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Alexa's experience report #4

30th April 2018

Alexa Erfahrungsbericht Web Development
Alexa reports to us directly from her bootcamp

Women also develop a passion for Web development

Plan F, the Otto Group's female network, visits us at the Web Development Bootcamp

Hi! I'm Alexa, 26 years old and I'm participating in the Web Development Bootcamp of neuefische - School and Pool for Digital Talent. In the next weeks I will tell you about my experiences during the course and provide you with information about our further education as web developers at neue fische - School and Pool for Digital Talent.

The fact that women, just like men, can also excel in technical professions has now been accepted by most companies. But unfortunately, there are still far too few female graduates in the relevant fields of study, such as computer science, engineering, etc. Precisely because of the ongoing shortage of skilled workers in Germany, more and more companies are now making an effort to attract more women to the relevant industries.

The shortage of skilled workers has also reached the very large companies such as the Otto Group, which employs around 50,000 people worldwide. That's why we were visited this week by Isabelle Ewald and Dörte Müller (both employed by the Otto Group), who introduced us to their company and at the same time showed us the solutions Otto has developed to address the challenges ahead.

Expanding the role of women in IT professions

For example, the Otto Group is specifically committed to the advancement of women: both Isabelle and Dörte are members of the Group's company-wide women's network. In this network, many women (and some men, too) are committed to expanding and advancing the role of women in the company. This involves networking and internal coaching of promising female candidates as well as special scholarships for further training in areas where women have tended to be less represented - such as IT. This approach seems to be working well for the Otto Group so far, and I'm curious to see if the women's network can continue to expand its work in the coming years. In any case, it sounded sympathetic to me and I will definitely be interviewing for a job at Otto. 

"Future Day" shows: Young girls can also get excited about coding and web development

Fittingly, the annual Future Day at Hamburg schools also took place this week. Our course also received a visit from 14-year-old Leni on Thursday. It was great to see how interested she is in coding already and it motivated me a lot to continue on my way. Maybe all the women who are doing this bootcamp with me right now can help later on in their jobs to make it something normal for women to sit in IT departments and for girls to decide to study computer science (or bootcamp).

Our learning group at the neuefische bootcamp.

Many other companies are already aware that a balanced gender ratio in departments, but also in any other area outside of IT, can be quite useful and beneficial for the working atmosphere. This is also the case for the people at neuefische. The positive effects on the working atmosphere can also be observed in our course. Even though the bootcamp was not primarily designed as a training for women, we still have more women than men in our group (8 women - 6 men).

Mixed teams simply work better, also in our Web Development Bootcamp.

Without wanting to slip too deeply into clichés now: I have personally experienced in my previous jobs that it is very good for the working atmosphere to have a balanced gender ratio. I haven't really felt comfortable in either female- or male-dominated teams. So I'm all the happier that I can now learn in a mixed team. And I hope that this will continue with my next employer.

A Web Development Bootcamp is no walk in the park: High stress tolerance required
The fourth week of our Web Developer training is now over. At the latest now it is clear that this bootcamp will be anything but a walk in the park. The pace of learning has increased to such an extent that it is easy to lose touch without follow-up work at home. This doesn't leave everyone unscathed - after all, it significantly restricts one's private life. I, too, notice that I have noticeably less free time, meet up with friends less often, and in the evenings, after classes and extra work at home, I would prefer to fall straight into bed.
But slowly we are all starting to develop a little passion for the simpler and more complex logics of JavaScript. On top of that, our cohesion as a group is still so great that we support each other. Especially this cohesion is more important now than ever, as every now and then each of us despairs of a task and needs help. However, I hope that the pressure will not increase even more in the coming weeks.

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