Early years and where you came from?
My name is Catarina, I’m from Rebordosa, a small town near Porto, Portugal. I’m 27 years old and I’m a Software Engineer at Critical Manufacturing. I’m also Co-Founder of the Girls Lean In - a community that encourages women to grow in their diverse workforce fields and to achieve leadership roles. I’m a proudly speaker at Toastmaster club - a great place to improve public speaking and develop leadership skills. In Braga I’m Ambassador of Geek Girls Portugal - a community for women that love technology.
How were you introduced to the world of the Portuguese tech industry?
I was introduced to the world of technology when I was at elementary School. I remember that I was fascinated with computers when I saw them for the first time. I always tried to look and understand how they worked and what we could do with them. I also enjoy maths and at high school, I realized that programming was similar to math terms. Then, I chose to study computer engineering at university and also pursue a career connected to technology.
Walk me through your work and what you are doing now in the tech industry.
Nowadays, I’m a a Software Engineer at Critical Manufacturing. I’m responsible for building and maintaining applications. I’m also working with Microsoft technologies such us .NET framework, C#, WF.
What part of what you do, you love the most?
The part that I like most is when I’m looking for the solutions to solve my problem. To do that, I have to analyze the requests and generate solutions. When I realize that I have the ability to decide how the problem is going to be solved and I can see that my solution is functional, correct and works well, I feel amazingly great.
How do you think that your background and knowledge impact the way you approach your work in the Portuguese tech industry?
It is very important to know if we are able to work in specific areas of knowledge. In the world of programming it is extremely important to know the programming paradigms and the main languages to solve challenges. For this, it is important to know and study more deeply the different programming languages that will give you ability to adapt to the market needs.
What advice do you have for young women that want to get into tech and don’t know where to start?
I think above all if you like challenges and know that any day of your life won´t be the same as the previous day, the world of technology is the most suitable. There will always be problems for you to solve, get out of your comfort zone and realize that you still have much to discover in the world of technology. Every day there are new inventions, new technologies that make you learn and adapt to the unexpected. In my opinion, this is absolutely fantastic and makes me believe more and more that working with computer technology is what I want to do for my whole life.
Walk me through a day in your life as a Portuguese women in tech.
I like to get up early, take my breakfast and realize that is another fantastic day full of challenges. I like to get early to the office. Punctuality is a quality that I admire and I hope to never lose. I plan my day according to the goals I need to do and achieve in a specific time. The 9 hours day-work are always challenging and I don’t feel the time going by. Watching the sea and reading is also a part of my day. Usually, my day ends with the gym workout. I also like to eat well and healthy.”
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
To appreciate the little and simple things in life. Not only, it is important to work and live a life full of goals but also, to see that all your effort has a positive return. It is also important to listen, to understand what surrounds you and help those in need, by knowing that what you do has an impact on something.
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
Well for my personal life: Facebook, Instagram, Slack, Gmail, Skype.
For my work, Visual Studio for sure!
Links that you want to share?