All this week I am publishing profiles of women working at Belatrix. As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, the gender gap in the tech industry unfortunately remains persistent. I’m hoping that these profiles help provide greater insight into what it’s like working for a technology company, and perhaps even inspire some young women to take up a tech-focused career. Today I’d like to introduce you to Julieta Barrionuevo.
Julieta joined Belatrix more than 10 years ago, and has worked in various parts of our organization during this time. She currently leads a team of 5 people in business development. She has a Bachelor’s degree in computer science, and a Master’s degree in project management from ADEN Business School. Of particular note, she was actually one of the first people at Belatrix to be certified as a Scrum Master, when she received the recognition many years ago.
Alex: Julieta, many thanks for talking today. Can you tell me about your background and how you got started in your career?
Thanks Alex, it’s great to be here. I actually got started with technology because the secondary school that I attended in Mendoza, Argentina, was a “technical school” so pupils there were orientated towards technology. After completing my studies I decided to start working and provided technology support to a small company which belonged to my family. Alongside this work, I was studying for a degree in computer science. I realized via my work experience that with a good understanding of technology you can make a big difference to a company and how it operated.
I applied to Belatrix because a friend of mine was working here and there was an open position in quality assurance (QA). The company was still small at the time. In the interviews I realized the role of QA was quite different from what I had learnt at university. But one of the things that attracted me was Belatrix was working with top companies in the US – I thought this would give me the opportunity to gain valuable experience (and also quickly improve my English!).
How has your career progressed at Belatrix?
At the time QA was still a relatively new field – it wasn’t even taught at universities back then. Together with our head of testing and QA, Mónica Colombo, I helped build up our practice. After starting at Belatrix I quickly became a team lead, and over the next ten years led numerous projects for different companies. First I was managing QA projects, and then became a Scrum Master, where I led engagements with our clients. And remember that 10 years ago, Agile and Scrum were very new methodologies – I recall training myself when it first emerged. Belatrix became one of the first companies to adopt the methodology, bringing in expert trainers, and working (and learning) with clients interested in adopting Scrum. As I was one of the first Certified Scrum Masters in the company, I helped train others in the methodology.
Recently I decided to move over to our sales team. This was a big change from what I had been doing previously and it meant learning new sales skills from scratch. Now I lead a team of 5 people, responsible for finding, assessing, and engaging with new prospects. Due to my passion for Scrum and Agile, I’ve been implementing Scrum practices into our sales practices. It’s fascinating to see how the methodology works in a context other than developing software.
And you also teach at a local university?
Yes, absolutely, in addition to working at Belatrix, I’m teaching courses at a university in Mendoza. I pushed the university to focus more on testing and QA in their curriculum. I try to provide students with the experiences and knowledge that we have built here at Belatrix – to show them what QA means for a real company, its importance to businesses, and why Agile and Scrum are effective ways of working.
Do you have an opinion of working in what is still a male-dominated industry? Any challenges you have faced?
At university there were just two girls in the course. I have the impression that today it is much better than it was, and more women are studying and taking up technology careers. But to be honest I’ve never felt a difference or considered that I faced any additional challenges.
Do you have any advice for aspiring female developers or women that want to work in tech?
It’s a great question. I would say to make sure to consider and be aware of the range of careers and specializations that are available. People sometimes think that to be successful in technology you have to be deep in the weeds of technology, but actually there are many more possibilities – from working in QA, to managing teams, to more business roles such as marketing and sales. In my career, I realized my passion was managing people and getting teams to work well together – to be honest, I am not a very technical person, yet I’ve been working for over a decade for a technology company.
Could the industry do more to attract more women to work in technology?
I think it is difficult to generalize to the whole industry, but one of the most important things that Belatrix helped me with, was recognizing and accommodating my needs at different points in my career. For example, when I joined after university, there were great training opportunities, and the possibility to work with interesting clients. Later on, I got married and then I had children – here the company helped me by being flexible. With a family the ability to work from home makes a tremendous difference, and enables you to continue doing your job. Such employment practices should be the norm throughout the industry.
Many thanks Julieta for sharing your thoughts!
Belatrix is currently hiring. Find out about our career opportunities here.
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