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Spotlight series: Meet Julia Ferrandiz, Lead Software Engineer, Vista

Julia Ferrandiz, Lead Software Engineer, Vista

ARTICLE SUMMARY

We recently caught up with Julia Ferrandiz, lead software engineer at Vista about her career so far and life at the company.

I’m 31 years old and from Barcelona (I grew up in a town close to Barcelona and moved to the city five years ago). I studied Telecommunication Engineering and I have been working as a Software Developer since 2015.

HOW DID YOU LAND YOUR CURRENT ROLE? WAS IT PLANNED? 

Julia Ferrandiz, with cat

My journey to my current role was a combination of both planning and serendipity. I studied Telecommunication Engineering and I didn’t have a clear idea of what kind of job I wanted to do after uni. During my studies at the university, I learned a diverse range of subjects, from signal transmission and electronics to telematics and physics, but it was computer science that I enjoyed the most. The subject felt more like taking part in a game or trying to solve a puzzle rather than studying. It was both challenging and entertaining. This realisation led me to choose a career as a Software Engineer when I graduated.

WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF IN YOUR CAREER, SO FAR? 

Julia Ferrandiz, plays football

My greatest achievement in my career so far is the overall progress and satisfaction that I have experienced. My professional journey has been a fulfilling one, with a lot of accomplishments and growth, but what I really appreciate is the fact that I have made lasting and meaningful connections with my colleagues, who have become more like friends to me. Furthermore, I take great pride in the fact that I have been able to maintain a healthy balance between my work and personal life, which is essential for me to be truly satisfied.

WHAT DOES AN AVERAGE WORKDAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU? 

An average workday for me is dynamic and always different. As the squad lead for my team, I am often the point of contact, which means that I spend a significant amount of time coordinating tasks with other teams from different areas, discussing plans and strategies with product owners, and answering questions from my team members. However, as a Software Engineer, I also spend a fair amount of time programming and working on projects, either alone or doing pair programming with my teammates.

Julia Ferrandiz, with dogs

Considering that I work on several tasks and assignments every day, I love the fact that I never feel bored. Working in a fast-paced and dynamic environment keeps me motivated and it is something I truly enjoy!

ARE THERE ANY SPECIFIC SKILLS OR TRAITS THAT YOU NOTICE COMPANIES LOOK FOR WHEN YOU’RE SEARCHING FOR ROLES IN YOUR FIELD? 

When companies are searching for Software Developers, they often focus on finding people with strong technical skills and the interviews are so rigorous that the candidates have to spend weeks preparing them. However, I believe it is also important to take into account any soft skills and culture-adds that our candidates can bring to the organisation. As a software developer, you will often work closely with teammates, stakeholders, and other internal teams so skills like problem-solving, effective communication, and being able to work in a team are all highly valuable.

Julia Ferrandiz, with bike

Additionally, the ability to understand the business problem and find the best solution that aligns with the company’s goals and objectives is beneficial for this role. Therefore, looking for a Software Engineer that has the strong technical expertise and soft skills is a successful combination.

JOINING AN ENGINEERING TEAM FOR THE FIRST TIME CAN BE DAUNTING. DO YOU HAVE ANY WORDS OF ADVICE FOR ANYONE FEELING OVERWHELMED? 

My advice for anyone feeling overwhelmed when joining an engineering team for the first time is to not be afraid to speak up and admit when you don’t know something. Engineers often have a lot of specialised knowledge, and they might assume that others have a similar level of understanding, but it’s important to remember that everyone needs to start somewhere.

It is totally fine to ask questions and clarify any doubts before starting a new task that you don’t fully understand. Additionally, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Your team members are there to support you and it’s better to ask if you are not sure if your approach is correct. Remember that everyone goes through this process and that you will gradually gain more knowledge and confidence as you work with your team.

My advice would be to believe in yourself and your abilities. It’s important to understand that you have the same potential for success as anyone else, regardless of your gender. Don’t let anyone discourage you from pursuing your goals. Sometimes men tend to look more confident, but believe me, most of the time they won’t know more than you.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE OTHER WOMEN WANTING TO REACH THEIR CAREER GOALS IN SOFTWARE ENGINEERING? 

Julia Ferrandiz, at the summit

Additionally, I would recommend building a strong network of peers, mentors, and supporters. Surround yourself with people who will encourage and support you, and who can offer guidance and advice.

Being successful at work takes time and effort, it is never easy and there is no exception in software engineering roles. Be patient with yourself and your progress, don’t be afraid to make mistakes, and always keep pushing yourself to be your best self, make sure you’re doing what brings you happiness and motivation!

Finally, advocate for yourself, and don’t hesitate to speak up for what you want and deserve. Women in technology fields are still underrepresented, and it’s important to make your voice heard.

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