initiative to keep the costumer informed. To know how to communicate in different cultures is very important to success on career. 

Aziliz Brillet: Not to remain alone in front of a problem and to exchange with trusted people to find solutions.

Juan Buvry: Just go ahead and try your best to become the person you want to be.

Frédérique Humbert: I would say to be curious, to take advantage of all the opportunities to learn, don’t be afraid to try new things and to get out of your comfort zone. We don’t know what our professional future will be. It changes too quickly, techs are fashionable and then disappear. When I was younger, I was shy and worried that I would look stupid if I asked too many questions. But you shouldn’t hesitate in approach colleagues and ask them about their work. People love to talk about their work.

Léa Bertani: If you like it, go ahead, don’t hesitate. Be curious, seize the opportunities, and don’t let a bad experience get you down, the next one will always be much better.

What have been some of the most rewarding aspects of your job?  

Chuon Hee Tan: The most rewarding aspects are the opportunity to learn new knowledge to improve my skills for system troubleshooting, and helping customers by providing feasible solutions.

Sanae El FassiI like especially how there is no routine in my job.  It is continuous process of discovering and learning.

Claudia MendonçaFor me there are always some enthusiasms to see the new services working in the final costumers. I fell that in some way we deliver a new platform were kids or families can use to have happy time. Also, my job is very rewarding because allow me to know more people from different cultures and to travel to meet them. 

Aziliz Brillet: It is not always easy to get reward when you work in a support team, customers contact us when there is an issue, but when a long problematic is finally fixed it is really satisfying, on the one hand to have a happy customer and on the other hand to have manager to solve the issue. 

Juan Buvry: Every time I watch TV or relax by watching a video online, I feel proud knowing that I have contributed to the development of this field. Another rewarding aspect is the opportunity to constantly learn and improve my skills. Technology is constantly evolving, I am always learning about new technologies, tools, and methodologies. This keeps my work interesting and challenging, and it also allows me to continually grow and improve as a professional.

Frédérique Humbert: I am awed by team dynamics. Put 15 people in an open space who don’t know each other, who have different tastes, characters and desires, and expect it to create an operational and efficient team. This requires effort from everyone for it to work. I am proud of myself when I see the collective forming, my colleagues growing and finding their place in the group. That’s where we get the best out of everyone and are proud of the work produced. I also like to do a little victory dance when I find out how to fix a particularly stubborn bug.  

Léa Bertani: When you finally find the issue and fix it on a particularly complex problem or when you work on significant improvements and finally complete them for some example.

How do you stay up-to-date with the latest trends in technology?

Chuon Hee Tan: Mainly, I follow websites that provide up-to-date news and analysis on OTT streaming technology.

Sanae El FassiThe information is almost easy to access and communities often share a lot.  There is different manners to keep be informed, official documentation, platforms,  forums, online courses… 

Claudia Mendonça: I’m following up tech news, big brands on social media, conferences, and events in tech area to keep me up-to-date of new solutions. 

Juan Buvry: Our company provides many internal training programs, and I regularly invest my time in researching new technologies and best practices to ensure that my knowledge and expertise are current.

Léa Bertani: Mostly by going on forum, take online training, or check the specialized news.

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