Bernine Caruana is a Senior Software Eningeer at CS Technologies, based in Malta. In this interview with Women4IT partner Tech.mt, she discusses how her career path has evolved, her thoughts on digital skills, and what needs to be done to encourage more women into technical careers.
W4IT: Could you tell me more about your role as Senior Software Engineer?
Bernine Caruana: My career in ICT started in 2017 when I graduated in Software Development from the University of Malta. After 3 years of working at CS Technologies, I am now a Senior Software Engineer. As a full-stack developer, I am involved in both the front-end (the part of the application with which users interact) as well as the back-end (the part of the application which is not directly accessed by the user). When starting any project, the first phase would be to meet with clients and outline a set of requirements and features to be developed. Parallel to this, there would be a phase of research and development where we would be undergoing research on new technologies which will be used throughout the project. Once the project starts, the features discussed in initial meetings will be split into smaller tasks, with each task estimated and assigned a target date in relation to the project timeline. This role also involves being first-line support to clients as well as liaising on tasks internally.
W4IT: How did you get to where you are right now in your career?
BC: At an early age, be it at home or school, I was always the one in front of the PC whenever it wasn’t functioning properly. The path towards a career within this sector started early and felt a natural choice. I never looked back, and year after year my eagerness and interest in technology and ICT continued to build up. During my secondary and post-secondary education, by default, I chose Computers as my main subject followed by Computing A-Level at post-secondary. At the University of Malta I read for the course of Software Development. Since then, I have followed short online courses in various computing languages. Last year I also became a Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer. In this field, it’s really important to stay updated with the most recent emerging technologies.
W4IT: What has been the role of technology and digital skills on this path?
BC: The fact that new technologies in the digital world are constantly emerging excites me and anyone who has built a career in this industry. This field is dynamic and vibrant. It injects a certain level of excitement into an individual to learn of new technologies and always keep abreast of current technologies and how everything is revolving around IT and digitalisation. Some of the skills that this field has taught me are problem-solving skills and communication.
W4IT: How important do you think developing digital skills is nowadays? Why?
BC: It is extremely important. Even if one doesn’t work within the IT industry, digital skills can still be applied to other fields. With most industries moving towards computerised solutions, it is important to have knowledge on how to use the right digital tools to access digital resources as well as having information processing skills. Moreover, in today’s society, we are seeing manual jobs opting for computerised solutions which highlight even more the importance of digital skills in sectors other than ICT.
W4IT: How important is it in the context of women?
BC: Since new opportunities within this sector are created daily, without digital skills, women would be missing out on a large number of job opportunities. Notwithstanding this, it is important for the young female generation to have digital skills and be made aware that women belong in ICT too.
W4IT: Do you think we should have more women in the tech sector / digital jobs? Why?
BC: As a female within the sector, it’s always a pleasure to see more women pursue a career in IT. Increased participation of women in the tech sector will allow their full participation in society and will bring different dimensions to problem-solving skills. I believe that if we challenge the digital gender stereotypes and we educate the general public on women´s presence in this field from the start, young girls would have more role models to look up to in this industry. Every sector which lacks a particular gender representation must be addressed.
W4IT: What advice do you have for young women who would like to start their career in tech/digital?
BC: My advice would be to always follow a career path you truly imagine yourself working in. When doing so, your daily job would not feel like ‘work’, but rather something that you enjoy doing. Working in ICT doesn’t require any special traits over other career paths – other than loving your job, being focused on what you want to achieve and always wanting to discover more. Additionally, there are various international and national organisations (such as MissInTech) which provide support as well as knowledge-sharing to women who are starting their career in this field.
Interview by Tech.mt