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Monica Devi Kristiadi: Engineering Life for Female

The tech industries are ever-expanding, more so in the last 5 years, where we have seen a lot of new tech-startups flourishing in every corner of the world. And Indonesia, as one of the biggest markets in SEA, also has joined in this competitive market.

The rise of tech-driven businesses has created such a high demand for exceptional developers to help companies to compete.

This line of expertise, however, has its own stereotypes. Where it is said that only males can perform well in tech or engineering line of duty. Well, they might have to adjust their views! Many of our amazing engineers come with beautiful feminine sides to them.

Through high and low, they have proved themselves to be worthy of holding the title of tech-poet in BTPN Jenius. They have collaborated with the rest of the team and have brought much more creative insights into challenge-solving processes.

In DevFest GDG Cloud Jakarta 2019, we had a chance to talk with one of the fantastic BTPN engineers. She shared how it was like to be working as a tech-dev in today's business environment, and of course, sure-fire tips on how to survive it!

Here is our interview with Monica Devi Kristiadi from BTPN Jenius.

 

Q: Can you share a little bit about you, what is it that you do and what is a typical day for you like?

I was one of BTPN acceleration program graduates, now I'm doing my part as a Jenius full-stack developer. This means that, now, I have to be able to live in two worlds; front end and back end. For me, it is the same as having a great brain and behavior, while at the same time displaying your mesmerizing looks *giggle* to the world. My daily life revolves around Android and iOS emulators, website, microservices, etc. and top it off with a cup of hot milk tea with Spotify's playlist.

Q: What was your biggest success in your career?

Seeing that the product where my friends and I made are being used by many, and it brings them a significant impact on their daily life. This is actually my very first project with CHIP. Starting from the ideas, technology, database, and all the aspect done from scratch. It felt so good, and I'm really proud of what we have developed together, feels like raising your own child!

Q: What was the biggest learning in your career? And how did you manage to power through it?

I would say at the time when I got my first internship in one of the e-commerce startups in Indonesia. Where I got to learn everything from the very basic. These were the time where I first learned about Golang, Git, API, MongoDB, and other fancy technology words that I lost count off. I felt down at first, thinking that I knew nothing and was unable to meet their expectations. My biggest mistake was, I was too afraid to ask for help from my seniors. These pressures had me thinking I might not fit for this job.

Long story short, now I know the importance of voicing your concerns, ask if you are unsure of something. And I can't stress it enough, that two heads are better than one!

Q: Why do we need more women in technology?

The presence of ladies in tech would surely bring a new perspective in the tech world. We are more sensitive and can give a different point-of-view on the problem-solving process. So working together, *between male and female techies*, sure will burst new creative ideas that we might not have thought before.

We, too, need females to have a voice on how future technologies should look like. And it won't hurt to have more besties to share gossip with in the office, no? *chuckle*

Q: Do you notice the lack of female engineers? If so, why do you think that's the case?

I'm aware of this problem since I was in university. Where we only had small numbers of females in each engineering class compared to the males. It also happens within the company, where I think the stereotypes are; the male is more suited to this kind of job compared to the females. But it's definitely getting better lately; we have more communities that empower us, female engineers.

Secondly, many of us have impostor syndrome, feeling less than what they actually are. It's saddening, yes, overshadowed by your own doubt. So, my message to all of you tech-besties, be proud of yourself! Build that 'can-do' attitude and strive to achieve more! You are, and you can be better each day!

Q: How important do you think it is to have mentors to further your career?

I must say that having mentors is really the best thing that can happen to me. Although not everyone has the privilege to be tutored by one. Nevertheless, you can get your own kind of supports from family, friends, seniors, even random people you meet at coffee shops! The gist is, you have to make the best out of that who supports you! Join the community, expand your friendship, and learn from their experience and knowledge to give you edges in this challenging world of engineering.

Q: What advice would you give to a woman considering a career in the tech industry?

First, you must drop that newbie-attitude! Be bold if you want to stand out within this competition. Second, relax, the guys are also happy to have the female point-of-view; remember, the goal is to create products that are beneficial for both the mass and the company. Treat them as your partner, not as an enemy. Last but not least, your skills speak louder than your gender. Be who you want to be!

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