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March 20, 2023 - 7 min

FemTechs in Hamburg That You Need to Know About For 2023

Diana Blaum - Ironhack Germany


What is FemTech (Female technology)? We can forgive you for asking because it's a relatively new term and (as with many things related to women in tech) has been historically underrepresented and viewed as a niche market. 

To put it simply, FemTechs are essentially technology-based companies that focus on women's health. 

But in the past few years, the pace of change has accelerated and more FemTechs are popping up around Germany, especially in the startup city of Hamburg. And they are widening the field and what could be considered a “FemTech.”

While women in tech struggle to get their first rounds of funding, in comparison to their male counterparts – women-led startups received just 2.3% of venture capital funding in 2020 – we are starting to see a shift in this pattern as more investors see the success that FemTechs are achieving. 

If you’re a woman, it probably comes as no surprise to you that FemTechs are popular. Women make up 50% of the population so that gives FemTechs a very large audience to market their products and services to. 

And historically, there have been very few companies putting the spotlight on women's health, so these startups also have a competitive edge in the market. As such, FemTech has now exploded with many new cutting-edge startups emerging in Hamburg, BerlinMunich, and more. 

With increasing popularity, the global market for FemTech is forecast to reach $60 bn by 2027. And in this article, we will explore how this growing market is developing in Hamburg. We take a look at the female startup scene in the city and share three of our favorite FemTechs from Hamburg that you need to watch in 2023. 

What is FemTech?

FemTechs are companies that focus on women's health. But women's health covers a whole range of issues, so how can we make a clear definition of a FemTech?

Well, that's the great thing about FemTechs, they are incredibly diverse and use their creativity and innovation to combat a whole range of women's health issues – some that you may not realize existed or are predominant in women. 

The rapidly growing number of FemTech startups and companies can approach women's health in a wide variety of ways. From conducting research to designing innovative products, and even building communities that support women – there is a lot going on in the FemTech world. 

According to PitchBook, in 2022, FemTech startups raised over $2 billion. This is a substantial increase from 2019, where investment was less than a quarter of this at  $476.8 million. 

With this rise in investment, we expect 2023 to be a bright year for FemTechs and for exciting new approaches to age-old women's health problems to emerge. Startups focusing on plugging societal gaps are growing in number and attracting global attention. And FemTechs in Hamburg and across Germany are using this attention and investment to create technology that addresses the health disparities that women face. 

FemTechs use their innovation and creativity to provide support for all kinds of health problems. Everything from the obvious women's health topics such as reproductive health needs fertility, menstrual tracking, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and menopause. To the not-so-obvious health issues that affect women such as finding treatments for diseases like Alzheimer's, depression, certain types of cancer, and autoimmune diseases (all of which are more prevalent in women).

The work these FemTechs are doing is of great importance to women everywhere. Many diseases affect women differently or more than men but traditional medicine has used men as test subjects when developing treatments and drugs, leaving women on the sidelines. 

This new wave of women's health technology could bridge this data gap and bring about significant change to women's health. 

The FemTech scene in Hamburg 

Hamburg has a vibrant startup scene that everyone in Germany knows about. But one thing about its startup ecosystem you might not know is that they have recently been putting a lot of support and resources into building a city that has a welcoming startup environment for women founders and FemTechs. 

For example, The Scaleup Landing Pad Hamburg helps young international companies scale their business in Germany and Europe and has been investing in female founders.

The Digital Health Hub Hamburg is another initiative that any startup in healthcare, such as most FemTechs, would be interested in. It is a cluster brand of Gesundheitswirtschaft Hamburg GmbH and is the driving force behind innovations in the digitization of the healthcare system in Hamburg.

Not only are there these incredible hubs and initiatives to help the ecosystem thrive, but Hamburg is also home to the FemTechConf – the biggest Women in Tech community in Europe and the EMEA with over 150,000 active members globally.

In September it will host its Hamburg event that aims to connect the diverse professionals, leaders, executives and change-makers from across the STEM industry in EMEA!

There will be world-renowned speakers – all women – who are at the top of their fields and working for companies from Zalando to Google.

If you are looking to connect with other women in tech, you can also attend one of the regular get-togethers held by Women Techmakers Hamburg

Ironhack holds women in tech events across Germany, including in Hamburg. Follow us on MeetUp to stay up-to-date on all our local events. 

Top FemTech startups in Hamburg to watch

With so much going on in the FemTech scene in Hamburg, you are probably expecting there to be some incredible and revolutionary FemTechs located in the city. Well, you're right, there are. Here are three of our favorite cutting-edge FemTech startups from Hamburg that are revolutionizing women's health.

