For this guest post for International Women's Day, Schibsted Chief Communications Officer John Einar Sandvand and his staff interviewed female employees about their jobs.
With 165 employees, Schibsted Tech Polska in Krakow and Gdansk helps Scandinavian media houses build world-class digital products. But the company faces a familiar challenge in the IT industry: how to attract female software engineers. Currently only 8.6 percent of the software engineers in the company are women.
Company officials decided that is not enough, and is now initiating its own #womenintechnow campaign, to attract more female candidates for its technical positions.
Schibsted Media Group has sponsored several similar campaigns, believing better diversity is good for business. For instance, it is one of the main sponsors of the “Women in Tech Stockholm” conference on 8 March, together with Google, Spotify and others.
To kickstart the initiative in Poland and celebrate the International Women's Day, 20 Schibsted women were asked why they love the world of software engineering.
Here are their answers:
Why I love IT: What drives me in life is curiosity and making a difference. Both are well satisfied in the constantly evolving world of Information Technology.
What I do: I work with an amazing team of people making the Ads Booking Application ROSE.
Why I love IT: Because it never stops challenging me! There are always new ideas to brainstorm, new technologies to learn, and new ways to think. There are always product ideas to form, bugs to locate and fix, and applications to test. And there are always room for improvement on how to handle all this.
What I do: I work as a Technical Product Manager in Schibsted Norway Tech (SNT), and I am also a part of the SNT Support Team. I am lucky to work together with a great mix of developers, product owners and journalists, and to see creative ideas become useful products online, over and over again.
Why I love IT: It’s very exciting to work next to developers, testers, UX Designers! For me it is an opportunity to learn about they work and actually see how “all this magic” happens when it comes to building a product. This area brings a lot of challenges also for recruiters as we need to understand and be up to date with new technologies.
What I do: In Schibsted I work in the HR Department in Kraków. Apart from recruitment, I’m also responsible for some PR and Employer Branding activities.
Why I love IT: I have always loved puzzles, but it wasn’t before I started university that I learned that coding gave me the opportunity to solve puzzles all the time. The love for coding has stayed with me ever since, but I have also learned to love other aspects of working in tech. There are always new things to learn! I also enjoy working with great teams to find good functional solutions for our user’s everyday problems, experimenting and figuring out how we can use technology to solve them.
What I do: I work as a Space Lead for the Customer Area in FINN.no, the biggest classified site in Norway. Some of the key areas we work on are User Profiles, Company Profiles, Messaging, Person to Person(P2P) Payment, Fraud-protection, Notifications, Ratings and helping our customers to both look and feel safe.
Why I love IT: Many people think that work in IT is boring, and that we just sit in front of the monitors and write some mysterious code. But in fact every project creates new challenges for us. We solve problems and learn new things all the time. And every day we work on different issues. I love changes and challenges! I love working in IT!
What I do: I am a front-end developer in Schibsted Tech Polska. In our team I am responsible for the visual side of our projects.
Linn Hege Molberg Bade
Why I love IT: I love working in IT because it never stops being fun and interesting! It also challenges you both intellectually and personally. It might not seem like it to someone on the outside, but it is a profession that actually requires lots of creativity.
What I do: I work as a software engineer in Team Identity. I am a fullstack developer, with a preference on the backend. I started out as a designer, but found myself venturing further and further into the depth of applications. I love working with Node.js, databases and the cloud infrastructure, finding the right technical solution to the challenge at hand.
Why I love IT: I love how dynamic IT is! It is constantly evolving and is hard to predict what will happen in the future. That gives lots of opportunities to learn new things all the time. You never know what will you do in the next years. I also love how IT helps make our life easier and gives me a chance of being part of this, working on solutions which have a great impact on people´s everyday life. And I love IT because it requires high creativity and experimenting with different ideas. It is an area where there is always a place for innovations.
What I do: I work as an Engineer in the Schibsted Product and Technology Personalisation team in Krakow. We build solutions to recommend articles to readers of different newspapers and in that way make it easier to find the right content you are looking for. I can work with Big Data technologies, familiarise myself with machine learning and be a part of a diverse team with not only developers, but also data scientists, learning from each other a lot.
Why I love IT: Imagine going to work every day with interesting new technical and logical issues to solve! The combination of structuring data, integrating data from multiple sources and ensuring quality and consistency are challenging tasks. It is exciting to pursue high performance and make the solutions generic and with as little technical debt as possible. The fact that what we make is used by a large part of Norway´s population adds an extra aspect to the joy!
What I do: The main tasks as a Data Warehouse Developer are to analyze and model data for querying and reporting. Our work is the basis for analysis, insights, visualizations and reports for product owners, sales leaders and the management. In addition we spend much time on extracting, loading and transforming to fill the data warehouse structures. This includes tasks as database schema and database programming, Linux shell scripting, ETL processing, integrating data sources and setting up jobs for daily execution.
Why I love IT: IT makes it possible to model real processes and improve or repeat them in more efficient way, for example the processes of flight tickets reservations or in silico simulations of potential medicines. It can make our life easier and help us analyze available data deeper, faster and more reliable.
What I do: I am a new member of Schibsted Tech Polska´s consultancy team Seals. Last month I worked as a PHP developer with DevOps responsibilities on a system that collects huge amount of data for further analysis. Currently I develop an entertainment website with Java backend. There is no time to be bored ;-)
Why I love IT: I was meant to work in tech! As a child I just had to pick things apart, have a look inside and try to figure out how it all worked! So I got an education as an electronics service technician. But I found that screw drivers and soldering iron wasn´t that fun.
What I do: I currently work as a Java developer in Schibsted Norway Tech's Lesermarked team in Oslo. We shape the platform of CRM and campaign support according to the users´ need and our visions.
