Veronica Mihai

Senior Software Engineer, BBC Global News / Universitatea Politehinca Bucuresti

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Reach out, get involved in communities and support each other on this road.

What do you do?

I work on bbc.com/future, bbc.com/worklife, bbc.com/culture to implement new features and maintain current codebase. I work in a small team of other software engineers alongside product and project managers, UX/UI designers, optimisation product managers and QA engineers.
My day to day tasks besides coding involve clarifying features, doing code reviews for my colleagues and pair programming with them. Writing tests and documentation for new features I'm working on.

Why did you choose this field?

None of my immediate family members has university studies. They never forced me to follow a particular career path and I always felt free to explore what would work best for me. I chose to study electronics and telecommunication at the Faculty of Engineering in Foreign Languages at the University Politehnica of Bucharest because I loved foreign languages and I though a diploma in this field will be lucrative in the future.
I initially started as an IoT ( internet of Things) Application developer. In this role I was using an already existing platform to create software in a way that didn't involved too much programming, i.e. I was able to create websites using drag and drop on a canvas. I soon realised the limitations of such a non-code approach and how much more power true Software Development gives you to build and create. That's how I started pursuing it as a full time career. It helped to have been exposed to software development during college. Also the Freecodecamp community for fullstack development using javascript has been of tremendous help to help me find and land my initial job as a frontend developer.

What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?

Working for the BBC in London is something I would have never imagined as being possible when I first started my studies in electronics and telecommunications. I would have loved my younger self to know she is capable of great things and to not let herself be discouraged by criticism and rejection from people who didn't see that capability in her, to always push forward and follow her dreams.

Why do you love working in STEM?

I love being able to create and build interesting products, to learn so many new things everyday and to get to work alongside driven and smart people.

Best advice for next generation?

STEM is something that needs to become a lot more main stream as there is a big deficit of workforce in this field. So many aspects of our lives and industries are touched by the people working in STEM and it's only natural that women and girls, representing 50% of the world population, get more involved in them as well and have their say in what is impacting their day to day life. Working in STEM is becoming more accessible as more and more online free resources become available. Reach out, get involved in communities and support each other on this road. Celebrate small wins and soon you will look back and be proud of everything you've achieved.

Inspo quote / fun fact / role model

"Most of the shadows of life are caused by standing in our own sunshine.“ - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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