1. Ovy Ltd

Ovy is a FemTech startup based in Hamburg that is on a mission of improving the health of women through smart and innovative products. 

Its debut product is the Ovy app which is used with its Bluetooth thermometer to calculate the fertile and non-fertile days of the menstrual cycle. The startup helps women to regulate their conception without hormones and also supports them in getting pregnant and fulfilling their desire to have children - without artificial hormones, simply and safely.

2. Wexxeljahre

Wexxeljahre is a FemTech from Hamburg that helps empower women to take their menopausal health into their own hands.  

The startup uses its Meno-Campus: The first mentoring for menopause, to connect women with a community of experts and offers that help them understand their menopause. 

The startup puts a major focus on the accuracy of the medically relevant information it provides and has built its courses and community in a way that prepares women for menopause with understandable and digestible content.

Evidence is very important to Wexxeljahre, which notes that there are products and solutions that help women, despite the lack of scientific studies. Its aim is to offer guidance to women so that they do not take medication unnecessarily or wait too long for the treatments they need. 

Menopause (like many topics around menstrual health) has been a taboo in society for a long time. As such, many women struggle to understand what is happening to their bodies when this time of life arrives and how they can make it more manageable. 

3. Vulvani

Vulvani is another education-based FemTech from Hamburg that is all about teaching women about their bodies. Many women do not receive adequate sexual health education and can be left confused and scared by some of the things that happen to their bodies. 

Not only this, but every woman's body is different and many of us experience our periods and cycles differently so the information we do sometimes receive simply doesn't fit our experience. 

The aim of Vulvani is to give women the opportunity to learn more about their own bodies. It wants to normalize taboo topics such as periods, sexual health, menopause, and more through education that will empower people and create inclusive societies.

Some of the topics taught in its courses include how to make your menstrual cycle work for you. Here women learn how to make their menstrual cycle a part of their planning for all aspects of life and how understanding your cycle can help you learn to enjoy it rather than dread it.

Get ready to start your tech career in Hamburg

Are you a woman ready to kickstart your career in tech? Sign up for one of our bootcamps and learn the skills that FemTechs in Berlin are searching for. Our tech school offers a range of immersive courses from UX/UI Design to Cybersecurity that are delivered in formats tailored to your needs: online or on campus, full-time or part-time. Apply today.

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It was in this environment that the Berlin-based start-up inne was born. inne is a FemTech product that lets women track their cycles with lab-grade accuracy. Its product focuses on contraception and birth control but is also used by women who want to get pregnant. Its at-home fertility monitoring system is impressive. Created with the input of highly skilled technicians, scientists, and designers, quality was at the center of its vision. The mini-hormone lab can be used in any bathroom and makes fertility tracking simple for women. All the women need to do is moisten a test strip for the hand-held inne reader with their saliva for about 30 seconds every day. The device works by measuring the progesterone level in the user’s saliva with the same level of accuracy that would be produced in a "real" lab. 3. theblood theblood is an innovative FemTech startup that helps women understand their health. Six out of ten women feel exhausted during menstruation and have no clue why. theblood uses menstrual blood to analyze and track key parameters of your health to help women develop greater knowledge and awareness of their health. Each woman gets an individualized health report that helps her know her body and cycle better. The Berlin startup has received support from the Grace Accelerator for female entrepreneurship and the Berlin Startup Stipend, and is completing a program with the Berlin Innovation Agency. They are currently seeking funding and looking to do a second round of testing menstrual blood samples from product testers before they go to market. 4. Branayama branayama is a Berlin-based startup that designed “A bra that elevates motherhood.” Many FemTechs focus on menstruation, so branayama is quite a unique startup with no one else in the market offering a similar product. Another cool thing about branayama is that rather than going down the venture capital path, it crowdfunded its initial funding through Kickstarter. Later in 2021 branayama received a Berlin Founders Fund grant from Silicon Allee. Its sustainable nursing bra that replaces nursing pads meets a demand that is clearly there and serves a market that is often overlooked – new mothers. 5. XbyX XbyX is a Berlin-based FemTech platform that serves women over 40. It helps menopausal women navigate this change in their life with greater ease and fewer symptoms. Their latest round of Seed funding was completed on the 25th of January 2023, while the total of the funding has not been disclosed it is in the seven figures and reflects investor confidence in their innovative approach. The platform's approach to easing menopause is to offer women plant-based products that reduce common symptoms of perimenopause, menopause, and hormone imbalance. This is also supported by educational content on the platform and a strong online community where women can discuss healthy aging. Get ready to start your tech career in Berlin Are you a woman ready to kickstart your career in tech? Sign up for one of our bootcamps and learn the skills that FemTechs in Berlin are searching for. Our tech school offers a range of immersive courses from UX/UI Design to Cybersecurity that are delivered in formats tailored to your needs: online or on campus, full-time or part-time. Apply today .

