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Meet Rajni Kewlani, Senior Backend Developer at Adyen

Rajni Kewlani, Senior Backend Developer at Adyen

ARTICLE SUMMARY

In our latest woman in tech interview, we catch up with Rajni Kewlani - Senior Backend Developer at Adyen. Rajni shares with us her route into tech, how she thinks companies can improve their representation of women in tech … and much more.

In our latest woman in tech interview, we catch up with Rajni Kewlani – Senior Backend Developer at Adyen.

Rajni shares with us her route into tech, how she thinks companies can improve their representation of women in tech … and much more.

So, how did you get into tech?  

My journey to tech was not a linear one – when I was a kid I actually wanted to become a doctor. Back then I thought being a doctor was the best way to have a direct impact on people’s lives and I always wanted to become someone who can contribute to making people’s lives easier, better and safer. As I grew up, I realised there is more than one way to achieve this. Technical jobs may not be as visible as medical ones, but they play a big role in changing people’s lives, starting from simple tasks like buying groceries and booking tickets online to complex medical and safety equipment tech is everywhere. The more I learned about it the more I loved it and decided to become an engineer.

What do you enjoy most about working for Adyen & role and how does your current role fit in with your career goals?  

Adyen Sydney office

Photography by andre&dominqiue

It is impressive how everyone in Adyen works together in harmony and with a positive attitude – regardless of different cultures, experiences, and knowledge levels. As a developer at Adyen, I can continue to grow in technical roles, while also collaborating with other teams that work closely with our merchants and have an impact on people’s day to day lives.  

Adyen gave me the opportunity to do both and work in these two dynamic areas – payments and technology – together. It’s a different level of satisfaction when you see Adyen everywhere – starting from your bank statements to the terminals of shopping malls – and inside your heart you know that you contributed to writing the code that makes it all possible.   

What’s the best piece of career advice you have ever received?  

The one piece of advice that had the most impact on me was “make sure you learn something new every day because at the end, knowledge is power.” The tech industry is very dynamic, volatile, and full of innovation. Regardless of your role, staying competitive and current is crucial for growth.

And what advice would you give to young women in tech, just starting out in their career?  

Do something you enjoy. If you don’t, it will be difficult for you to follow this path because, like any other job, it can be boring and frustrating at times. When you enjoy your work, you are willing to go the extra mile. I know it is not always easy to find a great fit but trust me, it is worth it.  

Personally, I have gone through different phases in my career and played many different roles in different companies. I learned that I am most motivated when I am doing something I am really passionate about, otherwise it just becomes another job to finish with little joy in completing it.  

Adyen Sao Paulo office

From your experience, what do you think companies can do to help drive better female representation in tech? 

In order to achieve gender equality in the workplace, I believe it’s essential to not only work towards female representation in tech companies but to start at the very beginning and first help them enter the industry. There is not enough encouragement. The programming field is largely male-dominated, so female talents can feel discomfort at a very early stage to enter such a male-heavy industry. That’s the step where it goes wrong and then becomes a continuous industry trend. Throughout my career, I worked majorly with male developers – most of the time, I was the only female developer on the team. I am incredibly proud to be a developer but it bothers me that the gender ratio is so imbalanced. For my female peers in tech, I think we can contribute positively with some important steps, such as:  

Adyen in Amsterdam

– Provide unconscious bias training to the full team, and especially to hiring managers and recruiters: Taking this training at Adyen made me realize that sometimes we are biased and don’t even realize it, which can lead to making biased decisions. Now that I am consciously aware of the bias I have myself, I can try to put them aside and make fairer decisions.

– Create a culture that embraces diversity: There is often resistance to hiring females for senior roles, because of the expectation that women will have conflicting personal circumstances. For example, when women reach a certain age, there is an expectation that they will be spending more time with their families, whether that’s maternity leave or simply picking their kids up from school. We should work towards removing this expectation, as both men and women experience personal events that can conflict with work, and workplaces should instead focus on creating flexible structures that support individual needs.

What tools, resources or organisations have you used when it comes to skilling up and/or building a network? 

Compared to past times, the freely available resources to learn and continuously skill up is a thousand times better. The most popular ones which almost every developer knows and uses on a day-to-day basis are among others: LinkedIn, StackOverflow, Github, Youtube tutorials, and books and podcasts. But no matter which medium you choose for your learning, the most important thing is: Keep Practicing.

LEARN MORE ABOUT WORKING AT ADYEN

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