Sometimes you wish you had more time to really develop your personal website, but there is simply no time because you are too busy working. And in the case of Larisa Aksenova she was a lawyer playing video games who thought: “something is missing in my life”. She changed her course and now she is a successful Automation Developer. This is her story.

You are a girl who codes, why did you start doing that?

I had seven years of experience in across different industries (in a big building and financing firms) as a lawyer, and I had a feeling, that something is missing. I was always attracted to the IT industry and computers (for many years I was a gamer). I knew that I have to try and get into this field or I would always wonder if I could do it. When I communicated with people from IT industry, were so many buzzwords that I didn’t know about, so I educated myself by reading blogs and watching YouTube videos. After reading the first book on testing, I reframed my resume and start searching for a job. It was the most amazing decision in my life, in a month I found my first job – QA Engineer in the mobile development department. The whole year I have tested mobile applications on several projects of the company and constantly developed my engineering skills and including the Java programming language.

You are what we consider a TechGirl, when was the first time you were attracted to the magic that is technology?

From the first day of my work I had a feeling that IT is my passion, because, first of all, it’s interesting. At the same time it will be interesting to you whether you will be to feel “drive”, often depends on you, because there is a choice. Nowadays there are so many companies and projects, technologies that are different and you can always change something. This is quite a creative process because you have to choose between development or design and you need to look for the best solutions for any problems that might come up. And I really like the people I work with. They always have something to learn, it’s interesting to communicate with them and not just about work.

What languages do you use for coding and with what purpose?

I am writing auto-tests using Javascript with Jest and Puppeteer for UI testing of web application. Jest provides a platform for automated testing along with a basic assertion library (Expect). Puppeteer a Node.js library for controlling headless Chrome.

Do you have own company or do you work for a company, can you tell us a bit about your job?

The company which I work for is located in the City of Vienna, Austria. I work as QA Automation Developer in the team which works remotely from Russia, a web-based authoring solution for the creation of intelligent content by Microsoft Word users. It is the innovative end to end solution from one provider for structured content authoring in the most modern web editor supporting DITA for SharePoint, saving data to enriched Word and XML/HTML files.

What do you find is the hardest thing about your job?

The hardest thing for me to stop and just postpone the task if something does not work out. On the other hand, persistence is a good trait when it is necessary to achieve the set goal.

What do you like to do when you are not coding?

In my spare time, I go to IT meetups and conferences. Learning English. I’m taking an online course on JS. I like to spend time with family and friends. Play board games.

How do you feel is the best way for women to empower each other in the tech field?

I changed my profession at 32 and I do not have a professional technical education. At first, I was very scared to respond to the vacancies and send resumes, but not because I’m a girl. I was afraid that I just do not know anything to go to work. We all come and start doing from scratch – both guys and girls. Doubts and uncertainty at me happen constantly, in fact, I work with very clever people. Besides, in our profession, it’s impossible to know everything. It is normal to doubt yourself, but we must not forget and praise ourselves for achievements. Even if you are 30 years old, continue to study every day. Change approaches, review what you did a month ago, a year ago, get better. Then the rate of change in the industry, which changes by 50% every two years, will not affect you. I hope my personal example will help other women of any age and education are not afraid to change their lives and fulfill their dreams!

What are your plans and hopes for the future?

I want to travel a lot and maybe even live in different parts of the world. At the moment, there is a dream – to grow into a Javascript developer. And examples for imitation – colleagues at work. We have a very cool team.

Want to get to know Larisa even better? Check out her Twitter (@larispusik) or Instagram (laripusik_la).

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