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former_member3693
Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert
6,770

Hey everybody,

online topic groups are a great resource for inspiration and insights, but can sometimes feel stiff and anonymous, lacking real human connections.

That's why we want to encourage everyone to get to know and connect with each other and hopefully build strong supporting relationships! 

Let's start a conversation and get the group moving, talking, discussing and laughing πŸ˜Š. And together we can build a strong network of empowering and encouraging women. 

We want to know: 

1. What first sparked your interest in working in the tech industry?

And for those who have been in the tech field for a while:

2. How much do you think the industry has changed since you joined?

I'll go first: 

1. The tech industry is growing at an accelerating pace and therefore offers a variety of interesting job opportunities. I wanted to learn new skills, expand my perspectives and get to know different businesses and career options. By joining the Women in Tech team I not only get to support a platform dedicated to uplifting female colleagues, but also get to know the inside of one of the world's largest software companies, which has definitely deepened my interest for the tech field!

Now it's your turn - I can't wait to hear your stories!

26 REPLIES 26

KatSwan
Explorer
6,757

Hello everybody, my name is Kate, I'm from Ukraine. 12 years ago when I was studying, I tried to find a new job. In one case, one woman helped me with work in IT field.I was so insecure, but she told me - Just try it, trust me, it'll work. Since that time, I've been growing in the IT industry, and most of this time work with SAP technology.

I agree with you, now the Tech industry propose a variety of interesting job opportunities. Women can learn new professions and become more flexible and independent. You can work remotely, in my company, a lot of head positions hold women, me too, from sap developer to head of SAP department. But now I want to change the field to more technical and less than management. I hope I can do it.

Thanks for your post.

6,749

Hello fellow women?

I am Hennie from Namibia πŸ‡³πŸ‡¦, Africa. I am excited to be part of this women fellowship. 

1. What first sparked your interest in working in the tech industry?

Currently am working in the medical field as a nurse, but I lost interest in it like I just want to quit but due to family  responsibility and scarce tech jobs, I have to keep it for me to be able to feed my 2 kids, am a single mother of 2.

I recently earned myself a Bachelor of Logistics and I am currently studying towards my Honors Degree in Logistics through the University of South Africa.

IT/computer was/is always my things. I help my colleagues a lot with computer issues and I trained few with basic computing during my free time for a small fee. 

What sparked me into the tech industry is  the eager to learn more, the daily challenges I experience with technical issues, I want to be a problem solver, I want to understand more about IIoT and the industry 4.0. I want to be part of my country's history of achieving vision 2030 and transformation into industrialization.  

2. How much do you think the industry has changed since you joined?

I haven't joined the industry yet, due to lack of experience and tight market. It's difficult to get a job in the tech industry. It's for that reason I decided to enroll for SAP courses in order to get certified and attach it to my qualifications. SAP is a must have in my country for me to enter the industry especially when I am inexperienced. However, there's no institution or independent individuals who offer training, organizations only train their own employees. I have recently noticed that if I become certified by SAP, it will enhance my chances of getting the jobs I want to maybe become an Agent in the near future. 

I am looking forward to chatting to you all, for information sharing, empowerment and career guidance. 

Thanks!

6,697

Hi Hennie, It is such a pleasure to meet you. I to have a bachelor's degree in Supply Chain. After working in this field for a bunch of years I joined SAP. It has been a great experience working in tech. I'm so glad to see your post. The community will benefit from following and hearing about your learning journey. Please reach out to me anytime and we can help you share your experience. Have a terrific week! Stephanie 


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6,635

Thanks @stephanie for your kind word and reassurance. I will definitely reach out to you. 

6,454

Dear Hennie,

It's great to read your amazing story of your development into the tech industry and managing at the same time your 2 children and current job. This is an awesome but as a mother of 3 I can imagine at the same time challenging accomplishment! You are a true role model!

As you mentioned SAP training, I would like to recommend you a source of free SAP trainings including certification/record of achievement, that might be of your interest and helpful for your SAP career:

1.  https://learning.sap.com/learning-journey. (RISE with SAP, technical trainings BTP, Analytics etc)

If you are a student at a university, you can even get more fee training in the SAP Student Zone and in the Learning Hub, student edition.

2. https://learning.sap.com/student-zone

3. https://learninghub.sap.com/next-gen (18 different learning journey, Financials, Logistic etc.)

All the best,

Michaela

6,447

Good day Michaela, 

I greatly appreciate your kind words. I'm glad my efforts have been recognized; I'll definitely take advantage of the free training you recommended. I will contact you again if I require additional assistance. 

