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International Women's Day

Reading time approx. 14 minutes

What was initially a one-off initiative has now developed into a small series. Every year on International Women's Day, we give the stage to three of our talented female employees. In their interviews, they not only share their personal career paths, but also speak openly about topics that are important to them.

Let's start with Annika. She started with us as an intern just over three years ago. She is now a permanent employee and supports us with her expertise as a usability engineer. In this interview, she not only tells us about her exciting time at the Bauhaus University in Weimar, but also about the female personalities from the tech world who have influenced her along the way.


"After leaving school, I was interested in two broad areas. On the one hand, psychology and, on the other, the IT sector. As I have always been more technically inclined and also saw IT as a secure job, I ended up enrolling the International Information Management programme in Hildesheim with Psychology as a minor subject. The degree programme is very wide-ranging and included everything from Java to retrieval management - including human-machine interaction. That was the area that interested me the most and also had a connection to psychology.

After completing my Bachelor's degree, I looked for a suitable degree programme and came across Human Computer Interaction at the Bauhaus University in Weimar. I first had to catch up on a few courses in programming, algorithms and data structures. I did this in two semesters of business informatics at the University of Braunschweig. During this time, I also completed various internships to find out whether this was really the direction I wanted to go in. Looking back, the Master's programme in Weimar was the right decision, as it prepared me well for my current job as a usability engineer. I wanted to complete my compulsory internship in a company where I could also write my Master's thesis later on. After thinking long and hard about maximising my job prospects, I was finally drawn to Leipzig and ended up here at IT Sonix.

During my internship, I had a good impression of the company and I liked the varied tasks as well as the working atmosphere and my team so much that I knew I wanted to stay here. My internship turned into a working student position and I wrote my Master's thesis at the same time. I evaluated a tool developed by IT Sonix with UX expert reviews and usability tests. After completing my studies, I was offered the opportunity to take on a permanent role as a usability engineer and, of course, I didn't think twice about it and have been a happy member of the UXD team ever since. In addition to UX research topics, I also carry out smaller design tasks from time to time and am also a part of the marketing team. I spent a year and a half in the role of Product Owner and led a small team in one of our large automotive projects. I like challenges and am always looking for opportunities to further develop myself - the company offers good prospects in this regard and proactively approached me with opportunities. Thanks to my experience with scrum, a PO training course and the help of other employees, I grew into the role well. The project has now come to an end and I am once again focussing more on usability issues.

Incidentally, I am also part of the WUD core organisation team. The WUD (World Usability Day) is a free event every 2nd Thursday in November for anyone interested in UX. Every year, we put together an exciting programme, which also involves a lot of organisational work, such as acquiring speakers and selecting the location. With our WUD, we not only create more awareness for the topic of UX, but also a space for the exchange of knowledge and expertise.

As far as my working day is concerned, I'm usually the first one in the office. During this time, I can take care of my e-mails until my colleagues gradually arrive and we catch up on the latest developments. Then it’s already time for the first meetings, which are spread throughout the day – and in the time in between, I work through my tickets. As I really appreciate my team and the other employees and always look forward to the lunch break together. I'm here four days a week and that works quite well with my personal life. In general, the company takes care to create a good work-life balance for its employees. Flexitime and working from home are two things that are particularly important to me with my employer, as I have a dog and something unexpected can always come up. Nevertheless, I try to come into the office as often as possible. I like the friendly atmosphere here and the culture of open dialogue. I also take advantage of the fitness card programme once a week and go to the gym with the others.

What I also notice in my day-to-day work is that I'm not the only woman here and that the teams are a colourful mix throughout the company. Diversity in the workplace is important to me and there has also been an overall shift in the IT sector in recent years. More and more girls and women are interested in technical professions and also have the opportunity to pursue them. At the same time, the industry is no longer as male-dominated as it used to be and there is also more awareness and acceptance of the topic as a whole. Personalities such as Ada Lovelace and Grace Hopper were particularly important for my personal career. At a time when women still had a different status in society, they asserted themselves and went to university or took up professions that were clearly a male domain at the time. I just find it really exciting that the first person to write program code was a woman."


Our next employee, Akshata, is currently completing her Master's degree in Web Engineering at Chemnitz University of Technology. She has experience as a full stack developer and has been helping us with her frontend expertise in one of our projects as a working student since last August.


“Even as a child, I enjoyed solving problems. What I appreciate about software development is tackling complex issues and finding creative solutions for them When the first smartphones emerged, they intrigued me greatly and I needed to understand how they functioned. This curiosity ultimately led me to pursue a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science at the DY Patil Institute of Engineering Management and Research in Pune, India.

While my studies were predominantly theoretical, I gained practical development experience in one of our college projects. The task involved creating a payroll application system, where I handled both front- and backend development, relying entirely on Java for the implementation. It was during this time that I realized this was something I wanted to do professionally. Currently, I’m doing my Master's in Web Engineering at TU Chemnitz. Following my Bachelor's degree, I took up a role as a full-stack developer at a consultancy company. Over time, I felt the desire to broaden my horizons, leading me to explore opportunities abroad. Germany, with its tuition-free public university system and research-oriented approach, stood out to me. I had a growing interest in web engineering, so I naturally sought a program in this field.

