She is Jovita Kazemekaityte and she is a Java developer from Lithuania who lives in Bulgaria. She used to work with telecommunication projects and now with commerce. For the last couple of years she is working with Java programming language, but she has experience in C#, some basics in C++, Python, Typescript and more.
She is passionate about traveling and social activities that works towards positive changes in life. Currently she is working in Bulgaria at Novarto. Jovita shares her experience about the tech environment for women.
Can you explain the tech environment where you are working on?
Tech environment is more than awesome no matter the country. Offices are design to make everyone feel like home. Work places have free zones with games and relaxing zones with comfortable couches. In each room you can smell nice coffee, we are addicts. No coffee – no work. Differently than in my previous job in Lithuania we have home office opportunity and time from time exciting team buildings where you can see different side of co-workers. Talking about colleagues, they become my family here. They are protective, generous, always brings sweets for share, organize trips and the best part that I am not the only female developer here! In Lithuania I was the only female developer at the company and the communication between coworkers was poor. We northern people are not huge fans of socializing.
So, what are the differences around the women environment here in Bulgaria and the women environment in Europe?
What I can see is that in Bulgaria tech world is more open and already used to women in tech taking in compare other Europe countries. Here women already feel more comfortable while considering developing their career in tech, they have more courage than Lithuanians for sure. My personal experience consist of Lithuania and Bulgaria, but I have meet some wonderful women from other parts of Europe. From their stories I create an image that women in tech are rare and named as unicorns. It is sweet to be called after such a nice fictional creation, but let face the truth, till 70’s women dominated tech, so for sure we cannot be called as unicorns just maybe be temporary listed in IUCN Red List. But this do not fit fully Bulgaria. According to Eurostat data thirty-three percent of ICT students and twenty-seven of ICT specialist are females, that puts Bulgaria in a very top of Europe statistics. Here in Bulgaria you have more women in tech supporting organizations like Coding Girls, Rails Girls, Women Who Code, Women TechMakers, BCWT and who knows how many I have not heard about yet. I was surprised not just of the number of organizations, but also what great job they do. While working for a few or even more years, they are already seen out of Bulgaria. The activities that are organized involve big global companies, that help organizing workshops supported by their developers, talks that include latest technologies, meetups and many more. Concentration is paid on quality here. Also I am very proud of Bulgarian men that are supportive and encouraging, they are great example for other Europeans. All process of empowering women in tech is easiest when both sides are involved and aware.
Do you agree that every women entrepreneur can express herself? Can you describe the problems nowadays? Is it the career development?
I believe that everyone can express themselves, just for some people it can be more difficult, depending from personality and ideas. Talking about women entrepreneurs, I think they have even bigger chance to succeed with their business. What I mean is that women spend a lot of time in taking care of many daily bases activities. Due to it we have insights about possible improvements that let us to come up with successful ideas. Also we are like lion mother, we do not give up with our baby that in this case is business. So we are devoted and ready to risk. And talking about nowadays problems that can be still faced while trying to be a woman entrepreneur is that for the same personal qualities women and men are treated differently. There are made many studies in this topic. When people imagine a man that is talkable, they think he is social and competent, when he is assertive, that shows he is strong. Talking about woman that is talkable, people think she is incompetent, when she is assertive, she looks aggressive. But at the end no matter you succeed or not, I believe that the experience gained through this process is priceless and for sure can be called as career development.
How do you motivate young girls into technology? Do you have any specific methods?
Any encouragement towards girls in tech matters. It can be the simplest nice word, support while facing obstacles, congratulation for even small achievement. Personally, I started to encourage myself and believe that I can be part of tech world. When I got the right attitude towards me I started sharing it with my girl friends at university. When I got experience in coding, I started sharing it. Then I got involved in Women Go Tech organization to get more knowledge about Tech world, that from my perspective looked scary. And Tech world looks scary for majority of women. To get a first job is hard step, because we have this constant feeling of being not good enough. So basically what I am doing is sharing my story, my knowledge, trying to help girls to believe in themselves, because the biggest obstacle is our own fear. Also here in Bulgaria I take part in Coding Girls Sofia activities. We are organizing coding workshops, tech talks, meetups that are free of charge.
What is your opinion about the Bulgarian (male) developer?
Bulgarian male developers are the best. They are protective, smart, supporting and have great sense of humor. In Lithuania developers do joke too, but very often their jokes become insulting. Also, here developers takes care of their nutrition and physical condition while being one hundred percent addicted to sweets. As a woman I have much less understanding about calories and diet than they do.
Which one is your tech guru?
All my life it is one of the most difficult question to receive. I am not able to mark out that one person who inspires me the most, who is my role model or teacher. I am inspired by different people that make or already made changes in tech world. I am super impressed by Grace Hooper who made a huge step forward in technology when she invented first compiler. She was the person who makes these days girls to believe that they can be part of tech world and can create something great too. I am a dreamer, due to it Elon Musk is for sure the person to be pointed out. He is the guy with craziest dreams and with a huge courage in making his dreams come true. Dreams and wishes drives technology world to improve every day. Alan Turing – man who cracked Enigma with his team and saved many people’s lives. They did what was believed to be impossible and with this example I am sure that I want to be part of tech world that surprises humanity every day.
How do you see the future of girls in technology? What would happen if there was a change of your actions?
I am sure that the tech future is going to include more girls and be diverse full of inspiring personalities and we will have more Graces Hoopers and Adas Lovelaces. People more and more are becoming aware of being equal and being equal in the same terms, that for a woman will be no need to be better to be treated same as man. I am positive about the future of girls in technology, because actions are already taken. All around the world are set up many women in tech supporting organizations, females are sharing their own stories that others could learn from their mistakes and success, be inspired by them, by the ways how they overwhelmed obstacles. It is the way how tech world is looking less and less scary. I think any encouragement has a value and it is enough for each of us to share some good vibe with whom it is needed and we will have great women role models all around the world. Sharing is caring.