Many thanks,

Hennie 

6,426

Very inspiring @former_member10784 

Thanks so much for sharing!


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StephanieMarley
Community Advocate
Community Advocate
6,696

My name is Stephanie:

1. What first sparked your interest in working in the tech industry?

I was looking for a new opportunity when I was relocating from Boston to Philadelphia. I had some friends who worked for SAP and they highly recommended that I interview for a position.

And for those who have been in the tech field for a while:

2. How much do you think the industry has changed since you joined?

When I started in tech with SAP it was during the .com era. It was interesting to see the internet come to the forefront of business. Some companies were successfully running a modern (at the time) ERP system. SAP had a great market opportunity with what it had to offer. So many customers were earned since I began. It has been fun to see the tech evolution like AI, mobility, the prevalence of applications...as well as the future for metaverse, quantum computing...etc!


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DellSC
Active Contributor
6,679

Hi!  I'm Dell - yes, that's my real name and, since I'm older than Michael Dell, I had it first!

1.  My dad was a programmer for @50 years before he retired.  When I was 9 or 10, he brought home a book on Basic, handed it to me, and basically said, "Here - have fun".  Now this wouldn't be a big deal, but this was in 1970-ish.  Digital Equipment Corp (DEC) had their headquarters in the town neighboring where I lived, so my high school had a DEC PDP-8L (user interface was a teletype machine and we stored our programs on paper punch tape) and I took my first programming class in 10th grade.  I also studied programming in college.  It's something I really enjoy doing and it's why I entered tech when I got out of the US Army (who paid for part of my college.)  I found I have an almost intuitive ability to architect applications and databases.

2.  Tech has changed a LOT in the last 40 years.  When I was in college, most of my computer classes were on CDC Cyber mainframe, although I took real-time programming on an Apple II+.  PCs and the original Macintoshes were just coming on the market when I graduated from college in the mid-1980's.  My first personal computer was an Apple IIe with the 128k memory expansion and a 5.25" floppy drive.  My first PC's hard drive had 40MB of storage and ran MS-DOS.  We've come a long way since then!

-Dell

6,596

Hi Dell, how would you say the task of programming (as in writing the code) differs now from then? I get the impression that in the 1970s/1980s it was more low level and you needed to be very precise and organised eg. doing your own memory management. Also I'm wondering if people were more cautious and had a greater attention to detail because there were no "guard rails" there for you eg. if your program had a problem it could overwrite the memory / data of other programs running on the same machine and cause general havoc?? Did you need to be much more expert than coders today? Also, wondering if the time delay between writing the code and running it to get the output was a help (more time to mull things over??) or a hinderance? Cheers, Emma S

6,588

A lot of it depended on the language you were using and the type of application you were working on.  My dad started programming in the late 1950's - he was programming missiles for the DoD when he was at Univac.  He tells stories about going into the office on Friday evening when he could get time at the punch card machine and he would translate assembly language to machine code in his head as he was punching cards.  That's really low level and he was very good at that type of thing.

In the 1970s/1980s, object-oriented (OO) programming wasn't yet a thing, so everything was procedural and there were times when you had to use GOTO statements as part of controlling which part of the program was used.  It took me a bit to get my head wrapped around OO, but it really makes program organization so much easier.  It also enables code-reuse, which has been a big deal for me.

Anyways, even though my dad and I are both programmers, he can't do what I do and I can't do what he does.  Throughout his career he worked primarily in low level code.  His last consulting job was writing the code that runs on a particular brand of cellphone when you turn it on - the diagnostics that make sure that everything is working correctly along with connecting to the cell network.  I have primarily worked in database and application design and I'm currently working on helping to develop the responsible data use strategies and frameworks that my employer is going to take to our clients.

-Dell

6,584

Hi Dell this is fascinating thanks very much for this πŸ™‚ My Dad is a mechanical engineer in advanced composites (recently retired) it sounds like your Dad is a similar inspiration to you as mine is to me πŸ™‚ I am very curious about the low level work, having not had chance to do it before (I'm a back end developer, currently server-side web/cloud, Java, but was a database developer for a long time). Cheers! Emma

6,663

Hello my lovely friends! My name is Varsha. 

1. So excited to read all your stories and perspectives. Kudos to all of you who are already in SAP for many years, achieving your career goals and still willing to help other women. I really admire those women who balance their personal life and career. Sadly, I am one of those who could not maintain the balance, so for last few years gave priority to take care of aging family members and growing kids:) Not complaining at all. Grateful for all the Blessings!!! Now after fulfilling those responsibilities reminding myself to achieve  those career goals that I had set for myself after graduating from University.

