Woman in tech: Interview with Customer support engineer manager
Celebrating women in tech, Faultfixers got the pleasure of talking with a customer support engineer manager.
Having studied in Portugal and graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Computing and Medical devices engineering, the engineer then moved to the UK to continue her career in tech.
“Always share your thoughts right or wrong, always ask questions and share your views when you disagree with people, but also accept when you’re proven wrong.”
With years in tech, the engineer shares her advice for aspiring women in tech, and her experiences so far as a woman in tech:
What role are you currently in within tech?
Customer support engineer manager / technical support manager
What do you do in your role?
My team and I look at technical issues our sellers face when implementing our product.
We are constantly looking at our seller’s code, helping them solve any issues that they may encounter while integrating or using our product, as well as code analysis we help our sellers use our APIs, webhooks and also query our database to get the impact of bugs that we find so we can communicate priority when reporting them to the product team.
We work closely with the product and engineering team reporting bugs, helping test bugs and new features before they are released to production
I’ve started as an individual contributor, was hired to create the team from the ground up and I’m now managing the team as well as line managing 3 people.
What’s an achievement that stands out to you in your ‘role’?
Shaping the role to the company’s needs and making it one of the most reliable and efficient teams in the company.
The support my team provides both externally and internally is crucial not just to our customers but to my department and other teams across the organisation including the engineering, risk and sales teams.
As well as in your career in tech?
I’ve always been a problem solver and liked to create solutions to automate manual processes for example.
And the one thing that bothers me the most is knowing that someone in the company is wasting time doing a manual repeated process when there are ways to avoid that. Unfortunately, there is always someone or several people doing horrible and tedious manual repeated processes, and I will always go out of my way to automate things and make things better for them.
I’ve done several automation projects over the years for myself, for my department and for other departments, mostly the finance and buyer support team.
I tend to jump in whenever the engineering team is too busy to be able to do it or during company hackathons.
What do you enjoy the most about being in a leadership position?
I love to improve the team’s efficiency, making sure we are always improving while making sure the team is happy and work is fulfilling.
But most importantly the fact that I can pass on my leanings and help other people succeed and evolve their careers.
What was your first role in tech?
Junior programmer at a consultant company in Portugal.
And what did it teach you about being a woman in the industry/workplace?
Nothing out of the ordinary, in Portugal I didn’t feel any sexism toward me as a woman in particular.
After coming to the UK I realised I was super lucky to have grown in an environment where I never felt less or discriminated against for being a woman. I always felt that women are as smart as men… I guess this view also came from the fact that at school the best students were always women.
Is there anyone (male or female) that inspires you and if so, why?
My current manager, for being kind, really caring about the people that she manages but at the same time for being strong and fierce, never giving up until she gets what is right always driving people to do more and to do better.
What does success within your career look like for you?
When people come to get your opinion on urgent matters, your voice is heard, you get recognition for your work and you feel like you have a path to evolve your career towards.
Why should women be excited about a career in tech?
It opens a world of possibilities and as we get more and more digital it becomes essential to have technical skills.
Do you have any advice or tips for women who want to get into tech?
Don’t doubt yourself, we women tend to overthink or judge our work too much, imposter syndrome is our biggest enemy. Feeling like what you do is never good enough that you could have done better, makes us excel compared to men but also sets us back. We always think we are not ready, we’re not good enough or don’t know as much as other people that have been in tech for longer.
My husband used to say that I know more than a lot of deemed experienced people (sadly mostly men) in the field and I used to think he was just trying to cheer me up. But as I worked more and more in the field I realised he was right, most of the time I did know more or the same but the difference is that they were just more confident, men don’t doubt themselves as much as we do and that makes you believe they are better just through the way they present themselves.
So try to shut down that nagging voice in your head, if you worked hard and you’ve given your best then you have no reason to doubt yourself so be confident and proud of the work you’ve done.
As well as that, we as women tend to not want to be loud or call attention to ourselves too much and in my case, we don’t even realise we are doing this. One of my managers funny enough a man told me he thought most of the time in meetings I knew the answer to certain things but was not sharing all my thoughts (he was right I was only doing that after I was certain I was correct), he also told me I was quiet, which I was shocked a little because in my mind I was loud enough.
From that moment onwards I was as loud as I could be, shared all the thoughts I had during meetings, asked all the questions and shared all my opinions. After that, I saw that people were respecting me more and more and that was the reason I was able to progress in my career.
Therefore don’t be afraid to be loud, make your voice heard, always share your thoughts right or wrong, always ask questions and share your views when you disagree with people, but also accept when you’re proven wrong.
If you do this people will hear you, respect you and your career will naturally progress.
Do you have any advice for women looking to get into leadership or founding roles?
Again don’t stay away from it just because you think you do not have enough experience, you will learn on the job- everyone was new to management at some point.
Sure you’ll make some mistakes and things won’t always be perfect but as long as you enjoy the work, give your best and surround yourself with experienced managers that can mentor /guide you, you will succeed.
Also, hire people based on their attitude rather than skills. Skills can be learned and attitude can’t be taught.