5. April 2024

Women in Tech: Helping Other Women Make the Jump to Software Engineering

Toma with fellow Engineers in Munich

Frontend Engineer Toma knows making a career pivot can be scary – especially when starting something like software engineering that is often perceived as being highly complex. But after making her own successful move into the field, she’s excited to help other women do the same, at Personio and beyond.  

After studying mathematics at university, Toma started her professional career as a Content Tester for a company that provided online math lessons for children. It was at this company that she became interested in testing not only content, but software itself. “I was curious about why certain things didn't work – finding bugs and figuring out the reasons felt like a detective game to me. At that moment, I realized that coding is not as complex as many people perceive it to be.” 

At the age of 22, she tracked down some free online Python courses and started learning how to solve algorithm and data structure problems. When she initially shared her plans to learn programming with relatives and friends, she was told that it was too difficult and that it was too late to start. But she did it anyway. Going forward, she says this inaccurate perception of the field – and who can succeed in it – is something she wants to work to change. “I'm confident that there are people who would have given up on their dreams after hearing similar comments.”

Toma, Prof. Frontend Engineer, in the Office

Since there wasn’t an opportunity to change her position within the company, Toma found a job as a QA Test Engineer, where she finally started to write her first real code. It was exciting to be putting her new software engineering skills to use, but Toma eventually realized she wanted something more. “I knew that I wanted to create software instead of just testing other people's work.” A few friends told her about a hiring event for women hosted by Personio, so they all went together.

“I was excited and a bit nervous, but the people I talked to were very friendly and welcoming,” says Toma. She continued to meet incredible people throughout the interview process, and the idea of the product and the company culture were what convinced her to join Personio.

Personios at B2Run 2022
Toma and fellow Personio during a running event in Munich.

Toma has worked in a number of areas since joining, most recently on the Candidate Management team, where she worked on the Application list and Candidate details – a crucial part of Personio’s recruiting product. “It is important for me personally that my work has an impact, and I always try to look at our product and features from the customer's perspective. At Personio, we have a direct impact on our customers' work, which helps them be successful, and this is very fulfilling for me.”

Now, she’s looking forward to how she can grow her own career in software engineering and help other women do the same. “Software engineering is a fascinating career; for me, it has always been amazing to see how a group of people can build cool things out of nothing. It is both creative and problem-solving, and it's never boring. It is also fun, as it brings together a bunch of motivated and talented people.” This is especially true at Personio, she says, where there are many “smart and supportive people who will help you grow professionally.”

Engineering Team skiing during Munich Onsite

Now that she’s further along in her own Tech journey, Toma’s advice for women just starting out in Tech is to ask for help when needed. “It's normal to not know everything or not to understand something right away, so it's important to ask for help and advice. Many people are willing to support you on your journey and share their knowledge and experience, and there are also many resources available online. Remember: Nothing is impossible, even if it feels overwhelming and you don’t know where to start. Follow your dreams and you will succeed.”

If you’re looking to start or advance your career in tech alongside amazing Personios like Toma, explore our open roles – in New York and all seven offices across Europe – on our careers page.

Interested in joining Personio? Explore our open roles and find the right job for you!

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