As a society we tend to focus on titles and roles, we tend to forget that behind each title there is a person, a person who has a story to tell and every person’s story is unique.
In honor of International Women's day, we interview inspiring women from the community on the story of how they got into Tech, and where they are today.
In this post, I interview Plamena Cherneva who is based in Copenhagen, Denmark.
My name is Plamena I am the founder of WonderCoders and initiator of WonderTech Summit and Nordic Women in Tech Awards.
My background is in Computer Science and I am passionate about entrepreneurship and innovation. I've been into technology for as long as I remember and my experience as a minority in the field led me to start building women in tech communities, to educate, support and inspire women in pursuing careers in the industry. I believe Technology is the future and each and every one of us should be involved in it.
With all initiatives we host with WonderCoders we want to inspire women to stop being just consumers and start being creators in tech.
When did you first become interested in technology and what sparked this interest?
I always was fascinated by technology since I was a little kid. As a child, I was very curious, I loved Math and all the geeky stuff, so I think it all happened naturally and eventually, I ended up in the Tech world.
What education do you have?
I have Bachelor's in Information Technology, PBA in Web development and MSc in Computer Science.
Describe your way towards your first job in tech; how did you land this job?
For me, It was a long road until I land at my first job in tech. After graduation, I was full of doubts that whether I was good enough for any developer position.
I remember I used to go through all the posts carefully to make sure I have depth knowledge about every technology they mentioned there before I apply. In many cases even though I would pass the criteria I still didn't feel competent enough to apply.
Eventually, I got a position as an intern at a young web development agency, which later on opened the door to my first full-time job as a Front-end developer
Do you have any role models that influenced you?
I had an amazing teacher, the only female teacher in my Web development program. She supported me in my journey.
Who were/are the biggest supporters in your career?
Well, I have to start with myself, as crazy as it sounds. There were so many challenges along the way and people around me used to tell me that I should give up Technology and chose a different career path. I didn't give up and I am so grateful for that.
My parents didn't understand (and still don't) the career path I chose, but they were extremely supportive.
Also, I had a male mentor, who helped me during my education.
Tell us more about your current job – e.g. what do you like most about your role?
Apart from all volunteer work, I am a full time IT implementation consultant.
What I love the most about my job is not only that I get to build technology, but At this role, I have the opportunity to use my communication, leadership and entrepreneurial skills. I have the chance to communicate with clients and even teach them how to work with the systems we implement.
What does your typical day look like?
The best thing about my job is that every day is different, which makes it even more exciting.
What do you do in your free time?
With all the initiatives I am involved in, there is not much free time left.
But I love to travel and explore new places, hiking and all-time favorite - dancing.
What advice would you give to women and girls who dream about a career in tech?
Always do the opposite of what people tell you to do. The fears and doubts coming out of their mouths are theirs, not yours.
No matter what society says, you belong to the industry and deserve a spot at the table.
If you have any concerns or doubts, you are not alone, there are plenty of women in tech initiatives and awesome female role models out there to support you.