She is working in both London and Dubai on something that has been in the works for all of her life. Our TechGirl of the week, Tania Asimionesei lives a fantastic life thanks to her job at Checkout.com and her hard work combined with love for coding. TechGirl interviewed this ambitious young woman.

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

By definition I’m a curious doer, which means that I like trying out new things and test them, see how they work and have that satisfaction of creating something from nothing. Coding offered me just that .. Plus it can bring all your wildest ideas to life, the
proof being in the impact that tech has across all industries and especially in
our day to day lives.

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

My passion for coding goes back to high school, but the curiosity for this field started way before that, when I believe a certain Pentium II PC was involved and I’ve seen my first lines of code in Pascal. Since then I kept searching for ways to understand the ‘magic’ and secrets behind this mysterious world of coding. I was a hooked noobie on a mission! As I started the high school and learned to write my first lines of C++ and Oracle, I soon realised that my expectations vs reality were quite different so for a while (during university Interview and a bit after) I changed paths, which surprise surprise lead me back to tech (I just couldn’t stay away haha) but this time with infinite possibilities for creation, design, interaction, frameworks, libraries, languages, databases, apps, and so on. I still find it absolutely fascinating what a few little lines of code can do.

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

My specialisation is in Front-end side of things, so I use HTML5, CSS3 – with some
preprocessors such as SASS, JavaScript/ES6 and it’s well known jQuery and ReactJS/
Redux, plus a few other tools and helpers such as JSX, Bootstrap, Gulp, Webpack, npm
packages, Optimizely, Photoshop, Sketch etc. Front-end represents the user’s interaction with the aesthetics of a website or a platform. So for example when you go let’s say on asos.com (yes I’m nerd, but still a girl which loves fashion as well), all the images that you see in the boxes, the categories, buttons, filters and everything else belongs to the front-end side aka the visual side if you will. To put it in perspective and to connect it to the technologies that I’ve listed above, one can say that you have 3 major areas that are tied to 3 things: HTML, CSS and Javascript.
Therefore if we view the front-end side as a human body:

– first of all you have the skeleton – which is HTML in web development,

– then you have the muscles, skin, hair, eyes and for all you have different attributes (e.g
hair can be blonde, brunette, red, pink, etc and it can be long, short, medium, and it can
also be thick or thin .. you get the idea right?) – which is where CSS comes into play in web development.

– and last but not least you have the actions or the movement of the body, which make it
fun (and the main difference between ‘dead and alive’ or ‘static vs dynamic’ as we like to
call it) – in our dev case Javascript does that and lets you click on a button or link or
image that takes you to another page or shows you a nifty animation or tiggers a modal
Now with the newer Javascript MVC frameworks such as ReactJS, AngularJS or VueJS all those main areas are a bit more intercalated and connected but with the same noble
purpose.

More recently I started to get a bit more into the backend side of things as well and also
trying to get more experience regarding mobile apps thanks to React Native, which opens a whole new world of opportunities and challenges for all the front-end developers out there.

 

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

At the moment I just started as a permanent Front-end Engineer at checkout.com (Dubai, UAE office), which is a very cool company (not just saying that because I work there, but they actually are! Don’t believe me and check them out), so my time is split between London and Dubai for a short period, as that’s where their HQ is.

 

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

Uhh that’s a tricky one because I love what I do, so it’s hard to give a straight answer, but I would say the thing that can become annoying is when you have a bug and you can’t fix it quick and you literally find the solution in your dream. I’m not even joking, it happened a few times and you realise that you never really leave work. It’s always sticks with you somewhere in your subconscious.

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

Travel around the world it’s definitely at the top of my list and one of my favourite thing to do! I know that now it’s a ‘trend’ to do that, but for me it’s just an extension at a bigger scale of what relaxed me and feeds that curiosity – all that culture, food and history. The last location visited was Mexico where I got the chance to see the Mayan pyramids – Chichén Itza, in Yucatan. It’s just unbelievable how they built them
and the way they played with the sound (that’s real technology right
there). I can talk for hours about this so maybe it’s a subject for another
time.

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

Through sharing their experiences and supporting each other – I think that’s the main thing! I remember when I first started to work full time as a developer and I was looking at my colleagues that would debug something in a second, while for me it took hours and I remember thinking that maybe I wasn’t good at it or why am I doing this since clearly everyone else understands things way easier, why am I writing code so slow, but the truth is that EVERYONE has been like that at the beginning and it just takes time and practice. But because I didn’t had a women developer in a senior position to ask and talk to, I just felt like I wasn’t very good at this.

Luckily at one of my previous companies that I worked for in London, I got the chance for a short period of time, to mentor a very passionate and creative junior developer, that was facing the same situation and she actually found it hard to believe that we all go through the same thing when we are starting. I know that probably most of the guys out there are shaking their heads and fluffing up their egos, but what you need to understand is that as girls/ladies we put a to of pressure on ourselves. You know its not enough that society, family, friends, social standards, etc pressure us into looking in a certain way, acting in a certain way, thinking in a certain way, but a lot of people are expecting us to fail and quit just because it’s a male dominated field and
we are too ‘emotional ’. So if you are lady that just started, don’t worry girl, you’re gonna be a coding ninja in no time!

What are your plans and hopes for the future?

I used to have lists and spreadsheets and notebooks full with plans for the future, for the next five years, for the next year, month, week, but I realised that life just happens
and you have to be flexible and embrace that. Who knows what amazing thing might be on it’s way, right?!! But full disclosure, still have 2 spreadsheets with goals just because that’s how I function best, but they are there more as guidelines. For example on the professional side, in a few years I want to become a CTO and also support people that want to get into tech so I’m working towards that as much as I can. All in all I see a very happy and optimistic future with very little <br>s and a whole lot of ‘npm run life’ going on. For real time updates you can follow me on instagram @codinggirl22.

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