Why I love IT: Have you ever seen The Never Ending Story? For me IT is like the moment of Bastian’s and Falcor’s flight! IT has always excited me! It guarantees that I discover and learn new stuff, and the great thing is that I can’t see the end!
What I do: I’m a data wizard. In a nutshell I take data and transform it (here’s the magic!) into useful information. The information is presented in dazzling reports that help making decisions about enterprise strategy.
Why I love IT: Being a developer is so rewarding! You have the ability to go from concept to product with a large amount of freedom and quicker than in other industries. The fast pace that characterizes software engineering makes it so exciting and challenging!
What I do: I am a frontend engineer in Schibsted Media Platform in Oslo, creating tools for the news editors and journalists. Every day I coordinate and interact with backend developers, UX designers, product managers and other great colleagues to solve new problems and deliver the best experience for our users. I find that Schibsted has a special team culture excelling at transparency, trust and curiosity. It is a unique experience to work with so many talented people!
Why I love IT: Because working in IT means constant challenges. And I really mean it! It requires flexibility, openness for change as well as behaviors and actions that are in line with the newest trends and recent managing concepts. The developers community is a demanding group of very ambitious and constantly developing people. From an HR perspective this requires original and unique ways of cooperation, but also brings a lot of joy and makes our job even more exciting.
What I do: As Director of Organizational Development I try to make sure that all employees have good development opportunities, both in technical and soft skills. I want to let people enlarge their knowledge and learn something completely new. Finally it is my responsibility to ensure that they are properly and fairly recognized for their efforts. I also focus on actions that ensure that our people enjoy working in Schibsted Tech Polska and feel comfortable in their work place.
Why I love IT: I have always been enthusiastic and curious about how things work – and have loved taking on challenges and solving problems. Programming satisfies my curiosity and fuels my willingness to help people through software development. Nothing makes me happier in the morning than seeing people reading news on our sites on the metro!
Why I love IT: World class IT products are usually the result of collaboration between great engineers and designers. Our everyday conscious decisions are based on users needs, analysis and usability testing. What I love the most is the fact that the IT industry seems to understand the benefits coming from user-friendly products.
What I do: I work as a UX designer, which means that I mainly deliver mock-ups and interactive prototypes. I also suggest functional solutions for our products, making sure that all of the pixels fall into the right spot. In Schibsted I work side by side with developers, which gives me a great opportunity to get a deeper insight into technology improvements.
Why I love IT: I am a creator and an entrepreneur. I get a kick out of creating new insights that change the way we do business, innovating with our products and interacting with our customers. I am also a problem solver and I am happiest when I find solutions to technical and mathematical challenges. I love working in tech because I get to use my skill set, I develop as an individual and I am surrounded by colleagues that inspires me every day.
What I do: Data Scientist is my profession. VG is my company. Advanced Analytics is my expertise. Data Science is my passion. R, MySQL, Hadoop and Scala are my tools.
Why I love IT: It is an area where there is no time to get bored! The technologies and frameworks are changing so fast that you have to learn and improve your skills constantly. The ecosystem challenges me every day to try out new things, to test and contribute to existing libraries, to learn to use them not by reading documentation (which is scarce), but by reading the tests and the actual code. I find it exciting and it helps me improve my adaptability to changing circumstances, not only at work!
What I do: In the Lesermarked team we’re prototyping applications for Scandinavian media houses. The beauty of this kind of work is that there is little to no resistance in terms of trying out new technologies and learning new languages. I’ve started with the now two most used technologies, node.js and swift, from scratch upon joining the team. It is great fun to work with the incredibly smart and talented people on my team, learn from them and learn together as we go along, to deliver carefully designed, awesome applications.
Why I love IT: It all started because I loved mathematics at school! I am curious, practical, logical and solution oriented, so I was searching for a field which is challenging in these areas. Technology is all of the above and so much more. IT and technology has gone through a revolution since then. There are new opportunities, challenges and stuff to learn every day. Also: Most people don’t realize how creative IT can be!
What I do: I work as IT director in Schibsted Norway, with responsibilities for IT operations, application support, sourcing and integration. It includes IT strategy, roadmaps, finance and people management. This is very exciting as I get to use all of myself in different settings. Communication and management has become even more important as manager than before, but it has always been important related to customer management. Still it is vital to keep up with technology in order to be able to understand and take the right decisions. It is rewarding to interact with such a variety of different peoples and skills within this organization.
Why I love IT: This sector is still dominated by men. For me that is part of what makes it a fun challenge to coordinate our office in Gdansk. I get to use my Master´s degree in HR in a good way. There are many opportunities in IT. And I get to work with many interesting and smart people.
What I do: I work as coordinator for our office in Gdansk. This includes a lot of different tasks, including taking part in the recruitments. Working with so many programmers have inspired me to start learning coding myself. I am now following courses in front-end programming on my spare time.
Why I love IT: I am curious and creative, I like variation and problem solving, and I love being part of creating magic for the future. IT is always on the move, unpredictable and challenging, but also fun, informative and inspiring. It's never ending, and I love it!
What I do: I work as interaction designer in the Norwegian media house VG together with a bunch of awesome developers and product managers. I also work closely with our team in Schibsted Tech Polska in Krakow. Every day is different. One day I am designing a logo, the next day I am coding a prototype. And everything in between.
About Schibsted Tech Polska
- Programming hub in Krakow and Gdansk with about 165 employees, almost all software engineers.
- Works together with 18 partners in Norway and Sweden, most of them part of Schibsted Media Group.
- All of Schibsted´s media houses in Scandinavia today have their own software development teams in Schibsted Tech Polska. This includes leading media houses like VG and Aftenposten in Norway and Aftonbladet and Svenska Dagbladet in Sweden.
More at http://www.schibsted.pl/.