Developers Nicole Wikenheiser (back) and Katja Kirchhofer (front) at work at birkle IT
March 8th marks the International Women’s Day – the celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women while raising awareness for women’s equal rights.
Let us celebrate how instrumental and leading women have been in the development of the technology industry! Despite the constant barrage of obstacles, female scientists and mathematicians have persisted in order to have their work recognized and widely used. As a result, many of the pioneers of early computer programming were women.
Ada Lovelace and Grandma COBOL as female pioneers in computer programming
The first computer program is said to have been designed by the British mathematician Ada Lovelace. In the midst of the 19th century she thought up a method by which a calculating machine could evaluate a certain sequence of numbers and therefore is considered by many to be the very first programmer.
Grace Hopper developed the first compiler (A-0) in 1952, a software that converts programming commands into machine language code. She did essential preliminary work for the development of the COBOL programming language with the FLOW-MATIC programming language and the associated compiler. This is where her nickname Grandma COBOL originated.
Women in tech industry today
Until today it is still a long way to go to reach gender equality in the male dominated tech industry. Yet, Information Technology should be all about forward thinking and reaching new heights, where injustice and inequality should have no room, but where women should feel supported and valued.
Empowerment of the female techies at birkle IT
For our woman developers at birkle IT, working in software development gives them a lot of opportunities to become a tech expert not only about databases and programming, but also as a Project Manager or a Tester. Teamwork with colleagues from different departments is aiming to build a space of inclusion, empowerment and interaction to grow all together and learn from each other. We incorporate and live by our slogan: #thisisyourtime TO BE EXACTLY WHO YOU ARE.
Nicole Wikenheiser (in the back), for instance, has been working as Lead Frontend Developer for more than a year at birkle IT. In her current project she implements the frontend for a logistics client. This also includes decisions regarding the frontend architecture and guaranteeing a high code quality. She discovered her passion for computer technology early: “I like to hands-on solve
things. Software development combines many fascinating aspects. As technology is ever evolving there are always new things to do”, Nicole states. She always feels welcome and inspired by her colleagues at birkle IT. For women in tech industry in general, though, she wishes that in future women shouldn’t be facing obstacles or prejudices.
Katja Kirchhofer (in the front) is a Junior Software Developer at birkle IT. She developed a mobile app that is efficient, user-friendly, reliable and meets the client’s needs. She was responsible for planning and implementing the app’s business logic as a mobile application. Additionally, she implemented state management and performed API requests and tests to ensure the app’s functionality. “I feel fortunate to be part of a company that is working on meaningful projects, where I can take responsibility and be challenged, while receiving support and developing my skills”, she states when being asked what she appreciates most working at birkle IT. “I also totally relate to birkle’s slogan, because it empowers me to embrace my unique qualities and pursue my passions without fear of judgement or rejection”, she comments.
In Vilnius, our Lithuanian nearshoring site, Aiste Petkeviciene works as a Senior IT Business Analyst. In her daily business she analyzes business requirements and provides them to developers in an IT language. If she could, she would debunk myths surrounding women in tech, since she is convinced that men and women are equally important. If she could pick one superpower she would decide for invulnerability, being invulnerable from prejudice and harm.
Anne-Mai Lõpp also works as a Business Analyst, but from birkle’s Tallinn office. The Estonian colleague is fascinated about IT: “The job never ends. The good thing is there will be always work for you. If you decide to go after IT, there are many fields you can chose from. IT is not only about databases and programming, but you can also be Project Manager or a Tester – there are lot of opportunities for women in IT.”
So, let us celebrate on how instrumental and leading women have been and are in the development of the technology industry – Happy International Women’s Day!