For past few years I have part time jobs experience, mainly in Service Centre Data Analyst and Customer Service in Canada. But I have the ability and willingness to learn new skills quickly. For past one year I am working full time for the Govt. in Canada. Now I want to move on and I am exploring opportunities In SAP in Canada and US. The more I read blogs on SAP, the more certain I am that I want to be part of this giant tech leader. 

I hope eventually soon I will also be able to help other women in tech. Thanks for your support! Have a wonderful week! Varsha.

6,661

Thanks Varsha. Your message is heartfelt.


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6,657

Hi Varsha,

I can relate to having to take care of family - I was a single parent for a good bit of my career and it was a challenge finding the balance.  I was fortunate to have employers who were willing to work with me and provide me the means to work from home when necessary.  

I wish you much luck in all that you do!

-Dell

6,635

Hi Varsha, I am motivated seeing mommies winning. I wish u success in all you  do. 

0 Kudos
6,426

Thanks for sharing your story and I would like to honor you that you prioritized your family at one point and are now seeking back to business. I think this is always the main struggle as women at work (not only technology): combining family and work. But everything has it's time. I cross my fingers for you to find a position within SAP. Glad you are part of this group though.
Best, Svea


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Ragavie
Participant
6,593

Hi Everyone,

I am Ragavie from India. i have 16+ years of experience in mobile gaming and enterprise solutions.

i started my career because i want to support my family. started as mobile game developer in 2003 as it was new and hot in the market it encouraged me to learn more and spent long hours in learning and working. then working became my passion. i started upgrading myself other gaming technologies. 

After 7 years of gaming, i switched myself SAP Mobile technologies started my SAP journey from SUP 2.0 and grown my career to SMP, Syclo, SAP Fiori, SAP Workflow, BAS and goes on.. its an awesome journey to learn new technologies and implement them. When the technicians uses the application  and says this application has saved my time and business team says it is more productive and saves cost. That's the time I feel so happy and motivates me to work and learn new technologies.

Currently i took a small break from the career to support my mom who was not keeping well. Now she has recovered and now i am ready to get back to my career, searching for the job to fit me in the right place

Thanks and Regards

Ragavie 

 

sveabecker
Community Advocate
Community Advocate
0 Kudos
6,424

Gaming sounds cool Ragavie! I hope that you'll find the right job very soon. Appreciate you've taken care of your mother - and not only or always the other way around πŸ˜‰


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former_member10832
Associate
Associate
6,565

Hi everyone, I'm Rebecca and I'm not actually very "technical" although I've worked in tech for almost 20 years, ranging from start ups to large, well-established software (& hardware) organizations. So keep in mind this is a bit of an outsider's perspective. πŸ™‚ I started as a performance consultant (sales enablement) in an enterprise sales group at a large software company, then moved to industry support, specifically what was called the communications sector. This included mobile, 'hosting' (showing my age!), and media & entertainment.  I managed sales enablement for industry partners and the sales/operations field.  The mobile industry has changed quite a bit as you all likely know!  dWe were allowed to upgrade our phones every three months, my first mobile phone was a palm pilot competitor (Kyocera).  I've had every phone, from the infamous Nokia (remember texting on those?) to blackberry to Razr to the dead Microsoft phone (and Zune!) to iPhone.  It's been interesting.  Same with hosting and how SaaS and IaaS have evolved over time to help drive business (customer and internal) growth while at the same time attempting to minimize new/changing operational costs. I don't know where to begin with the evolution that media & entertainment solutions have gone through in that time. The industries for all three have evolved so quickly that sometimes I feel as though my background no longer applies! I've also managed PSAT and CSAT efforts for a CRM dev team - funny enough this effort hasn't changed much, although CRM has.  Communications, change management and IT transformation - all part of my background - haven't changed so much as the recognition of impact to a business - these aren't the first to be defunded anymore.  IT transformation has become more popular over time, likely due to 1) a growing customer base and increased service expectations - maybe because of a quickly changing business landscape and influx of new competition and 2) increased transition to SaaS, COLOs and centralized data centers, and now hyperscalers.  IT security has also changed quite a bit, which makes sense given the increasing number of cloud solutions vs. on-prem. I moved back into enablement & communications-type roles after about 5 years supporting IT Transformation, and the change there I (think) I've seen is a growing demand for skilled employees in this space and increased expectations of time commitment from employees, IT, engineers, developers and service support.  It's been informative to read this thread!

6,422

Very interesting journey you have been through - thanks for sharing!

Although I am in this technical branch for more than 22 years, I also don't really feel being a "techie" but when I am honest with myself I have a lot of knowledge about working with SAP products and with SAP Community. Some basic understanding is definitely there πŸ˜…


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MarieTrojani
Associate
Associate
6,308

Hi there!