  • 10 Best Tech Companies To Work For In Germany And Why

    Ellen Merryweather - 2022-08-18

    All Courses


    The tech industry is one of the largest employment sectors right now following the shift in many companies to remote work and data storage in the cloud. The best part is that they’re willing to pay for that talent and make sure to keep them happy . So with a little research, you can find the best role and company that matches what you want in a tech job. Here’s a list of some of the best tech companies to work for in Germany, and why! The German Tech Scene Germany’s Digital Strategy 2025 predicts that Germany’s GDP could rise by an additional €82 billion if the country leverages digital technologies to the fullest. The country has some ambitious digital plans that include creating a gigabit fiber network, plans to assist startups and connect them with established companies, and updating the digital regulatory framework that will encourage more investment and innovation. The country is investing heavily in digital education and is in the process of creating a digital agency meant to be a modern center of excellence. And that’s not all! Germans work an average of 35 hours per week, and every full-time worker is entitled to 20 days of holiday plus 9 public holiday days, making Germany an excellent place for work-life balance. The cost of living is relatively low in Germany compared to other European countries when you consider the average salary and benefits. Transportation is cheap and effective, but more importantly, there’s Oktoberfest ! Most tech employers in Germany are forward-thinking, and with so much government support, they have the freedom to make sure their employees are enjoying themselves. And if you’re not a citizen of a European Union member state, you can apply for the German Blue Card and obtain special privileges if you have a job offer in the country. Best Tech Companies Hiring in Germany: With all the government investment in digital infrastructure and technology companies, you can bet there are some awesome places to work. Check out our list of the hottest tech companies in Germany! Read why they’re great, and decide where you want to send your resume. Google Google has multiple office locations in Germany , and they are all pretty awesome to work for. With offices in Munich, Berlin, Frankfurt, and Hamburg, the company is currently hiring for multiple roles in engineering and technology. Google is well known for its excellent employee benefits which include comprehensive healthcare, retirement matching, flexible spending accounts, and even life insurance. In Germany, many of these benefits are covered by the government, but Google will give you an even better deal. With a bachelor’s degree or equivalent practical experience in computer science or a related technical field, you are eligible to join Google’s technology and engineering team in Germany. Plus, in Germany, you are automatically given preference if you have a disability. Google also has a very strong culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion which you can read more about on their belonging page. When you apply for a job at Google, you’ll potentially be joining a best-in-class global enterprise where you’ll get to work with and learn from some of the best engineers in the world. Check out more of Google's awesome Düsseldorf office here. N26 N26 is one of the world’s leading mobile banks. N26 operates with a full German banking license and operates according to EU directives. The company works with advanced 3D secure technology and relies on biometrics to safeguard its clients’ accounts. N26 is very popular with ex-pats since the barriers to opening an account are low, and there are no foreign transaction fees. Working for N26 is a great way to get your foot through the fintech door. N26 empowers its employees to develop professionally and personally because they consider it an investment in themselves. Each N26 employee gets a personal development fund that they can spend however they want to further their career. They are also a progressive company, with lots of inclusive initiatives with the goal of creating a banking experience that customers of all backgrounds, cultures, ages, genders, sexual orientations, ethnicities, religions, abilities, and experiences love to use. We borrowed this awesome image from N26's careers page ...a must-see if you're thinking of applying. Blinkist Do you love to read, but can’t find the time? Blinkist may be the perfect place for you. Blinkist is an app that condenses the best nonfiction books into bite-sized summaries so you can get the gist and learn in a fraction of the time it would have taken you to read the whole thing. Of course, if you hear the highlights and have the time, we hope you’ll read the full book! But in a pinch. Blinkist is the solution. They even do the same for podcasts. They call them shortcasts. Blinkist knows people are busy and want to help them learn on the go as efficiently as possible. Blinkist describes itself as a group of “curiosity-driven readers, writers, designers, developers, and strategists connected by our passion for reading, building meaningful products, and sharing the power of big ideas.” It sounds like a pretty great group of potential colleagues. Based in Berlin, Blinkist also has remote roles available, but if you want to go to the office, they offer relocation and visa support for non-German nationals. Plus get free, plant-based lunches and enjoy a four-day work week. Trivago Based in Düsseldorf, Trivago wants to be “your companion to experience the world.” Founded by three friends in 2005, the company is a part of the Expedia group and is publicly traded, which means it’s a pretty big deal. The company is dedicated to empowering people to organize amazing trips all over the world using technology. Trivago also helps new employees relocate to Germany if needed. You’ll be supported with topics like getting a visa and work permit, a newcomer’s loan, and a relocation reimbursement budget to help cover flights and moving expenses. They are also into employee growth, so everyone has access to both in-house and online courses. You’ll also get at least 20 days of vacation outside of Germany, and the ability to work from home when needed. Soundcloud