I’m Raina and I’m a software engineer at Exeq building the front-end of our app launching this August. I wanted to share some thoughts about joining a tech startup as a female engineer. 📱
So: whether you’ve recently begun thinking about becoming an engineer, or you’re already well on your way to learning, congratulations!
The main thing to keep in mind here is that your journey is about what you want to know, not about what you already know.
Shamefully enough, only about 15% of America’s software engineers are female. You, as an engineer, are an anomaly who is helping to bridge the gender gap.
That being said, entering a work environment with few female colleagues — or maybe even none — can be hugely intimidating.
Here are some tips I’ve found useful in my foray into tech:
Take Pride in Your Girl Power! 💪
One of my biggest fears when entering the tech industry was that I would be overshadowed and be taken less seriously than my male cohorts. Thankfully, that fear was quickly put to rest when I started my first job as a software engineer here at Exeq. I learned that the nature of this work was not “every [wo]man for himself [or herself]”, but rather it was more “all for one, and one for all.”Remember that you are on a team. Teams work together to achieve a common goal, and more likely than not your team members will try to improve each other’s ability to perform so that the common goal can be achieved. There’s no room for petty competition here.
Don’t Fret Over a Lack of a Computer Science Background 📈
Disclaimer: I must admit that I do have a background in mathematics. However, I have gathered the above notion based on my knowledge of the people I’ve met and the friends I’ve made on my path to becoming a software engineer. I’ve met programmers who had previously been art historians, culinary artists, and teachers, among many other things.
Confidence is Key 🔥
Stop comparing yourself to others — I am hugely guilty of doing this, but I try to keep this outlook: When you, a programmer of less than a year, compare yourself to the programmer who has been in the game for many years, of course you’re going to feel less accomplished! Try to remind yourself that you will get to that point one day too. All it takes is a few years of experience.
It sounds corny, but taking a few moments each day to look in a mirror and verbally tell yourself how accomplished and talented you are at what you do will help you to internalize those notions. So do it! Look at yourself in the mirror and say, “I am a great programmer” and “I am capable of taking on any programming challenge that comes my way today”.
Remember how you got to where you are now 🤔
Chances are you didn’t accidentally fall into a career in software engineering. You worked hard at it for an absurdly large number of hours, and you achieved! You’ve produced work that has gotten you noticed, and you got hired based on the skills you’ve already shown your employer. You are qualified for this.
The above are only a few of several things I have taken away during my experience as one of the software engineering community’s newest female members. I look forward to the day when we can see the gender gap dwindle into non-existence, and have truly equal female representation in tech!
Check us out at Exeq.com, see what we’re building and join the over 26,000 people on our waitlist and be the first to hear about our NYC only launch this summer! 🏙️ 🚀