Girls'Day 2021 – Female developers gave insights into their exciting IT professions at CADENAS
Girls immersed in the world of User Interface Design and Machine Learning
On April 22, CADENAS GmbH welcomed interested female students to the first virtual Girls'Day, the world's biggest career orientation project. The background: In 2018, around 74% of girls chose from only 25 different dual vocational trainings - among them not a single scientific and technical one (see Berufsbildungsbericht 2019, Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung). By participating, CADENAS wants to do their part to encourage female students not to be influenced by gender stereotypes when choosing a career path, but to trust their instincts and talents. Just like Olga and Tatjana, who work in User Interface Design and Machine Learning Development at CADENAS. The schoolgirls were able to virtually peak over their shoulders on Girls'Day.
UI Design - Interface between computer science and design
Olga is a UI Designer at CADENAS and thus works at the interface between computer science and design. She ensures that CADENAS web applications are efficient, easy to use and visually appealing to the user. "What makes UI design so exciting for me are the challenging tasks. For a successful web application, me and my colleagues have to think through the entire structure and conjure something aesthetic and functional out of a ton of complex data and tables. I’m a total tinkerer, so it's great fun for me," Olga explains.
Olga had a great interest in technology even as a child: "I loved to craft and take things apart. I unscrewed my Tamagotchi and an old tape recorder to find out how the devices were constructed on the inside." She maintained this affinity for technology, so it was clear early on that she wanted to pursue a technical career. Olga chose UI design because it's an exciting mix of computer science and design, and even elements of psychology, as she needs to empathize strongly with the people who use the websites.
On Girls' Day, Olga created a prototype for a Girls'Day registration page with the girls. Using a Click Dummy, she showed how to arrange and link different elements to determine where clicking a button would take users, for example. Her participation in Girls'Day was a matter of course for Olga: "I think it's important to share my professional experience in computer science with the girls. They were very interested, for example there was one 15-year-old girl who had already tried to program her own website. I hope she will continue to pursue her interests in her future career.”
Machine Learning Development - Algorithms that learn
After a short breather it was Tatjana's turn. She works in Machine Learning Development at CADENAS, where she develops and implements algorithms and applications to automatically generate knowledge, identify correlations and recognize unknown patterns using artificial intelligence. These patterns can be applied to a new, unknown data set to make predictions and optimize processes. Examples of Machine Learning can nowadays be found everywhere, for example in voice and facial recognition or the recommendations of various streaming services. Tatjana showed the girls, among other things, an image classifier that can recognize and thus distinguish between dogs and cats in photos.
"Math and physics were my favorite subjects at school," says Tatjana. "That's why I went on to study electrical engineering and information technology. I got involved with computer science for the first time during my studies." Her new-found interest quickly turned into a passion and she specialized in Machine Learning. "My daily work consists of a lot of research and learning. I think up concepts and programs and test them to constantly optimize the algorithm. This requires patience, mathematical understanding and logical thinking, as well as a lot of creativity and curiosity," adds Tatjana.
The first of many Girls’Days at CADENAS
Olga and Tatjana were very happy about the girls' interest. "I think Girls'Day is a great initiative to show schoolgirls technical professions that they might never have thought of. We want to dispel the cliché that you have to be a total computer nerd to work in IT," says Tatjana. The developers want to take part in next year’s Girls'Day as well: "Of course it's great that we were able to organize a virtual event despite the pandemic. Nevertheless, I very much hope that we will be able to invite the girls to our offices next year. Then we'll be able to show them even more exciting things that they can directly try out themselves," says Olga.
Jürgen Heimbach, CEO of CADENAS, stands behind the goal of Girls'Day: "The training of our young talents is a top priority for the future of our company. That's why it's important for us to support initiatives like Girls'Day and thus counteract gender stereotypes in computer science and the working environment in general."
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