If you’re into music then Soundcloud may be the next best step in your tech career. Soundcloud considers itself a “next-generation” music streaming system, that is especially dedicated to empowering undiscovered talent. With a European headquarters in Berlin, Soundcloud Germany is looking for all kinds of engineering talent. An international company, getting into Soundcloud in Berlin could open the door for you in New York, Los Angeles, or London as well. As far as benefits go, Soundcloud offers the works. Apart from relocation assistance, you’ll get creativity and wellness benefits, a professional development allowance, 35 days of paid time off annually, and even free German classes to get you settled in. You can participate in the employee stock ownership plan, and you’re invited to two free lunches per week at the office. And remember, you’ll get to listen to the newest music while you help new artists break onto the scene. Ubisoft Maybe gaming is more your thing. You’ll feel right at home at Ubisoft . The Assassin’s Creed game developer, headquartered in France, also has offices in Düsseldorf. Ubisoft is dedicated to creating enriching games for everyone and is the company behind popular games like  Far Cry, For Honor, Just Dance, Prince of Persia, Rabbids, Rayman, Tom Clancy's, and Watch Dogs. Working for a gaming company is already pretty cool, but even more so when the company is dedicated to having a positive social impact like Ubisoft. The company actively invests in the communities it works with to minimize its environmental impact. They are also very family-oriented and actively work with their customers to encourage gamers to maintain a healthy lifestyle. As far as careers go, there are so many options at Ubisoft if you have a little experience in tech. From design to localization, there is literally something for everyone. Working for Ubisoft means working in offices so nice they were featured in Archello! Personio If you’re a people person, Personio could be the perfect place for you. Personio is a leading human resource solution for European small and medium-sized enterprises, and they’ve been crushing it over the past few months. Considered the people operating system, Personio just raised $200M in second series E funding to continue to drive its rapid expansion across the continent. Committed to sustainability and diversity, Personio has an employee advisory board that serves as the eye and ears for management on each internal team. A sounding board for internal communications and people programs, the board drives initiatives based on engagement surveys to improve the organization overall. They also offer employees a stock option plan and have an extremely laid-back and inclusive culture at their Munich headquarters. Get a taste of Personio's team culture . Innogames Innogames is another gaming company that makes some of the most popular videogames in the market today. They are best known for some of their role-playing games, like Tribal Wars and Forge of Empires. Based in Hamburg, Innogames has millions of registered players and revenues that reached €190 million in 2019. Innogames has excellent employee reviews, and its CEO has a 98% approval rating on Glassdoor. Its company culture is founded on principles like sustainability, fair play, open information sharing (they have an awesome Github presence!), and of course passion, among other things. Innogames also has a great career development system in place that allows new hires to decide whether they want to specialize in their field or take a management career path. Either way, you’ll be supported to pursue the career of your dreams. Delivery Hero Passionate about pizza? Get into the delivery side of tech! Based in the heart of Berlin, Delivery Hero operates in 50+ countries internationally in Europe, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East and partners with 500,000+ restaurants. The company experienced a huge boom in business during the COVID-19 lockdowns, and despite restrictions easing in Europe, they continue to deliver excellence and keep growing. These heroes enjoy flexible working hours and shared workspaces, and they can even take a nap at the office in a dedicated napping space. The company offers relocation services, subsidized yoga classes, bike sharing and gym memberships, and employee long-term incentive programs. The company is invested in people leadership principles and believes that where there is potential, it needs to be nurtured. Delivery Hero will invest in making you your own hero. Contentful Contentful is an API-based content management solution, that sets itself apart through its specialization in omnichannel content distribution. They are especially proud of their vast quantity of out-of-the-box tech stack integrations that make it easy for any and all content creators, marketers, and sales teams to reach their audience easily without a lot of backend tech development. Contentful is very dedicated to investing in its employees’ growth and professional development. The New York Times reported that Contentful is one of 50 startups on track to become a unicorn: valued at more than $1 billion. With options for employees to buy company stock and extremely competitive salaries, Contentful is an excellent option to flex your tech muscles in Berlin. The office is open, but work-from-home options are available as well. How to Land Your First Tech Job Landing a job at incredible companies like these is definitely achievable. All you need is a little knowledge and some practical experience. Most companies in tech aren’t too worried about whether you have a Master’s from Harvard or a Ph.D. They want to know that you are able to learn and adapt in a fast-paced environment. A degree from a legacy brick-and-mortar school isn’t going to cut it. Ironhack teaches the skills that these companies are looking for, and we know how to get you ready for the job so you can hit the ground running! So if you see yourself strolling through, for example, Madrid’s Google campus on your way to a user interview, or joining Glovo’s rockstar development team, take a look at Ironhack’s tech bootcamps . Nothing is more important for getting one of these gigs than practical experience and a wide network within the industry. You’ve got this!

