Joining EPAM was the best decision I’ve ever made. I remember how excited I was to join, and I’ve been excited to go to work every day since. EPAMers are kind, proactive and always willing to share knowledge. I quickly became part of an algorithm club, even when I was a recruiter, and was warmly welcomed. The algorithm club helped me enhance my programming skills, so I began to join initiatives like EPAM’s eKids and Women Who Code. I even wrote a computer science book for children, in which I designed algorithm activities so kids could learn how computers think.
I was excelling in my career as a recruiter, but wanted to further explore my passion for engineering, so I decided to make the change. I was scared at first; engineering is mostly a male-dominated field and I spent most of my career working alongside women. It was very intimidating, but that didn’t stop me. What I learned was that it’s important to not only follow your dreams, but to confront your fears, be brave and challenge yourself.
So, I raised my hand and told a technical director at EPAM that I was open to exploring a technology career. He helped me decide which career path to choose and gave me the support I needed during the process. I was even set up with a mentorship program! Making the change, I received supportive messages inspiring me to keep going, but the truth was that changing my path from an administrative role to an engineering role was full of challenges.
I made mistakes, questioned my ability and became frustrated because I couldn´t find solutions to problems, but I never considered quitting, even when I felt defeated. I changed my way of thinking and made lists of my common errors so I could avoid them. I took my time and asked as many questions as I could. I found ways to grow and not to give up. The most important things I’ve learned are:
- Embrace failure – you’ll end up learning many lessons
- Always try to find different solutions to a problem
- If you follow scrum, do not sub estimate story ranking
- Always challenge yourself
During this journey, which is far from over, I’ve learned that the ‘easy’ way is not for me. I want to continuously learn, challenge myself and keep fighting, even if the path is complicated. At the end of it, I know I’ll still be shining, because this is my story. If you’re curious about becoming an engineer, my advice is to go for it and write your story! You’ll be astounded at what you can accomplish.