Each month at WonderCoders, we meet a woman in IT, get some tips from her and find out more about her superpower.
Hi Eva! Tell us about what you do and who you are.
I came to Denmark to study at KEA from Hungary, from the University of Debrecen, in 2015. First, I was just an exchange student, but then I decided to finish my studies here. Since that I have been studying Computer Science, Software Development and Data Science, I graduated finally in the summer of 2017. I was more than happy to start my first full time position – right after finishing my studies – at Laerdal as a Software Developer and Data Analyst. Laerdal is a company, which provides online or classroom trainings for doctors and nurses. These trainings involve different scenarios from first aid to all kind of operations. Laerdal also produces numerous tools that learners can use to get prepared for a real-life situation, for example Resusci Annie, which is a manikin used for training CPR. The goal is to save 500.000 more lives each year by 2020. Our analyst team makes sure that both the learners and the hospital managers get the best feedback of their progresses within these trainings.
In my free time I manage my startup company with the help of my awesome board members, we are working on different projects, providing development solutions and consulting for companies and individuals.
I also work with different technologies to improve my knowledge, such as developing deep learning algorithms, or using Microsoft services, for example, Azure Machine Learning, Azure Cognitive Services, App Services, App Insights and Analytics. Additionally, I have the chance to dive deeper in the development of HoloLens applications.
How long have you been in tech?
Does gaming count? 🙂
The first line of code I wrote in the secondary school, when I was 14. We learned Visual Basic and C in a special class, and I passed as high graduate in informatics with the best grade when I was 17. I guess this was the achievement that gave the inspiration to choose this way!
How did you get into tech?
Well, it was all because of love! 🙂
There was this guy who I thought is the coolest person in the world, a gamer, interested in tech, listened to the same music as me and his personality was interesting as well. He went to this special class, because he wanted to become a developer, and given that I felt like I had to be around him all the time, I attended these classes as well.
In the end, we became only friends with the guy, he is now an awesome digital artist, and I continued with my new love, with coding. 🙂
You have studied IT at college. What is your advice to students looking for an education within IT?
The only and most important thing is to choose a path which you would love to walk on! Be open for new opportunities, never afraid of starting a new life, because it often happens that you must make changes on the fly. For example, I started my studies as an engineer in Hungary, but I realized that it is not my end goal, so I turned my head to another way, and switched to do more programming instead of digital technology and electronics, I even chose another country.
What are your daily activities?
I work like 8 hours a day at Laerdal, then I continue working from home on my startup, or just play with different technologies. I write a lot of code, but I do not work on the same thing the whole day, because that would be a little intense. I often do some HoloLens app development, deep learning algorithms, or learning about trending services and tools of Microsoft.
When I am not coding I sing a lot, I do voice training continuously, and visit karaoke parties occasionally. I often meet friends, visit events, concerts, hold speeches, I literally always find something to do! 🙂
How has your journey in tech been?
Like a fairy tale, I feel like being Cinderella in this story…
Being a woman in tech is not always a nightmare, I hope, for me though it was. I had to face a lot of challenges during my studies, many times I felt like I should give up all my dreams. I will always be thankful to one of my mentors, who took me to an event where I had the chance to write my first Windows 8 application, which was literally a life changing experience.
It turned out that my idea was pretty good, and the organizers were coming from Microsoft Hungary. I got an invitation for an interview to become a Microsoft Student Partner, and I managed to join the team. Suddenly everything became totally different, I became a speaker and a student evangelist in the field of cloud development, specifically Microsoft Azure. Before, I was pretending that I just want to get through on the school as soon as possible, but when I started to hold speeches and events at my own university, I became finally confident about my knowledge, and it was visible on my activities and grades (finally got some… details later). I also got certified by Microsoft as an Azure MCP, and then in 2015 I was the best student evangelist in Hungary, so I could travel to Redmond for a week to the Microsoft Headquarter. This was the biggest achievement in my life, I think.
When I came to Denmark I continued my career at Microsoft as a student partner, started my own brand and participated numerous events as a host or as a speaker… or both! I was the best Microsoft Student Partner in Denmark in 2016, but obviously I had to let a Danish guy attend that year’s trip to Redmond.
At the graduation ceremony at KEA, when I finished both the Computer Science and the Software Development programs, the manager told a story about me while handing over my diploma: “There was this girl, who came to my office with a study plan, saying that she wanted to finish her studies in half time. I approved the plans, and she did it! This was the first time in KEA’s history, that someone finished these programs in half time!”