  • 5 minutes

    What Is a Tech Lead?

    Juliette Erath - 2023-06-17


    Web Development

    Interested in being your software team’s go-to for technical questions? Dream of becoming a leader in your department? Excited about utilizing new technologies to guide innovation within your department? If these all sound familiar, then tech lead could be the perfect role for you. In this article, we’ll break down the responsibilities and requirements of a tech lead to figure out if it’s the right fit for you. What Is a Tech Lead? By looking at the term “tech lead,” we can gather two things: they work in both a technical capacity and a leadership position. So then, what does a tech lead do? A technical lead – or tech lead for short – oversees the technical aspects of a software team by making architectural and design decisions, guiding team members in technical matters, and supervising system modifications. Some key job responsibilities of a tech lead include: Establishing project specifications and technical direction Creating a framework of technical standards and procedures Overseeing software quality and system modifications Guiding team members with troubleshooting technical issues Analyzing existing operations to identify risks and redundancies Conducting comprehensive assessments to develop solutions In other words, as a tech lead, you’re basically setting the technical direction of the project and clearing the way of any programming hurdles that may arise, whether it be closing technical knowledge gaps, finding answers to product questions, or streamlining existing operations. As a tech lead, you'll engineer, guide, and implement technical solutions and improvements with the help of your software development team. You can get your hands dirty and do some coding once in a while, but that isn’t your main job responsibility. So, if you’re someone who enjoys both the technical and interpersonal aspects of software development, a tech lead may be the job for you. With Whom do Tech Leads Work? Together with team leads and product owners, tech leads play a leadership role in a software or engineering department; each leader focuses on a different aspect of the production process. A product owner will focus on overall product development and a team lead will focus on people development; a tech lead focuses on technical development. Together, they set the project’s direction and guide the team members to ensure the project’s deliverables are fulfilled. Some essential members of the software development team include: Product Owner : leads product development to fulfill client’s requirements Team Lead/ Engineering Manager: guides team through development process Project Manager: oversees the development, organization, and delivery of a product Software Developer : designs and develops software to fit the users’ needs Quality Assurance Engineer: confirms developed solution fits specifications Software Tester: executes tests to ensure solutions fit performance and security demands UX/UI Designer: designs features to enhance customer experience and interaction A software team works together to ensure the smooth delivery of a product;as a tech lead, you must be able to balance priorities, communicate clear goals, and make apt decisions , all while taking into account your team’s capabilities and the product’s deliverables. Since each position on the team has some involvement in the technical operation, you must make sure that each team member has a handle on their portion of the software development process to ensure the delivered product meets the client’s expectations. What Skills Do Tech Leads Need? A tech lead can be considered a leader, developer, and architect all in one, which defines their essential skill set: As a leader , they supervise team members, delegate tasks, issue feedback, evaluate risks, and resolve conflicts. As a developer , they apply programming tools, utilize design patterns, perform automated testing, and refactor code. As an architect , they perform technical assessments, oversee development lifecycles, direct release management, and adhere to federal regulations. As you can see, tech leads must not only have the technical expertise to develop products, but have the people skills to lead teams as well. Some crucial skills of a tech lead include: Communication and leadership Project and crisis management Software architecture and systems testing Technical guidance and decision-making skills Quality assurance Problem solving and innovation Ownership and vision How Can I Become a Tech Lead? You can develop these skills by gaining professional experience along with taking technical and leadership courses. A tech lead isn’t an entry level role; starting off, tech leads often have 5+ years of experience in the field and a bachelor’s degree. But remember, a tech lead also isn’t just a senior software engineer: just focusing on programming knowledge is not going to get you there, you need to build interpersonal skills as well. So, how can you do that? Well: You can apply some professional approaches , such as supporting coworkers, providing technical advice, suggesting new initiatives, creating innovative solutions, and requesting performance-based feedback, to show your resourcefulness while developing new skills. You can use some administrative tools , such as a strengths and weaknesses chart, a professional development plan, and a goal breakdown, to guide your learning and development while focusing on the professional skills you need to reinforce. With a proper plan of attack, you can be well on your way to becoming a tech lead. As you know, the job title has the term “lead” in it, which means it’s considered a senior role – but still a great target position. Since tech leads are considered to be both technical experts and competent supervisors, you’ll need a decent amount of experience first. Our Web Development Bootcamp is a great first step that you can take to establish the essential hard and soft skills needed to form a strong foundation in web development that you can build on with professional experience. Web development has boundless possibilities, with a tech lead being one of them. We can’t wait to see where you go next!