After my second semester in Chemnitz, I was looking for opportunities to apply my skills. One day I came across an ad by IT Sonix for a full-time position. Though the description intrigued me, it wasn't feasible for me at that time. Fortunately, while exploring the website, I discovered an opening for a working student position. The job offer aligned perfectly with my aspirations, and the insights into the company culture convinced me to apply. Despite the fact that I am still developing my German language skills, I secured the position and am grateful to IT Sonix for this opportunity.

Initially, I anticipated challenges due to the language barrier, but IT Sonix provided great support. My team not only took the time to offer assistance and explain new technologies but also other teams, from back office to agile coaches, offered their support. Adapting to working with Scrum, a significant change from my experience in India, was made manageable with the guidance of my team.

My current role involves supporting frontend development in one of our newest projects. I work three days a week, two remotely and one in the office. As I reside in Chemnitz, the hybrid model suits my current living situation perfectly. I typically come to the office on Wednesdays for planning day. Generally, my days start with a daily Scrum meeting, followed by dedicated work on development tasks until the next meeting. I also appreciate the free lunches in the office, which initially made it easier for me to get in touch with other co-workers.

The IT industry is an intriguing field with diverse characteristics. The work itself is not physically demanding but is intellectually stimulating and focused on creative problem-solving. This may be one reason why the IT industry is increasingly attracting more women. On the other hand, it is also one of the fastest-growing industries worldwide.”

Last but not least, we spoke to Natalia. She has been one of our Agile Coaches for eight years and has also taken on other roles over the years. With her empathy and expertise, she is a valuable asset to our company.


"I'm not a techie and ended up here by chance. Since I joined, I've seen more and more employees who don't have a technical background. I originally have a PhD in German studies and worked as a linguist in research. After my time in the research project came to an end, I was looking for a job that was closer to people and quickly came across agile project management. What I like about agile methods is the people-centred approach and the focus on communication and collaboration. In order to prepare myself sufficiently for my future job, I first completed a postgraduate programme.

I also came into contact with IT Sonix for the first time during my final thesis. My neighbour at the time had put me in touch with the ACC team (Agile Coaches & Consultants), with whom I had a professional exchange for my final thesis. We got on well straight away and the team lead also saw potential in me, despite my unusual career path for an IT company. In the end, I applied for the vacant Scrum Master position and am very happy that IT Sonix gave me this opportunity. People with backgrounds in other industries can become valuable assets for IT companies. The key is patience and allowing them the time to develop. Our ACC team is a good example – its diverse make-up means we are always able to create new perspectives.

As I already knew the team and the office space was not unfamiliar to me either, it was comparatively easy for me to get started here. Above all, however, the support of other employees as well as the management and my team lead helped me a lot with a kind of mentoring. I was also able to take a lot from my work in research. The empirical approach is central to both science and Scrum, and that means always trying things out, learning from them and adapting them. Around the same time, I also took on a teaching position for Spanish at the HTWK and there were definitely mutual synergy effects in terms of teaching and my work as a Scrum Master. In the meantime, I have given up teaching and am therefore working more for IT Sonix again.

In addition to my role as Scrum Master, I have also taken on the roles of Agile Coach and in-house coaching. I enjoy providing support and, together with the management, we have looked for opportunities for me to get involved. Around 50 % of my working time goes to the Scrum or project team. The focus here is on working with and for our customers and is characterised by dailies and refinements. As an agile coach, I support project managers and project management internally in one of our automotive projects. Especially in large projects, it is important for decision-makers to regularly get an outside view and thus fresh perspectives on the project. As I used to be part of the project myself, I know the processes quite well and therefore know what to look out for. Above all, observation and intervening or withdrawing at the right time play an important role here. In-company coaching is basically about getting people to the point where they can reflect on their own challenges so that they can deal with them better. Something that all three of these roles have in common is empowering people. Overall, I see the focus of my work less in the specific tasks and more in the impetus I provide to inspire others to develop their own perspectives and roles.

While the time in the Scrum team is more or less predetermined, I can organise it relatively freely in my other functions. Personal responsibility is very important here, but one is not left alone if you need support, you get it. All in all, however, our employees benefit from great flexibility and freedom. I myself have a 35 hour work week and also take the opportunity to work from home sometimes. However, the days in the office are essential for me. I enjoy socialising with other employees, not only those from my team. In particular, unplanned conversations with employees whose working day doesn't overlap with mine always help me to find new perspectives. I appreciate the culture of open dialogue and the fact that people here meet as equals across all departments and positions. The mentality here has helped me to develop professionally and I still enjoy coming here after eight years.

As this interview is being published on International Women's Day, I would like to make an appeal: I would like to have more female colleagues in the office, no matter what role, so apply! Of course, a lot has changed since I started here and, as I've already mentioned, I'm part of a relatively diverse team, but that's not the case everywhere. I also realise that the company is working hard to change this, but I still think that more women could work here. Overall, however, the company is attractive to all people who are looking for an open corporate culture with a relaxed atmosphere."

In order to survive in this fast-moving world, diversity is not only necessary in the use of innovative technologies. Companies are increasingly confronted with growing demands that require heterogeneous perspectives. We stand for an open and sustainable corporate culture in which everyone has the same opportunities and can freely develop their potential. The three inspiring interviews with our employees have shown that diversity is by no means just a buzzword for presenting a contemporary image to the outside world. Instead, it is the key to successfully positioning the company to master the challenges of the future.