Women in Software Engineering 3.0

Continuing from the success of our last two series events, we recently hosted our Women in Software Engineering meetup. We were delighted to be joined by three incredibly successful women; Catalina Turlea, Co-Founder and CTO at mila.health, Mabel Otto, Tech Lead at Zoomin.tv, and Ahsana Choudhury, Software Engineer at JP Morgan Chase & Co.

The event was a huge success, with insights shared between all three speakers about how they started out in the tech world, and the experience they have gained, working within the software engineering field.

From Weekend projects to real customers

Catalina began her presentation by talking about her start-up business, mila.health, that she began back in April of this year with two other co-founders.

The talk continued on about how mila.health was created and designed to proactively help and support employees on their mental health, with the ability to have 1:1 sessions with health experts on video calls. The presentation guided us through how mila.health started, she began by using WordPress to create the website, in order to show the benefits and solutions that companies could get out of the app.

Catalina expressed how she knew that she needed to develop her skills in web development, as she felt her mobile development skills were not enough, she took a course to learn about React, to gain proper experience and not just guess work to develop.

Finally, Catalina ended the presentation with advice reassuring people that mistakes are there to be made, nobody gets the right solution from the start. Don’t be afraid to make big changes when it doesn’t feel right and start small so you can build on this.

Coding in the real world

The second talk from the event was given by Mabel Otto, Tech Lead at Zoomin.tv. Mabel started off talking about her background within tech, sharing her experience with operating systems, cloud, as well as her work with programming languages.

Starting with how code should read, Mabel mentioned how code should read like a novel, when writing code, it must be easy to recognise what you are writing, everything needs to be clear. Mabel goes on to ask, ‘will other people be able to understand my code?’ Mabel explains that if it is not clear, then your code needs to be corrected and checked. Mabel explained that by naming your code, this will aid you to see what the code is doing and will help to avoid making mistakes.

Throughout the talk, advice on other aspects of coding were given, such as interfaces, looking at when and why you should use them. As well as this, she also looked at the source control, focusing on why and when to submit to it.

Pair Programming: The bridge between communication and code

Our final speaker was by Ahsana Choudhury, Software Engineer at JP Morgan Chase & Co. The talk began by speaking about pair programming; a development methodology that involves two engineers, the navigator and the driver. It went on to explain that part of pair programming, its fundamental role is for both engineers to swap roles in order to get a fresher perspective on the product.

Next in the talk, Ahsana provided three important driving forces within cultivating pair programming, which aid the success of the product; these driving forces are:

  • Improves quality of software design
  • Enhances technical skills
  • Improves team communication

These driving forces for two engineers, can help spot any areas within the product that could be improved, she also mentions how this is beneficial when looking at opportunities for growth within the product.

Towards the end of the talk, it was emphasised how soft skills are just as important as technical skills, stating that it is important for teams to understand and harness this for basic communication, Ahsana goes on to explain how these are some of the fundamentals and foundations of successful programming.

We would like to thank all our speakers, Catalina, Mabel and Ahsana for sharing their knowledge on each of their topics, and for everyone who attended the event, it was a huge success.

If you would like to get involved for our upcoming Women in Software Engineering events, please get in touch!