  • 10 min

    How to Leverage Your Network to Find Your First Tech Job in Germany

    Diana Blaum - 2023-03-20





    Anne-Lore De Vreese is a Freelance Career Coach who focuses on helping mid-level professionals in tech land interviews so they can get the remote, high-paying roles they have been dreaming of – fast. She does this by helping them craft a compelling career story and master smart networking and we were lucky enough to sit down with her and pick her brain on the subject of finding your first job in tech in 2023. Software development roles in Germany are expected to grow 21% by 2028 . But around 75% of applications are rejected before they even reach a hiring manager. In this article, we talk with Anne-Lore's and she shares her insights into the tech job-hunting world and how just sending in your CV is not the best approach for applying to tech jobs, especially when there's so much uncertainty, like today. We're going to talk about how you can improve your chances of making it to the final interview stage for tech jobs in 2023 and what we will see in the job market in the coming year. The example of Emily the Data Scientist Anne-Lore started her career back in 2018 and a few years ago she was helping Emily, a Data Scientist, find a job. This is a job search she will always remember. Emily came from a nursing background but had been working for two years as a data scientist. However, she started to realize that even though she liked learning new skills in data science she was missing the impact that she had in her work as a nurse. When she came to Anne-Lore she was looking to find a job that could combine the two things –work as a data scientist, but make an impact, and ideally in the healthcare industry. She struggled to find job opportunities because there were just not that many available and spent three months searching with no success. After working with Anne-Lore, she successfully secured a job in just eleven weeks. Anne-Lore says she likes to remember this story because she knows a lot of people right now are feeling like there are just not enough jobs out there, and it's going to be impossible to land something. But Emily was looking for something very specific and managed to make that happen. Major tech hiring trends we are seeing in 2023 While the tech job market might not be the brightest it's ever been, it's not all doom and gloom. No matter what type of tech job you are searching for, with a little determination and strategy in your job search, you can land the role you are looking for. One of the things that will help you most in your tech job search is understanding the current trends in the tech hiring world. What tech jobs are companies hiring for right now? When you start searching for your first tech job you need to know what your strengths are, what your interests are, but also what the current availability of roles is. Software development and web development continues to grow as all types of business invest in new software, new apps, and everything digital. In particular, we are seeing an increased demand for information security roles. This industry has really boomed in the last few years. There is also an increased demand for data scientists as companies are continuing to make data-informed decisions using predictive modeling to understand what consumers will purchase. Then we have UX designers continuing to grow as technology becomes more complex and being customer-centric is more important than ever. So these are the ones where we're seeing lots of opportunities available and continuous growth so far in 2023: Software development Web development Information security Data science UX design What trends are affecting the tech jobs market? Knowing what roles are being advertised can help you refine your job search, but it's not the only trend to look for. We are seeing some other notable trends in the tech job market that are worth paying attention to. Layoffs and the Great Resignation Recently, all the big tech companies, such as Meta, Google, and Amazon have been making headlines for letting people go. So there has been a big decrease in the number of companies hiring. And those layoffs also mean more people are looking for jobs which creates more competition. But we can also focus on the positive other side of this coin. A lot of tech workers have also been quitting and you may have been hearing about The Great Resignation. For you, this means that companies now have to fight harder to keep their employees as well as replace the ones they have lost. This means they're going to offer more perks, flexibility, and befits – which is all great for you. Remote work Remote work is another hiring trend we are seeing. Again this presents both a positive and a negative. As a tech worker when you land a remote role, you get a lot more freedom and flexibility with your work. However, remote hiring means companies can look further afield for candidates which increases your competition. Inflation Unless you have been hiding under a rock for the past six months, you will have felt the effects of inflation. From increased energy costs to spending more money at the supermarket, you are probably seeing that your euros don't stretch quite as far as they used to. Well, the same is being felt by businesses. Inflation can mean that some companies cut back on hiring to mitigate costs. But fortunately, according to Gartner , IT budgets are forecast to increase by 2.4% in 2023. This means that while other departments will have to do more with less, tech teams will see their budgets increased. For you, this could mean a higher salary as companies accommodate the rising inflation and try to attract top talent for their roles. Tips