My journey in Technology by Burak Karabulut
This month’s blog post from the series ‘My Journey in Technology’ is from Burak Karabulut. He studies Computer Technology and Information Systems at Bilkent University in Turkey and is a Candidate Engineer at HAVELSAN. Burak participated in womENcourage 2019 and wrote about his experience of the event.
I study Computer Technology and Information Systems. I have always been interested in technological devices and coding. Majoring in this area makes me even more curious and excited about the technological advances around the world.
I thought well in advance what I wanted my career to be. I searched really well what I wanted to do before I started my studies, and after, I knew what I should do to move to the next stage. In addition, I took up an internship during my studies, which gave me the opportunity of being a part-time software engineer at the same company. I also had moments of doubt in my career before having an opportunity to have a real-life experience. I was not sure if I have chosen the correct career path since some of the lectures at university turned out to be not what I expected. Everybody may feel insecure at times, but it does not mean we are not good enough. Trying hard without giving up would get us where we want sooner or later.
I like studying challenging problems and enjoy learning different programming languages. I like the idea of being connected with different software engineers around the world with the same programming language. Coding and analytical skills had been very important skills during my career. It is not only high-tech companies that need these skills but the finance and health care sectors are also looking for programming talent. Being up-to-date with technology is a must since technology changes every second! Social skills are also very important. Being a good team member is essential. Programming is teamwork and therefore, individual success is meaningless. Respecting other team members and working coherently is an absolute must.
Exploring my future career as a software engineer before graduation made me understand this career path. It also made me understand I am in the right place and studying what I would like to do for life.
The most enjoyable part of being a software engineer is being able to contribute as a team member. Even though I am only a junior software engineer I like the idea of producing something that can benefit people.
Women in Tech
The biggest challenge for women in technology right now is the gender gap working in this area. Being surrounded by men all the time may decrease women’s motivation for their work. In addition, feeling the pressure for setting an example for future women engineers may be stressful. This reminds me of the times when only men used to work, and women just getting into work life. I can imagine how they encouraged each other and some of them became well-known figures for gender equality. One of the ways to overcome this gender gap may be scholarships or internships mainly for female students.
For me, the Hackathon was a great chance to understand and empathize with the problems of being a woman in software engineering. Also, the chance to present our work improved my self-esteem. Connecting with people all around the world and listening to their ideas expanded my horizons. Social dinners created the best atmosphere to meet with people in different universities and also professional software engineers.
I would highly recommend everybody to participate in the next year’s Hackathon. You will have the chance to meet amazing people in computing and find great opportunities for networking. Additionally, you will gain unforgettable memories of being a part of an international environment. I see the Hackathon as a great opportunity to collaborate with l people from interdisciplinary fields and different cultures to solve real-life problems.
As an advice for the participants in next year’s Hackathon, I can say “Come prepared”. Since Hackathon can reach many participants from many different countries your ideas will be more valuable than you can imagine. Any idea will be important and yours can be the one that can make a difference.