“Being a good specialist in a specific domain is much more important than your gender group” | Interview with Stefanie Ciutac

When I received the email from Stefanie, I knew I was going to enjoy reading her interview. Stefanie is from Chisinau, Moldova (Eastern Europe) and her current career path is working as a Scrum Master for Noction.

Noction is a privately funded technology company with offices in the US, Europe, and Asia. Founded in 2011, the company provides cutting edge network intelligence technologies, enabling organizations of all sizes to take full advantage of maximum network performance for their business-critical applications such as e-commerce, VoIP and media streaming across IP networks.

Stefanie experience, advice and views really are admirable. I hope you enjoy her interview as much as I do! Thank you Stefanie for taking the time to power the community with your brilliance.

Before you started your career, what was your educational experience? Did you have any work experience?

I was a 18 years old IT-enthusiast when I first applied for an internship in Quality Assurance. Before that, I was involved in a national mentorship program for young ladies in the STEM domain – GirlsGoIT. For more than 3 years, I attended a lot of courses on both technical and non-technical topics within this program. For sure, this mentorship and coaching program describes my first official meeting with the IT domain challenges. Also, I was involved in the “Learn IT, girl” international mentorship program that aimed to teach young IT enthusiasts key aspects of the STEM domain.

Right after the graduation exams (high school exams), I followed an internship in testing (Quality Assurance) at Noction. This was a 2 months paid internship in which I was involved in the program assisting the development and testing teams with both technical and non-technical tasks. Also, I worked closely with different team members in order to learn more about the Noction’s products.

I was working as a QA Engineer for 1 and a half years. In this period, I was responsible for ensuring the products meet the established standards of quality including reliability, usability and performance required for distribution.

I have been working as a Scrum Master for 3 months. Recently certified as a Professional Scrum Master at scrum.org. Mainly responsible for promoting and supporting Scrum as defined in the Scrum Guide. Scrum Masters do this by helping everyone understand Scrum theory, practices, rules, and values. The Scrum Master is a servant-leader for the Scrum Team.

Starting from Fall 2018 I am involved in a Bachelor full-time Course – Software Engineering, at Technical University of Moldova.

Starting from Fall 2019 I became a Tech Woman Ambassador for Moldova in the context of the Tech Women Ambassadors Program implemented and powered by Tekwill.

What does your organisation do to support a diverse work culture?

Diversity at work is extremely important to create a successfully growing team, especially when it comes to employee engagement. Workplace diversity promoted at Noction encourages the ability to create interesting new things and invention of new things because every team member, from leadership to frontline workers, brings a variety of backgrounds, experiences, and points of view to the table.

Working at Noction offers each employee unique and diverse opportunities for everyone to be involved in the company’s activities. There are meaningful opportunities for Employee Engagement like internal contests, sport activities, and knowledge sharing sessions. More than this, there is a special workplace flexibility designed for each employee.

What is your favourite quote and who was it by?

“The best project you will ever work on is YOU” – I chose this quote as a personal motto. Its origin is unknown due to the fact that the meaning and the complexity of this was, and is still changing over time.

The actual meaning for me is that your success is based on your effort and not dependent on someone else seeing the light or even agreeing with you. YOU is the only person that has the power to control the outcome.This approach gives you more confidence, no victimization is allowed, and moreover – your personality will inspire others to start working on themselves. Nowadays companies, projects and products can fail, fall and even crash, but YOU can’t. Moreover, working on yourself improves you as a specialist and as a personality. This ensures a successful career, strong professional relationships, and better results.

Do you think there is a lack of mentoring and coaching for Women in Tech?

It is not a secret that the STEM domain has a problem with gender representation. Being a good specialist in a specific domain is much more important than your gender group.

I agree on the part that there is a lack of mentoring and coaching for women that choose the Tech world. Mentoring can take on many forms and can be for sure considered a key need. Mentorship and coaching boost self-confidence. Nowadays, if not done right, mentorship programmes fully dedicated to women will not deliver positive results for anyone.This is why at the end of the mentoring program, involved individuals should have a clear view and understanding of what they want or need to achieve.

Margie Warrell shared a very beautiful idea for Forbes regarding this topic, “It’s well established that the economic empowerment of women isn’t just good for women, it’s good for everyone”. I would complete this idea with “Mentorship programs dedicated to a bigger audience tend to have more impact on individuals”.

How would you encourage the younger generations of girls to follow a career path into technology?

The STEM domain is very large and diverse. STEM  is more than just research laboratories and technology companies. Nowadays, the IT industry has evolved so much that in order to pursue a career in technology you just need to turn on your creativity and the civic spirit. Go for big things and step out of your comfort zone. Give your goals and achievements an IT perspective and technological view of the future.

What groups/courses/platforms would recommend to the Women in Tech Collective?

I’d like to invite you to join the WomenTech Global Conference. The Conference will take part between 10 and 12 of June, virtual.

As a Global Ambassador I can share free access with you: https://www.womentech.net/women-tech-conference?join=Mjk4MA==

There will be inspiring talks (from Google, Amazon, Etsy, Netflix, IBM and many others), sessions, training, and it will be a great opportunity to expand your network and to find new work opportunities.

Groups: Women Who Tech; WIT – Women in Technology; Global Tech Women; GirlsGoIT Community

Are you inspried as much as I am? Well make sure you check out Stefanie on her socials:

Would you like to feature of The Wonder Women in Tech? Please get in touch today via the contact page.

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