to improve your tech job hunt and land more interviews There are a lot of trends to consider and use to help you find your first tech job. But over the years Anne-Lore has also learned a thing or two about how to make yourself stand out in that search. Here are her top tips to help you in your job hunt. Take action At the end of the day, if you're not reaching out to people or applying for jobs, you're not going to get any interviews, and no one is going to see your portfolio. So her first tip is to take action and make a plan. When you start your day, make it clear what you want to do on that day. Ask yourself: What are you going to work on today? What is important? What's your first priority? Set intention Your actions need to have intention. Decide when you're going to work on what and for how many hours. This way you can have structure in your day and you know when you're going to be working on what. You will find this gives you more clarity, reduces stress, and reduces anxiety because you're going to know how to move forward. Another thing is to be aware of context switching. For example, you start your day, you're going to finish a report. Then you're working on Instagram, reading your emails, looking at Facebook, and reading Slack. By the end of the day, you've barely done anything. This type of context switching is very common when you're job searching. First, you're going to work on your CV. But then you think maybe you need to look on LinkedIn for jobs. So you look on LinkedIn for jobs, and you think, maybe I need to be networking with people. So now you're moving on to networking. Then you're checking Instagram. Later someone calls you or you're getting WhatsApp notifications. All these results in you only working for maybe 30 minutes at a time. To avoid this set yourself a clear schedule and try not to fit too many things into your day. Leverage the job search community Anne-Lores third and final tip is to leverage your community. If you have three rejections for tech jobs in a row (which happens sometimes) you can quickly get disheartened. You start to wonder if you are the problem or that maybe you are missing some skills. In fact, a lot of times, it's about the other person who happens to have a better connection with the interviewer. Maybe they have a friend that works at the company or they went to the same university. There are so many things you can't control when it comes to the other applicants. But what you can do is partner with the community, work with a career coach or create your own accountability group to work with and share wins and challenges. 4 steps that you can take to stand out in a competitive market Anne-Lore stresses that there is a lot that you, as a candidate looking for tech jobs, can do to improve your chances of landing an interview. But it would take ten blog posts to cover everything so here is her four-step process to start looking for a tech job. 1. The first thing is LinkedIn networking. 2. The second thing is to emphasize your transferable skills. 3. The third thing is to have an online presence. 4. And the last thing is to show eagerness to learn and the ability to collaborate. A common mistake that job seekers make is to only apply by sending their CV. This doesn't work because per job opening there are sometimes up to a thousand applications. This is especially true if you're looking at very competitive companies, for example, Airbnb. So you need to work on your portfolio and online presence to give yourself an edge and truly demonstrate your skills and what you are capable of. Connect to hiring managers The last thing that Anne-Lore covers is the importance of networking and connecting with hiring managers. But you can't simply send a connection request on LinkedIn and ask for a job. That won't get you anywhere. When you start making connections with hiring managers, always make it about them. Comment on their profile, and prove that you've researched what they do. Organize a call and then tell them you want to learn something from them. At the end of the call, if you build a good connection, you can mention that you have seen that they are hiring for the tech role you are interested in. Then ask them if they have any recommendations they can give you to increase your chances of landing an interview. Can I be good at networking if I'm an introvert? For some of you, who are introverted, the above might sound terrifying. Introverts typically think that they won't be any good at networking, but that's often not the case. Networking does not solely rely on extroverted social skills. It is often more about preparation than having this natural ability to pitch yourself or to be very outgoing. You have to prepare and know what the other person does, and where they work. Have questions prepared that show you really understand what it is they do. On top of that, there is also listening. Introverts tend to be better listeners and at understanding what the details are. So, for example, someone might talk about, going skiing in Switzerland, as an introvert, you might be better at remembering that detail. Get ready to use your network for your tech job search That's all of the major insights Anne-Lore had to share with us. There is a lot for you to take away and apply to your search for your first tech job. If you are someone that has typically only sent in a CV and hoped for the best, you now have a lot of actions you can take away and start applying to your job search – the most important being to start networking. If you want to learn more about how you can leverage your network to land your next tech job, you can watch the full webinar that Anne-Lore gave in partnership with Ironhack here .

