Digital SHEro Bianka – with self-confidence and passion for software development

Cosima Sutmar

March 26, 2024

Digitalheldin Bianka, valantic

“If you trust you can, you’re already halfway there.”

Our digital hero Bianka explains how she has turned her passion for tinkering and solving puzzles into a profession and now works as a developer. She reports on her move from Croatia to Germany, and on her experiences as a woman in the very male-dominated environment of software development. Your advice to all women who want to venture into IT: “If you trust you can, you’re already halfway there.”

Hello Bianka, it’s nice that you’re with us today. Before we start, do you want to introduce yourself to our readers?

My name is Bianka, I’m 31 years old and I have been working at valantic as a developer and consultant for two years. I’m originally from Croatia, where I worked as a developer for six years before joining valantic. Two years ago, I moved to Bad Nauheim with my boyfriend, now my husband.

How did you make your way into IT?

It was clear to me early on that I wanted to work in the IT industry. My interest in computers was already aroused when I was in school. I fit the stereotype of the introverted programmer and then also studied computer science. I gained my first practical experience in programming at a workshop on C# programming, which my future employer organized for students. After my studies, I was hired there as one of three female students.

How did you get into consulting and how did your career develop?

My first company was a consulting company that provided offshore services to a US company. After three years, I moved to a company in Croatia where I supervised internal development projects. The main difference between internal development and consulting is that internal development often involves working longer on the same projects, so there is less diversity of technologies. After another three years, I longed for change and looked for a company in Germany that offers interesting customers and projects. That’s how I found valantic.

You’ve already mentioned what you like about consulting. What motivates you most in your daily work?

The variety and the opportunity to learn new things constantly. Thanks to the varied projects, I can always try out new technologies and expand my horizons, be it in the front-end or in the cloud. The variety of projects also allows me to continue to develop.
What characteristics do you think are important for a successful programmer?
An important characteristic is the urge to solve problems, as this is a large part of our work. Many programmers like to work on puzzles, because there is a certain similarity to problem-solving in programming. In addition, curiosity and a willingness to learn are of great importance, as technology is constantly evolving.

The cliché in software development is that the profession is dominated by men. Have you noticed this in your working environment?

Yes, women are often placed in design or front-end positions in the programming world. Because of stereotypes, women are more likely to be associated with aesthetics and design. There’s a belief that women have an eye for aesthetics, while men are more likely to be responsible for the technical aspects. In fact, I have often heard men say that they think they are unsuitable for front-end tasks. There are clear guidelines and best practices for good UI design that are not tied to gender.
There were moments when I had to make it clear that I would rather work on the back end and not just limit myself to front-end tasks. It’s important to know and express your preferences. The back end is better for me because there are clear rules and structures. There are rules in the front end, but often certain aspects are subjective and depend on the customer’s preferences.

You have gained experience in both the in-house and consulting environments. Are greater flexibility and adaptability required in consulting?

Absolutely. Consulting often involves working with changing teams and customers. While on an in-house team you are usually working with the same people and you get to know how they work, in consulting, you constantly have to cope with new customers and project teams. Consulting teaches you how to communicate effectively and adapt to your customers’ needs.

What’s the gender distribution on your team and how is the collaboration?

My team is about one-third women, which I think is a good balance. In my former company, for example, I had 24 male colleagues. There were women at the company, but they were more likely to be in the support field than to be developers.

Does the gender distribution on your team affect your work?

I didn’t notice any significant difference between working with women and men. However, the distribution of tasks may look different on a team with more women. I do the work that I enjoy, regardless of my colleagues’ gender.

What do you do to relax in your free time?

I have several hobbies that distract me from work. I like to play Dungeons & Dragons with my husband and friends online. I also love board games and video games, as well as reading fantasy and science fiction books. For four months now, my dog, a Boston Terrier, has been a big part of my free time – for this, the opportunity to work from my home office is very helpful.

What would you advise women looking for a career in the IT industry?

I would advise them not to be too self-critical. We often hold ourselves back because we don’t think we meet all the requirements. Women often doubt their abilities and question themselves. But it’s important to recognize that you don’t need to be perfect to succeed. You have to have the courage to face challenges and trust yourself.

What is your slogan as a digital SHEro?

“If you trust you can, you’re already halfway there.” For me, this motto means that self-confidence and faith in one’s own abilities are crucial. Often the biggest hurdle is to convince yourself, and once you have done that, it’s clear sailing to success.

Thank you very much for the insights and the inspiring conversation, Bianka!

Photo of a happy valantic CX employee participating in a customer experience workshop.

Are you looking for a new challenge?

Then take a look at our careers page!

To our careers page To our careers page

Don't miss a thing.
Subscribe to our latest blog articles.