Why the future is bright for female software developers - Education Matters Magazine

Resources, STEM, Teaching computer programming, Technology

Why the future is bright for female software developers

Three women at different stages of their software engineering careers at WiseTech Global explain why now is an ideal time for women to become software developers.

Teachers can help students be aware of the career opportunities that are available to them, including dispelling myths about limitations defined by gender, ethnicity and so on.

They can also suggest careers that students or their families might not be familiar with. For example, historically more men than women have studied and worked in software engineering. But that is changing.

Rianna Libdy is an associate software engineer in WiseTech Global’s Earn & Learn program.

“I’m in the second year of a four-year Earn & Learn program for Year 12 school leavers that combines studying for a degree in computer science with applying skills in a real-world workplace,” she said.

“Already my confidence in this career choice has boomed. It’s not only the technical skills gained working alongside senior engineers. The biggest learning is the soft skills: being encouraged to ask questions, seek help, collaborate and eventually help others.”

Her advice to girls considering a career path in software engineering?

“I recommend looking for an internship as it will motivate you to learn to code and help you value and develop the different skills that girls bring to the workplace.”

Holly Craig has been a software engineer at WiseTech Global for two years.

“Tech is an awesome career if you enjoy a fast-paced environment, challenging yourself, creating things and problem solving. I’ve always lent toward maths and science but didn’t get into coding until I was at university,” she said.

“The assumption is that if you don’t learn to code at school, you won’t be able to study it at university. But that’s not true. And now there are more opportunities for school students to be exposed to coding, such as via Grok Academy, Girls Programming Network, and Earn & Learn. There’s no academic difference in the ability of men and women to be software engineers. My advice is to recognise these myths and dismiss them. Let’s face it – end users are made of all genders, so it makes sense that the coders who develop technology for them should be just as diverse.”

Svetlana (Lana) Lazareva is a senior software engineer with 17 years’ experience.

“Today, I see huge potential for women in this career. It’s not about ‘fitting in’ – we should recognise and celebrate our differences. Men and women can think differently – and this is powerful. We bring a fresh perspective to tackling a problem and offer a different approach. Of course this applies equally to other types of diversity,” she said.

“My advice is to search for role models – and recognise that you will become a role model for others, even informally.”

Do you have students who might be interested in software engineering?

The WiseTech Global Earn & Learn program for Year 12 school leavers aims to make tech careers accessible for all, and to help build talented software developers and innovative thinkers.

The program combines university study with a full-time job at one of Australia’s top tech companies. Over four years students will earn a university degree in computer science, be paid a competitive full-time salary, gain real world experience, have university course fees reimbursed and finish with no HECS debt.

Students can apply now for WiseTech Earn & Learn 2025 intake. For more information visit: www.wisetechglobal.com/earn-and-learn

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