Vassiliki Dalakiari is a Senior Software Engineer at Anixe, based in Greece. In this interview with Women4IT partner CreThiDev, she highlights the benefits of diversity in the digital world, and takes us through her own career path.
W4IT: Could you tell me more about who you are and what you do?
Vassiliki Dalakiari: Hi! I am Vasiliki Dalakiari and I am a Senior Software Engineer. I work at Anixe, a company that develops SaaS products and services for the tourism industry. I specialise in Web Technologies, and my programming love for the last three years has been Angular in frontend and NodeJS/Python in backend.
Aside from my job, I am also passionate about the work I do with the Mataroa NGO and the U.S. Embassy in Athens with the Codegirls program, that brings young girls into the fascinating world of programming.
I am also an amateur bag manufacturer, a semi-professional bartender and a trying-but-not-so-good dancer.
W4IT: How did you get to where you are right now in your career?
VD: When I was young I wanted to be a pharmacist; obviously it did not work out, but I was lucky enough to have accidentally studied Computer Engineering, which is where I found my true love.
I started professionally coding in 2009, when I was in my senior year. I worked at Hearst DOL Publications until May 2014, and then I joined the IT web team of Public.gr, the number one retailer of books and technology in Greece. I quit in December 2016 to enter the start-up market that was booming at the time. In the following years, I was a member of multiple start-ups from different sectors, including:
- Palo Services: offers content services for consumers and brands.
- Great Sam: enables users to create quests on a platform for other users to select and complete in real life, receiving a reward in return.
- Allcancode: specialises in super-fast web and mobile app development for marketing and advertising.
- HireFlows: develops an HR selection software aiming to find the right person for every job with accuracy and ease.
In April 2020, I decided to leave the start-up ecosystem and join Anixe.
W4IT: What are the benefits for a woman to work in the tech sector?
VD: I do not think that there are any additional benefits for women working in the tech sector. It is all about the passion and the love of what you do, no matter your gender. Technology is one of the most rewarding sectors, because every day you can create, use and improve products and services that make the lives of others better.
W4IT: What are the benefits for a company in the tech sector to have a woman working with them?
VD: Companies can expect great benefits from diversity. More specifically, different perspectives and ideas lead to better problem solving. This diversity includes gender, sexual orientation and race. Moreover, studies have shown that companies with women in leadership roles outperform companies that do not (one such study). It is also important to remember that there is a huge market with women-only products and services that lack technologically-driven innovation, including menstruation products, ovulation tracking tools/apps, pregnancy products and more.
W4IT: Why is developing digital skills important in terms of opportunities for women?
VD: We live in a world that is empowered by technology. Each year our dependency on technology increases, and as such, digital skills are now mandatory in most, if not all, working sectors. It is not only important for women to develop digital skills, but for all individuals. For women particularly though, digital skills unlock potential opportunities for a great future that would be otherwise impossible to achieve.
W4IT: What advice do you have for young women who would like to start their career in digital?
VD: As the Nike slogan says: “Just do it”. And when I say this, I mean do what you want and ignore the naysayers. Do not be afraid to make mistakes and ask questions (or just Google it!). As one of my mentors once said to me: “only those who do not work, do not make mistakes”. And stay curious; curiosity will give you the push you need to explore your dreams.
Interview by CreThiDev