Monitor collaborates with Tjejer Kodar campaign
Monitor ERP System is starting up a partnership with Tjejer Kodar (Girls Code), an organization in Sweden that works to encourage more women to choose an education or career in system development.
The common goal is to create a more gender-equal, inclusive industry.
“We hope this will grow into a long-term partnership where we can work together to shape our development and play a part in changing the industry on a wider scale,” explains Sandra Engström, head of Employer Branding and Recruitment at Monitor ERP System.
We caught up with three of Monitor’s female developers – Lova, Snezhina, and Madelene – to find out their view of the industry at present. Despite taking different routes into their roles, all three are driven by the challenge of constantly solving new problems.
▲ Lova is 28 years old and works as a system architect, which means she’s involved in deciding how the ERP system is designed from a technical perspective. She joined Monitor straight from upper secondary school just over 10 years ago.
“What started as an internship soon turned into a summer job, a temporary position, and finally, permanent employment. In the beginning I worked directly with customers in our adaptation department. Two years later, I was hand-picked for the team tasked with developing the next version of the ERP system; and that’s how it went.”
▲ Snezhina has been a system developer at Monitor for nearly two years. Her team are responsible for all the procedures in MONITOR relating to sales or purchase, which is a pretty broad area.
“Before starting at Monitor I studied Software Engineering and Management in Gothenburg, but I always knew I wanted to end up at Monitor. My first day here came three days after presenting my Bachelor’s essay, so you could say things worked out just the way I wanted in the end!” she laughs.
▲ Madelene is 24 years old, and grew up in Hudiksvall. She moved to Sundsvall to do a two-year course – System Development, Java – completing an internship and her thesis at Monitor during her final year of study.
“I then moved back to Hudiksvall, and have been working at Monitor ever since. I’ve been here almost two years now, based in our adaptation department. We develop external programs for customers who already use, or will begin using MONITOR,” she explains.
What is the most enjoyable part of your job?
Snezhina: “In all honesty, that I feel comfortable enough to ask questions all the time. When it comes to code there’s always something new to learn, which is the best thing. I can’t think of anything more fun than finally solving a tricky bug with a single row of code, and learning something new along the way.”
Madelene: “The variation. Each adaptation is unique to the customer, and I get to take part in so many areas of each project, which can be small, large and everything in between. My job also allows me a lot of responsibility, and close contact with the customer, which I really like.”
Lova: “To come up with smart, creative solutions to problems. A lot of people who aren’t really familiar with programming think it’s about logic and math, but for me, it’s also a way of expressing my creativity. I like to think of it as an art form. For every given problem there are as many solutions as there are people. Each solution is unique, and the hunt for the smartest, most effective and elegant solution to the problem is what really motivates me.”
When it comes to programming, it’s all about your skills – people judge you by your knowledge and expertise, not your gender, skin color, age, or sexual orientation.
Do you have any tips for girls interested in a career in system development?
Lova: “If you’re passionate about programming, just go for it! The industry is crying out for new recruits, so if you think programming is fun, this is a great period to work in an exciting and challenging field where you can develop your skills. In my experience, groups of developers are among the most inclusive you can find. When it comes to programming, it’s all about your skills – people judge you by your knowledge and expertise, not your gender, skin color, age, or sexual orientation.”
Why do you think there are so few girls working in the industry?
Madelene: “I think a lot of it is down to the enduring perception that programming is for guys, which is still around unfortunately. Above all, there are a lot of people who maybe don’t really understand what it means to work in system development. The only thing they see is that ‘you write loads of code’, but behind this there’s a lot of variation, creativity, and problem-solving work which I think many people fail to realize.”
Snezhina: “I think it feels a bit like a boys’ club sometimes, especially when most of the established developers are guys. It’s about believing in yourself and finding a workplace where people make you feel at home – like Monitor, for example.”
All three are delighted Monitor have teamed up with Tjejer Kodar.
Lova: “It shows we’re committed to getting more girls to choose a career in development.”
Snezhina: “At last! I think Monitor is just the type of company that fits the Tjejer Kodar philosophy, and I’m proud that we’re finally doing something together (and that I’m involved).”
So why should a developer choose to work at Monitor?
Madelene: “The work here is varied and challenging. There are good development opportunities and you learn something new all the time, thanks to our down-to-earth managers and capable, helpful colleagues. We have good staff benefits and a really nice workplace, but more than anything, the morale here is excellent. And because of this, I feel like it’s fun to go to work every morning.”