Software Engineer and CEO
Say hello to Tanya Butenko, a passionate human of the future.
What do you do for work?
Job one: Software engineer – I’m working on complex websites solving technical issues. I write a lot of code almost every day and I find and fix code issues (bugs) in the codebase.
Job two: Founder/CEO – I lead a country-wide organization that supports diversity and inclusion in the tech world.
Did you know what you wanted to do when you were at school?
For a long time I wanted to be a teacher (and I was for some time before I changed my career to become a software engineer). Then I wanted to be a psychologist, then a travel agent. At some point in my childhood I also wanted to be a vet and a pilot. So to summarise, I was never sure who I wanted to be and that was OK as most of my peers didn’t know either.
How did you get started?
About six years ago in 2014 after I’d been living in Australia for two years and working as a manager in a catering company, I came home one day and said to my partner ‘You know what, I’m bored, where is this coding things you’re always telling me about – I want to try.’ He gave me a video game where I had to pass levels by writing some simple code and I absolutely loved it. I didn’t expected coding to be so fun and engaging. Since then I started self-education in programming in my free time and in 7-8 months I changed my job. Nowadays I work as a software engineer and I absolutely love it! New challenges every day 🙂
What do you love about your job?
Short answer: Solving problems and changing the world.
Longer answer: Being a software engineer gives me a great opportunity to learn something new every day while I’m solving big or small problems – and those problems are not only technical, some of them are quite human. For example, communicating with different specialists across the company to find out the real problem of why something should be changed on our website, as quite often the issue is not that obvious and can be quite deep.
When I discovered the technical world and started working in different companies and on different projects, I saw how technologies are changing and shaping our world every day and it got me very excited to be a part of it and it pushes me every day to learn more to be on the edge of the technologies and understand possibilities – how technologies can solve many world problems as injustice, accessibility, hunger, diseases, climate changes and so on. For example, I’m working in a company that works hard towards improving virtual and physical space for people with different types of disabilities.
Do you have any advice for girls thinking about a career in your industry?
I truly believe that we all should know at least something about technology, especially as the tech world is so huge! Whatever career you choose, if you add tech knowledge to it, it will open so many doors and opportunities. Technologies compliment every field of our life. For example, if you like design, you could design clothes or shoes that can change colour. If you like arts, you can be involved in the digital arts, or make amazing installations that empower you with interactivity. If you want to be a doctor, you can contribute to the creation of new technologies that help monitor life and take critical measurements. The sky’s the limit.
What are your thoughts about the future of work in your industry?
Technology is the future of our world. Knowing about tech means you can play around with websites, virtual reality, robotics, augmented reality, video games, new tech devices and so much more! Programming compliments many specialities and truly enables you to be a human of the future.