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Ženy v IT

Marta Firlej started her journey with software testing in 2006. When she works, she focuses on the product, the process and the team. She is a quality assurance expert with a particular emphasis on usability testing, functional testing and test management. She had the opportunity not only to build and develop testing teams, but also worked with customers to create, develop and design software. She is the initiator of Testing Conference Test:Fest in Wroclaw. Member of the committee of judges of the Polish TestingCup Championships in 2013 and 2014. Marta is also a regular speaker at testing conferences, including Eurostar.

What kind of work did you dream to do at high school? Were you thinking back then, that you would work in IT?

I always wanted to work in an office to use all of that office supplies which now we don’t need because of computers. Sometimes I spent time at my mum’s work and I could use her calculator, count money, use the phone. That was a lot of fun. But in high school I wanted to work either in a hospital or as an investigator. I was a little bit lost with choosing my career path and never thought I would work in IT.

How did get into the world of technologies? Did you study IT or did life bring you there?

I studied physics in Wroclaw and one of my friends noticed that I spend a lot of time in front of the computer and do not have any issue with it. I had a small push from him when he sent my CV to one of IT companies. My CV was full of small student jobs and I learnt some other skills at the University. It was 2006 and software testing was not popular in our town at all. I couldn’t find any information in Polish what a tester should do so I had to learn everyday depending on the task I was doing.

Did your family and friends supported your decision to join the tech world?

At that time, tech world was new for all of us and none of us knew where it will go. I would say that now I have and I see more stronger support. I am lucky to know people at the Polish IT market that invest their time to support others.

Please tell us a little more about your work. (something cool for girls and young women considering working in IT). Why do you love it?

It’s the first time I can work with over 1000 people that are software testers and I can influence the future and possibilities for personal growth. Every day I am working on something important with people who are experts in what they are doing. What is more important, I can educate clients and explain what we are doing and what they can expect from testing.

What does your company do?

My company is quite big, we have 6000 experts in our software house. We empower enterprises and software companies to (re)identify their differentiation, accelerate solution development, and vigorously compete in today’s digital economy. No matter where they are at that journey.

What do you like about working in IT?

People, change and diversity. I love working with people and I need them in my everyday life. But sometimes my work requires me to work from home and concentrate. Right now, the change is constant, in projects, clients, technologies. Every day is different and this is what I like the most. Furthermore I can use my strengths and influence what I am working on.

What are the advantages from your point of view?

Main advantages are: flexible working time, IT people are open to new ideas, and I can have an influence on the final product.

What is the ratio of men vs women at your team?

Current ratio in my team is 8 men to 5 women. For me the most important is what value, knowledge and experience each team member brings. In my opinion it doesn’t depend on sex.

Have you ever experienced any prejudice towards you?

I experienced more prejudice due to my age. It happens really often in front of a client or on conferences. It is hard to believe for some people that I may work as a Test Manager and influence so many people 🙂 As a woman I have sometimes issues that some management behaviorist or techniques were design by man to man and if I behave in the same way as my man colleagues my behaviour is interpret in a completely different way.

Would you want more women in IT? Why?

I would like to have more IT specialists open to other people and their personal growth. We should influence quality of the code and products we put on the market.