Sofia, 22. May 2022

"The programmer’s job is very creative and is appropriate for mothers"

Interview with Irina Naskinova, programmer analyst at the AI department of Schwarz IT Bulgaria and mother of three

Tell us about your work at Schwarz IT Bulgaria.

My current role as a data engineer is related to managing the information infrastructure and flows of collecting data from various sources and in various formats. They are transported to big data warehouses and processed to be ready for analyzing. We guarantee and improve the reliability, efficiency, and quality of data.

What inspired you to join the IT industry?

I was impressed by websites that used Java applets to animate images. I wanted to be able to create a page like this and I learned HTML from books and some important things about JavaScript. To learn how to use it and develop my skills, I accepted the position at ProSyst Labs. I learned programming there.

How did you progress in IT?

After my first job, I worked as a programmer for various international companies: SEEBURGER, Proxiad and Hewlett-Packard. For some time I was self-employed and offered services in the online business and technologies for customers in the USA. I started at Schwarz IT Bulgaria because I had decided to take my next career step in the area of Big Data and AI.

What do you like most about the company?

Schwarz IT Bulgaria is a very dynamic IT company with great development opportunities. We use state-of-the-art platforms in the areas of big data, cloud technologies and AI. The team consists of very intelligent and harmonious people. A lot of resources and training are provided so that we can keep up with the pace of technological advances in the company.

What is your style of work?

The job of a programmer is related to problem solving. First, we describe everything we know about the problem, then we identify the end goal and divide the task into steps.

You have three kids. How do you manage to combine work and family life?

When my children were young, I was self-employed and worked from home. So I was able to plan my time and be with them with the support of my husband. Now they are older, more independent and we share the tasks.

How does Schwarz IT Bulgaria support mothers in the team?

The company gives us flexible working hours and at least one day a week from home, which means we can also take care of family obligations. There is a bonus for a child. Supplementary health insurance is very good and covers the advice of doctors during pregnancy. We have the option of taking out additional health insurance for the whole family.

The opinion that IT is more of a male territory still exists. Do you agree?

According to a recent one, it was found that women with strong math skills often also have excellent verbal skills, which are much less common in men. The IT industry requires significant complex thinking and human skills. At least 20-30% of the time is used for communication with colleagues from the team or other departments, with customers or managers.

The programming profession is very creative. It is also suitable for mothers, as you can work completely remotely and it offers flexible working hours.

The entire international community of programmers has a culture of knowledge sharing and mutual assistance. Women can be successful because they are more likely to ask questions and admit that they have not understood something. Thanks to their inherent empathy and intuition, as well as the ability to explain complicated matters in a simple and understandable way, women can promote good communication between people, teams, customers and managers. The IT industry needs this.

What motivates you to grow?

Curiosity and willingness to experiment. Every technological innovation has an unbelievable potential and offers many new possibilities. If there is a test environment, then all the necessary prerequisites for the realization of ideas are in place.

What would you say to young people, especially women, who do not want to switch to the IT industry yet?

The rapid development of technology will never bore you. The most important skill is to learn and experiment quickly, not to get bogged down in theory, but to put everything to the test, not to be afraid of errors and to move on to the next hypothesis.

How do you think will the IT sector develop in the coming years?

Very soon almost all apps will be used as cloud technology services, with integrated AI models, with big data, part of which will be sent by IoT sensors, being processed. Security and data privacy will be a major challenge, as well as maintaining the rights and freedoms we currently have in an even more transparent environment where there will be more data about us than we even realize.