My name is Marie, I have been at SAP for 12 years and in the software industry for more than 20 years.

1. I had a great interest for sciences as a kid. Later, I studied Computer Science and specialised in Information Systems. However, I always have quite the impostor syndrome and doesn't really consider myself as a "women in tech" because I don't code anymore! πŸ˜‚

I first joined Oracle to follow one of my female mentors who was teaching classes in my engineering school. I think her model really made a difference in shaping my career. However, finding my own voice has not always been simple, and unfortunately women advices were not always helping (I still remember one of my female manager telling me I should avoid wearing dresses!).  

2. During my studies, we were only 10% of women, but I never felt any discrimination, quite the opposite. Today, I'm not sure the numbers have really increased. However, I wish I had known back then how many different opportunities they were in IT other than software engineers. I had no idea how passioning my career would be and how much I would be able to leverage my creative skills. As the years go by, I still believe we are lacking female role models for the younger generations.

As a mother of 2 girls, and leaving in a geek family, I know realise how much education weights into making things evolve. With my husband we try to inspire our girls and teach them technology stuff, like Python, what's inside a computer, how things work... to open their minds to endless possibilities. But it's not always easy because the world around us tends to put girls in predefined boxes!   

If anyone wants to discuss about girls (and boys) education topics - or any other topic and how to change things, I'm here! 

KFischenbeck
Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert
6,294

Hi Everyone,

My name is Karin, and I learned about SAP more than 30 years ago when I was still a banker πŸ˜‰.

1. One of my peers was working at a bank near Walldorf / Germany. She mentioned that SAP is a growing enterprise - an international software company with employees from all across the world. This absolutely inspired me: and when I had graduated my business studies I decided to apply for a job at this exciting company.

When I joined SAP back in 1995 as a consultant for Financials and Controlling, we had less than 9,000 employees worldwide.

2. During the last 27+ years I learned a lot during my career path in various roles: from managing presales to business development, strategic customer engagements, education, as well as communications. Also my private life changed when I became a mother and continued with my people manager role, while my husband took care of our child when I was at work full time.

And not only my personal life and our enterprise changed significantly, but also the industry has definitely evolved a lot: digitization has become extremely important to companies to be successful. At the same time, technology has evolved significantly. This means that lifelong learning will stay essential for us as employees.

Now, I am still proud to be a member of our SAP family, celebrating our company's 50th anniversary this year - with more than 100,000 employees. 

... and I am really happy that I learned about SAP within my bankers' network more than 30 years ago πŸ€— Maybe our Women in Tech community will help us share our experiences to mutually inspire us during our individual career paths!

 

6,029

Good to see you here, Karin. 😊
Thanks for sharing. I wasn't aware that it's so long ago you joined SAP. Well. I think we met somewhere in 2004 in "Banking"... also already almost 2 decades ago... crazy!
I hope we'll see in each at the 50th anniversary party soon!

Best, Svea


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KFischenbeck
Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert
6,028

Hi Svea,

Absolutely, it was great to work with you 2 decades ago in our Banking team!

Great to be in touch again in our Women in Tech Community. πŸ€—

Best,

Karin

6,056

Hello - I'm Emily from the UK, though I'm a dual US/UK national. I grew up on both sides of the pond, the only child of a single mother. My mum is an academic specialising in education, library science (as it was back then) and music, and luckily for me she spotted early on that tech and computers were going to be huge. 

compaq-lug.jpg

She always made sure there was a computer in the house from the 1st IBM compatible Compaq 'luggable' (pictured above) to the first colour PC with a mouse and beyond I always had access to a computer (which I was encouraged to take charge of managing). 

I ended up in the tech industry mainly because it allows you to leverage the skills you have, and easily gain new skills as you go along. I have a bunch of interesting ideas around how to bring these opportunities to more people - whether it be women, young people, or just those willing to take a chance and learning to get themselves out of poverty or even just a limiting job. 

At the moment I'm working in marketing for an SAP consultancy here in the UK, where I solve the problem of 'finding people who are interested and intelligent enough to learn the product'. Again this is something I aim to help improve when I eventually get my 'big idea' off the ground. 

I think a lot of what can hold people back (of any **bleep** and background) from taking an interest in STEM subjects is the inability to imagine that it's 'for them'. I still remember looking for a temp job years ago in a new city, and a woman recruiter commenting how nice it was I was into "boy's subjects". When quizzed, it turned out not to be shaving around your adam's apple she meant, but engineering and computers. This is exactly the sort of attitude I want to see abolished.