Saskia Bobinska was excited when she came across the application for the Women Developers Academy (WDA) program in Europe. After spending two years in isolation, thanks to the pandemic and having multiple back surgeries, she was looking for a way to advance her career in tech. She thought the WDA — a global program run by Women Techmakers to help technical women become better speakers and bring more diversity to tech stages — would be a great first step towards this goal.
Not long after the post went live, Saskia was approached by one of the companies she had mentioned. A few meetings lead to interviews and within a few months, Saskia was offered a job on their team. “I never would’ve thought that this was possible when I started coding three years ago,” Saskia says.
Looking back on the experience, Saskia is positively surprised by the speed with which she was able to transition her career from social media to engineering. “I’d have given myself two years before applying to Sanity, but WDA accelerated that,” she says. “I found my voice within the tech industry because of the community and WDA, which gave me a push toward it.”
Going through the WDA also helped Saskia realize that her “soft” skills — communication, leadership and confidence — are just as important as her hard skills for excelling in tech. “Having the ability to go out and speak gave me an approach to finding a more intermediate-level engineering role,” she says. “I have hard skills, but my soft skills are what brought me to this company that shares my priorities, because they knew who I was.”
She also recognized the importance of having a supportive community. During the WDA, she was excited to see women supporting each other so enthusiastically within the male-dominated tech industry. “Emotional support and empathy, especially in a professional environment, help you stay in balance and enable you to do your best,” she says. “Always help and support others, because safe communities are not just found, they are made.”