WTM Girls’ Talk September Meetup took place on 29th at ICBT Colombo. Around 30 young girls gathered for the meetup this time, and there’s no doubt they left the venue with a good amount of knowledge about what’s most critical in each one of their lives at this moment–what path to choose once they graduate. It’s no secret that the field of IT is such a vast territory, one have an overwhelming number of choices to choose from when it comes to a career path in it.

But the problem is actually the same thing. Because there’s so many, you can’t choose one!

So the meetup of this time is mainly focused on getting doubts cleared out about said career paths in IT industry. For this, there has to be no one but those who have once faced the same doubts in their hearts, to go to. We, who attended the meetup had the blessing to talk to five such sharp and dazzling personalities, who are walking along their desired path right now.

Is coding your thing?

Our first speaker was Miss Krishnakripa Jayakumar (Associate Technical Lead, 99x Technology.) To be honest, being a software engineer is not just about coding. It’s true that you have to be up to date about the newest technologies and stay knowledgeable in basics such as concepts, principles, patterns and best practices in coding, but you should also be able to be confident in discussing said stuff. Which comes naturally, in a way.

And then you should be good at understanding your customer, and their requirements. You should also make sure that the solution artifacts are well-maintained. This ensures that what you create is maintainable later, no matter whether it is by yourself or someone else. Some other qualities being communication, interpersonal skills, curiosity, business mindedness, adaptability and team playing.

Some of the currently used tools for different purposes that she explained to us:

  • Source control – Git, Github, Bitbucket
  • Editors – Sublime, Atom, Visual Studio Code.
  • IDEs – Eclipse, Visual Studio
  • Continuous integration – Jenkins
  • UI frameworks – Angular, ReactJS

Another important thing is the first impression that you make in the industry. This branches in two ways–your resume and your interview.

When it comes to the resume, she insisted that you create it to be brief; preferably around one side of a page. And please don’t copy one of someone else! No two people can have the same personal statement or objectives.

And the interview. Interviews differ according to the company who conducts it, according to her. For example, some can make you face an IQ test, or some can hold three to four interviews even.

Some very common questions you would be asked:

  • Tell me about yourself. (Three things is all it takes.)
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses? (No, you can’t be perfect. You do have at least one weakness, so figure it out!)
  • Why should I hire you?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • What do you know about the company? (If you know nothing about the company, then you are the type that would most certainly be sent back home. So do a bit of research about the company that you want to work for. Know about where you go before you step inside!)

Are you more into Networking and Cyber Security?

Next, the speaker was Miss Suhanshini Somasundaram (Senior Security Analyst, SecurMatic Private Limited.)

She says that security is a crucial factor for any organization. You must make sure that the network in good condition and available to users 24/7. This means if something breaks down, or whatever that calls for you happens, you got to be there even if it’s midnight. It is no 9-5 job.

If you are into QA:

Next up was one of those guys whom software engineers view as their ‘worst nightmare.’ Yes. A Quality Assurance Engineer. That is Miss Sajani Senavirathne, who is the Senior QA Engineer for Cambio Software Engineering.

She was adamant that you should never settle for something that you don’t like. No matter how many mistakes that you had made when you look back in your life and realize, if you are happy at that moment and there, that’s it.

And you shouldn’t settle for mediocre products either. Be picky and be a perfectionist. There can be no stains or blotches in software. At the end, it’s all about delivering the best product to your client.

If you are see yourself as a BA in the future

It was the turn of Miss Lakshika Gurusinghe (Associate Business Analyst, Auxenta) to talk about the role of a business analyst. Who basically is the person who stands between the project team of a company and their client.

A very few of the technical skills that someone who aspires to be a BA should have, as she explained are:

  • Data modeling
  • Programming knowledge
  • Business process modeling
  • Requirements engineering
  • Some soft skills that you should possess are:
  • Active listening
  • Logical creative thinking
  • Effective negotiation skills
  • Ability to work with a range of people
  • Being thoroughly organized

If you have the ‘eye’ for stuff and if it’s creative

It was Miss Michela Thalagala (User Experience Designer, Dialog) who took us through the journey of what it is to be a UX Designer.

What does one do:

  • Creates user journeys
  • Creates information architecture
  • Designs the overall functionality of the product
  • Solves problems
  • Does user research and user testing
  • Communicates with different stakeholders
  • Practice agile
  • Does heuristic evaluation

Some essential technical skills:

  • Research skills, analytical skills.
  • Visual designing
  • Wire-framing and prototyping
  • Testing
  • Soft skills are important wherever you go:
  • Good attitude, passion, curiosity, communication
  • Empathy (you are not designing for yourself. You have to feel for people whom you are designing for.)
  • Collaboration, self-learning, ability to take quick decisions.
  • Ability to criticize and be criticized.

Tools you’d use:

  • Rapid sketching – pen and paper
  • Wireframing – Moqups, Balsamic
  • Visual design – Photoshop, Illustrator
  • Prototyping – Invision, Marvel

Truth to be told, this was not all. Every and each one of them discussed about such topics like the career path of each profession, how to prepare for each type of interview, how to prepare your resume/CV.

So we should certainly be thankful for WTM for organizing this kind of gathering targeting girls who desire to work in the ever competitive IT industry and enriching them with such useful knowledge from the most wonderful individuals.

At GGSLK, we tried our best to bring you something back from there, which makes us incredibly happy too in turn. So ladies, let’s look forward for a just as amazing line-up of segments in the next meetup!