Today, I work at an awesome company, with the best colleagues in the world, live in the most beautiful area of Copenhagen, reach my goals one by one, and do things that make me happy!
Could you share some of the challenges you’ve faced as a woman in tech?
The only and biggest challenge I faced was at the University of Debrecen. I was studying as an engineer, and some of my teachers did not provide me the same opportunities as for the guys, because they said that a girl should not study at this program. I sometimes was not allowed to attend classes, exams, especially when I started my exchange semester in Copenhagen.
Once the management of the Hungarian university allowed me to take another study plan, which was very flexible in relation to attending classes and exams, so I could study abroad, and participate exams when it fits me. But there were some teachers who did not want to support me in my plans, one of them expected me to go home every time for exams, but I had no word in setting the appointments. For me it was not an option to fly home for an exam, and then back for my exams in Denmark, then home again…
How did you overcome them?
I was relying on my family, my friends, my mentors. I was trying to break the ice by attending events and showing my knowledge in different technologies as a speaker. I met a lot of people who helped me to set my goals, and to achieve them. I am not sure if I could make this through by myself.
Thank you for all the support again!
What’s your aspiration in your tech journey?
I always wanted to be something like an idol, either a singer, a famous mathematician or a doctor who works with children. I wanted to motivate people and support them with everything I could!
I was not really a star singer, I could not learn how to say the organ’s name in Latin language, but I was good in mathematics, so I deepened my knowledge in programming and mathematics and in the last few years I have been working in the field of data science and software development, and I was also speaking about these at different events. Every time I share a blog post, or hold a speech, I feel like that the people who I reach trust me, and so I put maximum effort into everything I do.
The most inspiring moment in my career was when I held an Hour of Code event in a primary school for 11-12 years old children. They were listening to me like they were amazed of how simple it is to write a game with only a few lines of code. They were working on their own games, using the tools and knowledge they just heard about a few minutes ago from me. I have never felt so happy before to see these children enjoying coding!! Few days later, on all social media platforms I got messages and posts from parents and teachers saying thank you for the event!
I think these are the moments I was working for!
Please share with our readers why they should get a career in tech!
Technology is the future. It is all around you already at home, in the office, in your car, you use smart devices and services for basically everything. When you look at your grandparents and yourself, you can see how much more you rely on these devices. In the future we can expect smarter and faster services all around ourselves, would not it be cool to be the one who makes the world changing improvements?
Any tips or advice for them?
Remember to improve your knowledge from day to day, be up to date with technology, as our lectures are in the daily news. The internet is full of great courses in every fields of IT, which you should use to deepen your knowledge in your free time, so when it comes to the time of job search, you have several competencies to show!
You do not have to be a lone ranger, find someone who can help you throughout your career. I had mentors who helped me with my studies and decisions since I have been at the Hungarian university. Now I also mentor students and individuals, to help them turn their dreams into goals and support these people when they fight for their goals.
Could you give us some ideas on how we can overcome the diversity gap in tech?
We should find a way to reach more people via social media or at events and encourage them to work in the tech industry. As an owner of a startup company, I would make sure that gender and ethnicity discrimination is not present in any ways at job interviews and in the office.
Do you currently practice computer programming and what is your preferred programming language?
What are your visions for IT in the future and what are your greatest concerns?
A lot of people look at the dark side of the technological improvements, and it will never change. It will always be difficult to make them believe that we work our butt of to make life easier for everyone, for them as well.
When we begin to use Artificial Intelligence for better performing workflows, some people start worrying about their jobs, or the killer robots that will chase the population. This world will always need good engineers, IT wizards and developers to keep these AI systems up and running, and these changes would allow us to use our creativity instead of performing the same tasks all the time.
Lot of companies are using Augmented, Mixed and Virtual Reality for their projects. For example, there is a VR project which provides the user the opportunity to try how does migraine feel. There are numerous AR projects which allows us to learn in a more interactive and more exciting way. Mixed reality projects are often used by designers for example, to plan new look for cars or motorbikes, or for furnishing new apartments. The opportunities I mentioned here are only a small part of what we could have in the future, and I believe these technological improvements will be used at more and more places.
Do you know a woman in tech? Can you nominate our next WonderCoder** for our next feature?