From UX to Development: A Female Engineer's Journey

Anna Österlund, Codemill
March 6, 2024
What motivated you to choose a career in engineering?

I have been interested in technology and how things work since I was little. That, combined with an interest in human behavior and psychology, made me choose studying Interaction and Design at Umeå University.

Did you have any role models or female engineers that inspired you to become a developer?

I started off as a UX developer, doing both UX and development, when I joined Codemill. As a junior, the task of mastering both fields was a bit overwhelming and after a while I felt myself leaning more towards working only as a developer. 

Sadly, I did not have any female role models to look to when deciding to take the leap from UX developer to developer. I did, however, have great male role models to call upon for inspiration and support.

Is there any project in your career so far that has been particularly memorable that you can tell more about? 

I really love it when I know that what I develop connects to the end users' needs and goals, that we are not just solving a problem, but instead solving the right problems.

I was part of a project where we developed a search functionality for one of the major media companies. They were very set in their ways of how you could search for assets, a way that was not intuitive or easy at all. By using a user centered approach, and with a close collaboration between UX and development, we managed to create a solution that was both easy to use and very appreciated by the end users. An added bonus was that we got to visit the users to test our solution, and confirm that it actually did what we intended it to do.

What do you like most about your job?

I like that in my job there is always something new to learn, which means that it’s truly never boring. 

But, to be honest, what I like the most about my job is all the great people I get to work with. I have the privilege to work in a team with people that inspires, challenges and pushes me to be a better developer. The fact that they are kind, caring and inclusive is just the icing on the cake.

As a female engineer, what advice would you give to other women who are considering entering or are already in the field, but may face doubts or obstacles along the way?

One thing that I constantly need to remind myself is to stop underestimating or doubting my abilities. I think this is a thing that females often do; don’t!

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