06 Mar 2019 | Culture & Careers | by Robin Nierynck

Women making waves in our tech teams

Earlier this year, the state of Berlin declared International Women’s Day (Frauentag) a public holiday. In doing so, the capital became the first federal state to make International Women’s Day a public holiday in Germany.

International Women’s Day first took place in 1911 and has been held annually on March 8th since 1921. In light of this day dedicated to celebrating women, we spotlighted four women in our tech teams – Margherita, Akanksha, Mariia and Anita – and talked about why they pursued a career in tech, what they love about their job, and their goals for the future.

Margherita Terzi, QA Analyst

Half New Zealander, half Italian, Margherita was born in India and grew up between Australia and India.

Trained as a journalist, Margherita joined Delivery Hero in February 2015 after she “came for a summer and never left.”

Starting in restaurant-facing customer care, she then became a technical trainer, shifted to product operations, and finally started working as the QA Analyst she is today. Margherita and her team act as “the last wall before the user,” testing software for any issues.

“I was always fascinated by the QAs, they were my main point of contact when I was working with restaurants to solve technical issues,” Margherita says. “I realised testing was something I’d like to do. It was really helpful that my team at the time saw my potential and willingness to learn.”

“It was really helpful that my team saw my potential and willingness to learn.”

Margherita learned a lot on the job and spent her own free time reading up. She says a hands on approach and a willingness to learn can get you a far way. “Although I lack some hard tech skills, I want to build on my knowledge and develop my skills. I’m interested in investigating and finding the root cause of software failures, seeing the loopholes, and user-centric thinking,” she says.

Although tech was always the red line in her own career path, working in a number of different departments helped her see how the different pieces of the puzzle work together, allowing an understanding of the end user. “I’m passionate about having high quality products for the consumers, so they in turn have a great experience. I take my job seriously in ensuring this. A “Quality Ambassador”, if you will.

What career advice would you give your younger self?

Learn to code, never give up, and don’t take any bullshit!

Anita Prifti, Senior Test Analyst

“When you’re 18 it’s hard to know what you want to do with your life,” Anita says. She never planned on being where she is now, having studied Business Informatics because she wanted to keep her options open.

As a QA (Quality Assurance) for the RPS (Restaurant Partner Solution) core team, Anita focuses mostly on backend technology, and more specifically order processing.

Anita initially joined Delivery Hero in a customer support role and when a QA position opened a few weeks later she thought “why not.” Starting in manual QA, she soon began to dive more into the backend of the system.Working in the core team means there are a lot of sides to the work, Anita says, “Your end user could be the restaurants, the customer or the riders.” Anita’s team focuses mostly on making sure that everything works smoothly when an order is processed, fixing any issues that might arise.

Although she learnt on the job, Anita says: “I’m the kind of person that works best in a team. My team and my manager really encouraged me and were open to new ideas. That’s how I grew in the QA direction.”

“We need to create accepting working environments with diverse role models to look up to.”

Spending some time doing customer service really helped to foster a sense of empathy and understanding, Anita says. She also remembers that physically visiting the restaurants that the team creates solutions for was “one of the best experiences” for her. “When you see these guys juggling five different tasks at the same time you understand the challenges they face,” she says.

The working culture is one of the perks of the job, Anita says. “The atmosphere in the tech teams is amazing, there is real trust. There’s often no need to follow up, you know people will pull their weight. If there is one thing I’d like to change is having more women working in our tech teams.”

“As a QA you are part of a team and I love that. It’s important that we support each other in the everyday challenges and show women they can also be part & make a career in the tech world,” Anita says. “We need to create accepting working environments with diverse role models to look up to.”

What are you passionate about in your job?

Being of service and a team player. My favourite moment is when we plan how our applications/system will be designed and/or further built and the sweet moment of rolling out those changes to the outside world.

Akanksha Sharma, Software engineer

As a frontend engineer, Akanksha works on the Foodpanda and Foodora platform for post-order experience on the websites. Her area of expertise is Javascript.

The only frontend engineer in her 15-person team, Akanksha quickly notes “We need more frontend engineers!” (Apply here)

Akanksha moved to Berlin last year. “There was definitely a cultural shift
when I moved from India to Berlin,” she says. “Here you take more ownership of what you’re doing, expectations are high and you need to take responsibility. I like that. I like that there’s a balance of pressure to do well and still it’s great because people love their jobs.”There was a lot to re-learn after she moved, Akanksha says. “The weather is different, the language is different… This is my first winter in Berlin – I don’t understand what’s happening!” she laughs. “I didn’t think I’d ever miss sunlight,  there’s so much of it in India.”

“This is my first winter in Berlin – I don’t understand what’s happening!”

But Akanksha didn’t always plan on becoming a frontend developer. She graduated with an electrical engineering degree and got her first job in a computer science. “The first project assigned to me was Javascript, so I had to learn it on the job,” Akanksha remembers. She couldn’t start as an electrical engineer in India because it is deemed unsafe for women.

The move to Germany was mainly driven by a desire to explore a new country and experience new working cultures, although Akanksha says she isn’t particularly stuck on Berlin. “I’m more attached to Delivery Hero,” she says. “I’m attached to the company and I can see myself working here for many years, whether that’s in Berlin or elsewhere. Delivery Hero is where I see my future.”

What career advice would you give your younger self?

Read basics theory!

Mariia Naida – Senior Manager, Software Engineering

Originally from Ukraine, Mariia started at Delivery Hero as an engineer and then grew to senior manager, software engineering.

In the beginning Mariia worked remotely as she had a young child at home, and then gradually moved to working at the office full-time.

She has been a software engineer for over 10 years, ever since finishing university, where she studied computer science. From a family of engineers, Mariia developed an interest in programming from a young age – when she played with computers as a child.

For the last 1,5 years, Mariia led team Marvin, a 7 person team focussed on building global services for consumers.“It was never my ambition to be a team lead – that kind of just happened – my goal was always to deliver something that works and makes sense, something you’re proud of,” Mariia says. Nowadays Mariia has shifted her focus to machine learning, and is working to build a team around this topic.

“In the end we’re creating products for the real world, and the real world is a diverse place.”

“I like the fact that in my job you end up working with lots of different teams. I believe that tech is just a small part of the puzzle and you need to keep in mind the business objectives as well.”

Although she “never experienced any issues” herself, Mariia recognizes the tech industry remains a male dominated environment. But there are clear benefits to diversity, she says: “In the end we’re creating products for the real world, and the real world is a diverse place.”

“We need to understand why not more women study or apply for tech jobs, because they contribute important skills to the workplace. You need to be prepared to work hard to get there, but we need to work on building an accepting culture.”

As for the future, Mariia would like to build on her tech skills, as well as developing product and business skill sets. In the long run, she would like to run her own business one day.

What are your goals for 2019?

Enjoy every day.

About the author

Robin Nierynck

Senior Specialist, Global Communications
Delivery Hero