International Women in Engineering Day 2020

This June 23-d we mark the International Women in Engineering day, and this year we wanted to celebrate it by bringing you the stories of some of the women working as engineers across Wix Engineering R&D sites around the globe.

From ways to engage more young women to pursue careers in engineering to sharing best career advice and inspiration - Bringing the voices of our women-engineers with short and insightful interviews with Adi Marantz, Anastasia Chepka, Brygida Pliška, Gal Sharir and Maria Borovyk.

Adi Marantz, Team Lead, Be'er-Sheva

How did you first get interested in technology and engineering?

I always wanted to get the most out of my computer, and programming was something I enjoyed exploring from a young age.

I studied computer science in high school and after that I joined the army as a programmer. About a year after I was discharged from the army I started my degree in computer science and joined Wix as a student.

What do you do at Wix?

I'm a team leader in the CRM group, we are a team of 7 people including myself. I started at Wix as a student 3 years ago, that was also in the CRM group, and I've been managing my team for about a year now.

How do you think we can engage more young women to pursue careers in engineering? What needs to be done?

Expose girls to this world from a younger age, most of them don't know what it actually means to be a programmer and they can't see themselves as one because it's not so common to see a programmer who is a woman on movies and TV shows.

What inspires you in your work?

I really like to see that our work actually affects users and helps them to develop their business. Going over user's sites and seeing how they are using our product is my favorite part. It gives me the drive to go the extra mile for them.

What’s the best advice you have received during your career?

You don't need to be the smartest person in the room in order to express your opinion, no one is going to think less of you if you make a mistake. When I was first offered the opportunity to be a team leader this was one of my biggest fears. After some time you realise that no one is perfect, and you can always learn what you don't know.

Anastasia Chepka, Front-End Engineer, Kyiv

How did you first get interested in technology and engineering?

The first time was when I began studying programming at school in the 9th grade. I had an extremely cool teacher who found many ways to challenge us with programming tasks. That's probably how I got interested for the first time but at that moment mathematics was still my career choice.

What do you do at Wix?

I'm front-end engineer in the best team ever and we build the Content Manager.

How do you think we can engage more young women to pursue careers in engineering? What needs to be done?

There is much research conducted all over the world to try to answer that question. It's a complex systematic problem and as with any problem we need to start with recognizing it, then identifying the causes and finally eliminating them.

Please share your top 3 ways to improve yourself as an engineer (what to read, what to learn, who to follow)

I read almost everything that Axel Rauschmayer (@rauschma) and Eric Elliott (@_ericelliott) write. Also I like reading Addy Osmani (@addyosmani) when it comes to performance and related stuff. As for online workshops, my favorite are the ones by Kyle Simpson (@getify) - he has his own style of explaining everything with the 'why' in mind.

To make sure I keep track of new things, I have weekly subscriptions to subjects that are interesting to me - like typescript, react, frontend. Of course, there's Twitter - I follow a bunch of different people - like Sebastian Markbåge (@sebmarkbage), Michele Bertoli (@MicheleBertoli), Sophie Alpert (@sophiebits), Michel Weststrate (@mweststrate), Yann LeCun (@ylecun), Sarah Drasner (@sarah_edo), Jeremy Kun (@jeremyjkun) and others.

This is “not for everyone” kinda list, I have my own reasons for following this particular group of people - for example, I like reading Jeremy Kun because he, like me, switched from mathematics to programming. Whenever I feel like watching something, but nothing specific, I will almost certainly search for talks with Anders Hejlsberg (@ahejlsberg).

When it comes to new technologies or something I haven't worked with, I prefer to get my hands dirty - write something small but get that hands-on experience. And last but not the least, I like reading source code on GitHub, seeing how things are implemented, why they are implemented in that way but not the other.

What inspires you in your work?

The constant need for learning, the people I work with, the challenge.

What’s the best advice you have received during your career?

Nothing particular immediately comes to mind, actually. I’d say my mom gave me the best advice that helps me with everything, including my career. Work hard. As simple as that - work hard.

Is there someone, a person, who inspired you to consider a career in engineering? Maybe someone you look up to?

No, there is no such person. I got interested in programming without any thoughts of making it my career, took a few online programming courses, mostly for fun just to see what it’s like nowadays, got even more interested and then decided to make it my career.

What advice would you give a girl or a woman considering a career in engineering?

Find a community, one that will support you on your way to making a career in engineering. I was lucky in that when I decided to make engineering my career, the Women Who Code global organisation decided to open its chapter in Kyiv, since then we built a great community, I found many friends there and, of course, support.

Brygida Pliška, Software Engineer, Vilnius

How did you first get interested in technology and engineering?

I was somewhat interested in it during school/university but started considering it as a career possibility just after doing my internship where I had to acquire some basic programming skills to analyze data.

I really enjoyed it and decided to give it a go with the idea that I could always go back to chemistry, but with an additional and really useful skill.

And years after I am still here and not planning on going anywhere :)

What inspires you in your work?

One of the things is the people - every day I see lots of talented, hard-working people and it motivates me to keep learning and improving. The other thing is the versatility of the field - as a software engineer, you can work in so many different areas even though you are an expert in just one.

Also, the fact that the field is changing rapidly means that there will always be something new to learn, and you most certainly won't get bored.

What’s the best advice you have received during your career?

It's actually simple advice that I've been given multiple times, but which I still sometimes find difficult to follow - don't be afraid to admit that you don't know something and to ask questions.

By asking questions and collaborating with other people you will learn an awful lot.

Gal Sharir, Software Engineer, TLV

How did you first get interested in technology and engineering?

My dad is an engineer, and growing up my big brothers were interested in computers, so it was a very tech-oriented house. I remember my brother breaking stuff down to see how things work - and I thought it was pretty cool.

In high school I studied programming and loved it, but then didn’t touch it for 5 years, until after the army.

In the army I was in a technical unit working with cutting-edge technologies, but not as a programmer, and I found myself wanting to understand how things really work. So I went and got my BSc in CS - I wanted the ability to be independent if I ever wanted to create something of my own.

What do you do at Wix?

I am a backend developer in the Billing and Payments team that is part of our Premium Services group. We enable our users to pay for their Wix services easily and securely. The payments domain has many business/legal restrictions which makes it challenging, and that is what makes my job fun - finding technical solutions while dancing inside those limitations.

How do you think we can engage more young women to pursue careers in engineering? What needs to be done?