Every month we ask one individual in our network a few questions about their way into tech, their motivation and their lessons learned.
So, let’s start from the beginning. Tell us about where you’re from?
I’m from Spain. I studied a Bachelor in Computer Science in my home city and after few years working in Madrid as a consultant I decided to try my luck abroad. Nine years ago I moved to Switzerland and since then I live and work in Bern.
What valuable advice did you get from your parents?
Many, but probably the most important was:
How did you become interested in tech?
I must say I’ve been always interested in solving problems and creating things. After the secondary school I wanted to study something related to math. Since in the university of my home city there was a program in Computer Science I decided to give it a try. After the first year I discovered the flexibility and potential that technology has, its wide area of application and how much it can help us to improve our daily life. These reasons hooked me up and since then I developed my professional career as a software engineer in different fields for example finance and the public sector.
What aspects of your work are you proudest of?
I really like the idea of contributing to innovative solutions that make people’s lives easier. Apart from that I’m definitely proud of having successfully worked in multicultural teams involved in fascinating projects.
What drives you in your work?
Drive comes first from the project itself, mainly from its business and its implemented technology. A second driver is the team I’m working with. Teamwork is crucial and makes me grow both professional and personally.
What have been some of the toughest challenges of working in tech?
Probably to work in a male dominated industry. The lack of diversity in tech is a fact. Only in few projects I wasn’t the only woman involved but in all of them women were always a minority. That can make you feel insecure and sometimes intimidated, specially when you don’t have enough support from your work colleagues, bosses or your company’s culture. Even though my experience during the last ten years has been really positive, I do think we still have a long way to go.
What advice would you give to other women in tech?
Get updated and don’t get scared of reinventing yourself. Trust your strengths and do not underestimate your knowledge and experience. Companies need our perspective and opinion. And last but not least, build a solid professional network.
Sombra is working as a Software Engineer at Puzzle ITC. She lives in Berne with her husband and her 2 year old son. Sombra is one of the founding partner and a board member of the newly established We Shape Tech chapter in Berne.