Happy International Girls in ICT Day! Today we celebrate the incredible achievements of women in the tech sector and encourage the young girls to pursue a career in this exciting field. To mark this special occasion, we invited Gergana Dobrikova, Team Lead at News UK’s team at Questers, to join us with a fascinating interview. We can say a lot about her: she's an innovator in the tech world and an inspiration to women who want to build successful careers.
Gergana will share with us details about her professional career path and will introduce to us the role she has in the team. Also, she will give some practical tips to the young women who are looking for a career in the tech world. So, grab a cup of coffee, get comfortable and join us for an inspiring conversation on this important day!
1. Hello, Gergana! First, would you introduce yourself briefly?
Hello! My name is Gergana I have been a software engineer for more than 6 years now. I am the Team Lead for The Sun’s (a British tabloid newspaper, published by News UK) web team. We are the team responsible for implementing the newest web designs. We also ensure that the website is well maintained over the years. On a daily basis, we get a lot of traffic and we need to be as adaptable and as efficient as possible at all the times.
2. When you think about your professional life, what was your best decision so far?
3. What professional and personal achievements are you most proud of?
Professionally, I would say that I am most proud of reaching the position of a Team Lead. I love the challenges that this position brings to me and all of the opportunities to interact with so many different people every day - both from a business and technical perspective. As a Team Lead, I can share my experiences, but I can also continue to learn from my teammates constantly. From a personal aspect, I am proud that I still have the time to pursue my hobbies. I have various interests outside of work and I like spending time focusing on them.
4. Why did you choose to pursue a career in software engineering?
Maths was my favourite subject in school. Back then, I participated in many different math tournaments and competitions, so I guess software engineering was a natural progression of my interests. I do still think my love for maths helped me a lot in developing my software engineering skills.
5. Who is your role model in the tech world?
My role models have always been the mentors that I have had during my career. I have always been incredibly lucky and had the best mentors and managers someone could ever ask for! They helped me become the person and software developer who I am today. I do hope one day I will be not only the mentor, but the inspiration in somebody else’s future career.
6. What do you love about working at Questers?
Questers is a company that does an excellent job in providing the right work environment for its employees. You are given complete freedom to work from where you are most comfortable. I also like our flexible benefits system and the choice that we have with it. The people are also very nice and supportive.
I am currently leading a team, which develops the Front-end of The Sun. My responsibilities are very different and include writing code, doing code reviews, cross-team communication, technical advice and regular agile meetings, even though I am happy to still have time to write code.
Read constantly about the latest updates – the same way you follow the daily news. I use different news outlets and social media to learn about what people are doing and I find that crucial for making decisions about the software I write. I think it is also important to read about the not-so-successful stories and learn from them as well.
9. What’s the most valuable advice you can give other women trying to build a career in tech?
My best advice to all women would be to serve as an example to all other women. We should always strive to be the best version of ourselves and show the world what can we do, so we can inspire others.