“Knowledge Sharing is a Great Part of the Job” says Katarzyna Streich, Senior Software Engineer at r3

Last week we met with Kasia to find out what life is really like working for a company in the blockchain space.

How did you hear about r3?

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After participating in the programme at EF I was looking for a role that would give me the potential to grow more. I actually heard about this role after being contacted by a recruiter at r3. I had heard that r3 were working on some interesting technology and that there would be the opportunity to progress faster with the team at r3 than at bigger brands. When I started I was the only female dev until Kat joined.

What do you do for r3?

I’ve had the opportunity to spend the last two and a half years working on many different parts of the platform.  I was in core team, responsible for Merkle trees implementation and transaction tear-offs (privacy features), after that in network map and doorman (identity and network), now I am working on tokens library on Corda.

What inspired you to get into technology?

I have always enjoyed and been good at maths and was lucky enough to have parents who encouraged and supported me. After finishing High School in Poland, I was thinking about what to study at University and knew I wanted to do something practical, which led me to studying Maths and Computer Science at University. My Maths degree gave me a good theoretical background I liked how the computer science field constantly progresses and changes.

How did that morph into a career in technology?

During my BSc I worked as a developer and found that crypto merged my passion for maths and programming, 😍 so started researching career opportunities in the industry.

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When you enter the environment, you need to stop caring about what other people say. Most people in the industry are supportive, but there are always 10% that can be quite difficult. It can be more difficult because you are in the spotlight as a woman, but the most important thing is that you have to know your value.

As well as knowing your value, don’t be afraid to make mistakes and ask questions. When I was twenty something I made mistakes, it’s all part of the learning process. You get faster and more efficient if you have a mentor.

What do you enjoy most about r3 and your role?

There are a lots of things!

Team Collaboration - The knowledge sharing is a great part of the job. I get to work and collaborate with a variety of people from different areas of the business.

It’s Challenging - I also really enjoy the fact that there are always new open-ended problems to solve, and the challenges they bring with it.

Working on open source - it allows you to get different points of view and more outside input on projects you are working on which I think is really important.

How does your current role fit in with your career goals?

I’m currently really happy in this role- it’s given me the opportunity to develop my confidence as a programmer and has been a massive boost to my skills, which I hope to continue expanding in the future.

Realistically, we just have to remind ourselves that we can do it, and it is just knowledge and getting used to it.

Where do you see your role within the tech industry in the long-term?

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I’m currently building my knowledge in technical leadership, so looking long-term, I would love to be a technical lead, or have my own company! I also really like coding but enjoy the design phase too, so this is an aspect I’d like to explore over the next few years.

Looking long-term there are so many opportunities and different directions you can go, and I think people take such different career paths as their interests and skills develop. There are engineers at r3 with 20 years of experience who would still rather still be individual contributors than leads.

How does r3 currently promote inclusivity within the workplace?

There is a group that promote diversity and inclusion internally. Kat and I are both speaking at CordaCon this year.

Personally, one thing that I found helped the most, was finding people to talk to, and talk about/share work challenges with. I have a network of female professionals who all work in different engineering roles and it’s great to have a support system like that.

If you want to learn more about roles available at r3 contact laura@shecancode.io