In honor of Women's History Month and International Women's Day, Hedgehog saluted women in tech. We celebrated our women in tech and all of their accomplishments while sharing their word of advice to the future women in tech.
Elena Mosoff is a Senior Solutions Developer at Hedgehog's Holbrook, New York Headquarters. Elena started coding in high with her first program being a "Hello, World" in C++. Her motivation to become a developer came from a gut feeling stemming back to her first program and how ecstatic she was when it finally worked. She knew at that moment she wanted to feel that same ecstatic feeling every day - she was at her happiest when programming. Elena also gives credit to her uncle, a Software Engineer, for showing her the profession, and her engineer parents for letting her tinker with objects.
Elena considers herself lucky, she has been surrounded by great female role models in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) throughout her career. As a junior developer, her biggest challenge was finding her voice and confidence, but with the help of the Hedgehog team, she's untapped that confidence within.
When Elena is not busy developing, she enjoys fishing, watching hockey, and lately coloring Amazon shipping boxes with her daughter.
Had Elena taken an alternative career path, she would have become a journalist. She was a writer for her school newspaper and chased people for interviews.
Elena's advice for future Women in Tech is: "Do whatever makes you happy and ignore the stereotypes. Everyone fails at first. Everyone succeeds in the end. It's not about being a female; it's about your willingness to learn, accept criticism/corrections, and do it all over and better."
Ele Palmer is a Solutions Developer at Hedgehog's Charlotte, North Carolina Campus. Although Ele received her master's in psychology in 2014, she was looking for a career change. As Ele poked around, she did a few coding tutorial online and discovered a passion for it. Her motivation was her interest in research. Ele sees herself as a detail process with a creative bend and thought development was the perfect match.
Ele hasn't faced many challenges being a female developer, but more so on not knowing what to learn or study to become a .Net developer. On her path of becoming a .Net developer, she noticed there wasn't much guidance which led her to join a coding boot camp called Coder Foundry.
When Ele is not developing, she listens to podcasts, is active within her community and has an interest in politics. She has been involved with Open Charlotte Brigade - a volunteer citizen brigade who build websites for nonprofits and government groups. Ele also runs a blog where she wrote about her time learning to code. She recently posted a curriculum for becoming a .Net developer and hopes future .Net developers find it useful.
Had Ele taken an alternative career path, she would have continued academia. She saw herself studying neuroscience to continue in research.
Ele's advice to future Women in Tech is: "Don't be intimidated or overwhelmed. Web development looks like this big thing that only math and science people can do, but it's not. I've been at most average in math and science. There are a lot of people who can be developers than people who think they can be developers."
You can connect with Ele through LinkedIn.
Maria Karakasheva is a Senior Solutions Developer at Hedgehog's Sofia, Bulgaria Campus. Maria started coding roughly six years ago. What motivated her to become a developer was discovering creativity in the process of building a website.
Maria remembers being the only female in her college's entire computer science program. At first, she felt uncomfortable, but her classmates were accepting. Once she entered the workforce, she counted herself lucky to have colleagues who treated her well.
When Maria is not developing, she enjoys the arts. She has been taking singing and drawing lessons since she was a little girl. Recently, Maria discovered a love for pottery making which allow her to relax and recharge.
If Maria had taken an alternative career path, it would have been involved music.
Maria's advice to future Women in Tech is: "Do not be intimidated by people with more experience. Instead, work hard and show what you are capable of. Know your worth and be thick-skinned!"
Jacqueline Baxter is a Digital Strategist at Hedgehog's Portland, Oregon Campus. She recently received the Sitecore Strategy MVP award for the second year in a row. Jacqueline's motivation for becoming a Digital Strategist began when she was looking for a challenge. Being a digital strategist meant exploring all the facets of web technology that Jacqueline loves - content, social media, personalization - and bringing them all together to provide value to clients and help them take their business to the next level. It means that Jacqueline can keep exploring things she's fascinated by and learn things all the time.
Jacqueline's advice to future Women in Tech is: "I want them to know that they're smart, qualified, and have good ideas. It's normal to feel intimidated, but you earned your sear at this table. You belong, we're thrilled to have you, and we can't wait to see how you're going to change the world."
Read our Women In Technology: A Hedgehog Live Chat as the Women of Hedgehog gather together to talk about their successes, challenges, and inspire the future generation.