In this Women in Tech feature, we talk about women who have chosen to pursue a career in Tech - how they decided on it, what challenges they faced and what motivates them. By doing so, we want to highlight that the tech industry is a place for women too.
Meet Elena Koeva - .NET Developer at Sprintax, part of CluneTech. Sprintax is a multi-jurisdiction, tax compliance software, which simplifies tax withholding and tax return filing for nonresidents and their employers.
Tell us a bit about your education.
I graduated with a bachelor's degree in Electronics. I specialized in Microelectronics at the Technical University of Sofia. Before that, I studied at the Ivan Vazov Secondary School in Dobrich with a profile in Informatics, Mathematics, and Physics.
How did your career in tech start?
I started in the tech field as a QA Specialist. In the beginning, everything was new to me, but over time I started to get better at understanding the details and gradually moved forward from manual to automation testing. I needed a programming language to automate. Since then my life has changed, and programming has become my new passion.
In Taxback.com, of which Sprintax is part, I was given the opportunity to develop and progress my career and from a QA Specialist I became a .NET Developer. I started training so I could become a programmer, but in the meantime, I also performed the QA tasks I had. For a while, I combined both positions, but once I became good enough, my position changed and I started to deal mainly with programming, and the training of new QA specialists.
What is your current role in the company?
I’m currently working as a Mid-Level .NET Developer. My job is mostly to program and to create the desired functionality for a particular software product, whether it’s a new or old product. I am also the person who onboards all of our new team members, providing them with the relevant training so they can also move forward with their careers once they’re ready.
For you personally, what is the most motivating and interesting aspect of your work?
What motivates me is the desire to see something finished and working, which will please not only the people who invented it, but also the people that will use it and whose work we can make easier. It is extremely intriguing to observe people's reactions when you present them with something you have developed. It’s rewarding to be able to feel their enthusiasm and excitement, especially if what you’re presenting is better than what they expected.
What is the biggest challenge you face as a woman working in tech?
Perhaps the biggest challenge is to try to dispel the doubts in others that you will not be able to cope because you are of the fairer sex. Fortunately, over time, these doubts disappear completely.
One of the clichés is that the tech industry is for men. How do you feel among your colleagues?
Fortunately for me, the department I work in right now is great, and there are a lot of talented people working in it. All of my colleagues are true professionals, extremely understanding, and would always respond if you need help. With us, you either do your job or not, it doesn't matter what your gender is.
What are the biggest clichés you've heard about women in the tech industry?
Unfortunately, there are many that I have heard, but I will mention those that have impressed me the most. They are that women don't have logical thinking, that they are not good at STEM, or my favorite, that women can't build a career because they have to start a family.
What do you like to do in your free time?
In my free time I draw, arrange puzzles, read books or just meet with friends and play board games.
If you could give a message to girls who are starting out in their careers, what would you tell them - why choose tech?
The tech field is quite an extensive area, and it offers great development if you have the desire for this and if you are motivated. My advice to all girls is to not be influenced by other people's opinions, to fight for what they like, because to me, the most important thing is to that I enjoy what I do.
Fancy a career with us? Check out our open vacancies at www.clunetech.com/careers