Women in tech series: interview with Nezha

nezha id card

Our 9th interview in the series Women Experience in tech features a dear colleague and friend of mine. Nezha is a Lead QA working in Paris. I started to work with Nezha during my first job as a junior developer. We were working on a very complicated app and she was on the testing team. She was doing her job so well that sometimes I hated that she was that good. I would add a new feature and try to handle every case scenario. However, Nezha was always able to find the case that would highlight a bug or unexpected behavior. Then I would have to go again through my code and fix everything. At the same time, I was happy to rely on her for the testing part because she would help me as a junior developer to improve my code and make it stronger so she won’t break it. On top of that she was so sweet and smart, we connected instantly and became friends. It was a pleasure to meet her in Paris a year later to chit-chat and eat delicious food in this great city.

I’ll let you discover more about Nezha’s experience in QA testing. I am very happy to count her in this series of amazing women in tech.

Could you start by a small presentation so we can get to know you better?

Hello, my name is Nezha and I am Lead QA for 3 months. Before that, I was QA Analyst for 4 years. I am 33 years old and I am originally from Morocco, but I grew up in Belgium. I’ve been living in Paris for 5 years now. I am passionate about the ukulele, travel, and my cat “Velours”.

What motivated you to work in a STEM field?

I’ve always been passionate about technology. My father gave me my first computer when I was 7 years old. The first thing I did was memorize the keyboard. I was convinced that one day, I would be a developer… But first thing first: I had to know the keyboard by heart!

I quickly changed my mind when we had the Internet for the first time at home. I knew it was way harder than that. But that didn’t stop me. I learned to code C++ when I was 15 years old. I was in computer science branch in high school. After that, I went to university, where I took psychology courses. I regretted giving up computer science because that was (and still is) what I love the most. Once I finished my studies, I took the opportunity to work in startups. And here I am!

How did you learn your technical skills?

Surprisingly, my educational background didn’t help me that much. As technologies evolved, everything I had learned in school was outdated. Nevertheless, it helped me understand the complexity of my role in a team. I knew I had to work hard to improve my work. Thank God, I had great colleagues to interact with. I passed certifications and, for the technical part, I took JS courses on freeCodeCamp and will soon start JS courses on Test Automation University and Cypress courses on LinkedIn Learning.

How is it to find a job?

I think I was very lucky because I arrived at the right time, in the right place. There were a lot of opportunities in STEM in Paris when I arrived until 2019. With the pandemic, I think it’s much more difficult. But I hope it will change quickly, I remain positive. Although the most complicated thing is to find the job in which you’ll flourish.

Have you experienced imposter syndrome? If yes, could you tell us a little about it?

Yes, I am living it now. But I avoid letting my negative thoughts get to me.

How do you feel about being a minority in STEM as a female? Have you had any uncomfortable situations to share? Or a funny situation?

It’s hard being a woman in STEM. I often feel like women have to prove twice as much as men that they deserve their place. If we fail, we are quickly judged as “incapable.” Whereas, for men, failure is seen as “a lesson for next time”. The way we communicate is different, too. I’m not saying this is always the case, but it frequently happens that these issues prevent many women from thriving in STEM.

What do you like about your job?

What I like the most about my job is the challenges, the responsibilities, the teamwork, the satisfaction of creating a good product.

Are you happy with your career choice?

Pretty damn happy, yes!

How do you expect to grow in the future?

I would like to focus on the technical part of my job and develop my skills as an automatician.

What would you say to a girl/woman who wants to start a career in STEM?

Be positive, be brave, be fierce! Hard work pays off.

Would you like to share anything else?

I had the amazing chance to work with The Trendycoder and I wish to everyone to have a colleague like her <3

If you also want to share your experience as a female student or professional in tech, don’t hesitate to fill in the form linked below. It is a great chance to be featured in our next interviews posts and inspire other girls and women to join us.

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