Happy International Women’s Day 2022. We don’t have to look farther than the women around us to gain inspiration.
Andreea Negrea is the lead Backend Developer in Code23’s custom development team, and in this interview she answers questions on all things ‘women in tech’ as well as her advice for any women thinking of starting a career in technology.
What is your role at Code23 and what does it entail?
I am a Backend Developer at Code23. I’m currently working on developing the API for our multi vendor marketplace platform.
Have you always worked in tech?
Yes, I started coding for the first time when I was 14 in high school and have not stopped since. I followed my studies up with a degree in web development at Birmingham City University and upon graduation, I started my journey into this field and loved every second of it. I was blessed enough to meet a lot of great mentors along the way that reinforced my love for it.
Why did you decide to work in tech, and what do you enjoy about it?
As a child I loved riddles & puzzles, I was curious about how everything works. I remember my mom was terrified because I was taking apart everything I laid my hands on.
Now, I get to solve puzzles daily. Some are more challenging than others, but the feeling of satisfaction when you are finally able to solve it does not compare with anything in this world for me.
In your opinion, why is it important that more women go into tech?
During my university years, I was part of a mentorship program that sent students from different degrees to schools in order to persuade young minds to go to University. After discussing STEM subjects with over 20 girls, I realised there are a lot of preconceptions surrounding tech, the most common was the level of difficulty or that it is something that boys do.
First, we need to teach young women to not shy away from this field as they are more than capable to pursue any STEM job if they want to. Not a lot of people know this but the first computer programmer was a woman. Her name was Ada Lovelace and she was a mathematician in the mid-1800s. A great read that I would recommend to everyone is “Broad Band: The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet” by Claire L. Evans, a wonderfully written history of all the women pioneers in the field.
Secondly, women can provide a different perspective on how things should be built. We are aiming to build products that cater to all consumers, and those consumers aren’t all male.
Is there anyone (male or female) that inspires you in your career?
I have been blessed to have had a lot of wonderful mentors in my career (from co-workers to team leaders) that have had faith in me, even when I did not. I get motivated to learn more and better myself when I am surrounded by people that do the same. The team at Code23 is the perfect example of that, we are all there for each other and it is a very nurturing environment to develop one’s skills.
What piece of advice would you give a woman thinking of starting a career in tech?
Learn the basics and just go for it. I cannot speak for all women, but personally, I used to question everything before I started something new. I prepare, I research, I become an expert in the topic before I jump in. That is near impossible to do in tech given the speed things move at.
In her 2013 book “Lean In”, Sheryl Sandberg (Chief Operating Officer of Facebook) stated that men apply for positions if they meet just 60% of the requirements, while women only apply if they meet 100% of them.
Interested in a career in a fast paced, highly creative and forward thinking software development company? We’re hiring