  • 26 minutes

    The Gender Gap in Tech…Let’s Talk About It

    Juliette Erath - 2023-03-09

    All Courses

    You’ll often see us talking about how great the tech industry is ( naturally ), and we truly believe it is. It’s a place where we see all kinds of people build the careers of their dreams, no matter their background, socio-economic status, demographic, or even personality type. However, we would be remiss to discuss the state of the tech industry and not include the prevalent problem of the workforce gender gap. Apart from the obvious social implications of an incredibly male-dominated field, it also affects overall political, economic, and cultural behaviors. The simple truth is that the workplace and skill gap in the tech industry can largely be attributed to the wide gender disparity ; to meet this both international and growing gap, a serious effort needs to be made to understand the origin of this problem and solve it. We see efforts made in this arena every day from all corners of our community across the US, Europe, and South America. But there’s no sense in combating a problem that we don’t truly understand. So we wanted to look into the current state of the gender gap in tech, trace the root of the problem, and look towards future solutions. Sexism and Gender Discrimination The tech industry is not unique in facing diversity challenges: far from it. Sexism and gender discrimination are, unfortunately, tales as old as time. Sexism is a complicated concept but one that includes the belief that one sex or gender is superior to another. Gender discrimination, on the other hand, is when someone is discriminated against because of their gender identity. Historically linked to favoring men, this kind of discrimination can have drastic effects. Societies are heavily influenced by gender expectations and can alter career choices, workplace options, how we dress, how we should act, what we should study, and much more. One of the clearest examples of the effects of gender-based societal expectations is the workplace. Both men and women are heavily influenced in their career choices by what they’re taught society expects . 97.78% of nurses and nursing assistants, 95.65% of legal secretaries, 89.09% of dancers and choreographers, and 88.45% of receptionists are women. On the other hand, 99.19% of vehicle technicians, 98.97% of carpenters and joiners, 96.4% of electrical and electronic technicians, and 95.38% of telecoms engineers are men. But these huge discrepancies in certain jobs aren’t the only thing to keep in mind. Globally, there’s a gender pay gap of 20% , meaning that women make, on average, 20% less than what men make. This is of course exacerbated by the actual roles that men and women hold: if high-level and higher-paying jobs are dominated by men, it’s natural that they’ll make more money. Unfortunately, however, that’s not the only reason: Like we mentioned above, women tend to work in sectors that pay less than male-dominated industries. Leadership roles tend to be held by men. Men get promoted more often. In every single country worldwide, women make less than men for the same work. Women face incredible pressure when getting pregnant or choosing to stay at home with their children. Women take on a lot of unpaid roles, such as childcare or caring for a sick relative. The differences between men and women are due to centuries of patriarchal beliefs that have put men in a position of power over women. In most parts of the world today, the gap between men and women has closed considerably; men used to have complete control over women opening bank accounts, driving, how they dressed, healthcare access, education access, or voting rights. Even though most of us can’t remember a case of the aforementioned examples of gender discrimination in our own lives, there are still major issues with gender equality in today’s society. And it affects everyone; only 50% of women in the world are in the workforce, compared to 80% of men. Gender Inequalities To measure the gender gap by country, the annual Global Gender Gap Index by the World Economic Forum uses four main categories to determine a country’s level of gender inequality: economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment. Countries received a ranking from 0 - 100 in each section; 100% means gender parity has been fully achieved. Economic participation and opportunity In this section, five factors are evaluated: labor-force participation rate, wage equality for similar work, estimated earned income, legislators, senior officials, and managers, and professional and technical workers. The report showed that on average, higher-income economies scored 69%, upper-middle-income economies scored 68%, low-middle-economies scored 63%, and low-income economies scored 66%. Gender equality is linked to economic opportunities and those with higher-performing economies score slightly better. Educational attainment This section defined the literacy rate and enrollment in primary, secondary, and higher education. Here, 29 countries were able to boast full gender parity across three different economic levels. Worldwide rates range from 48% to 100% and as the report gets to the lower-ranking countries, the gaps get even bigger. Health and survival This index used the sex ratio at birth and healthy life expectancy to produce the section with the least variation and smallest gender gap . No one country has reached parity, but 141 have closed the gender gap by at least 95%; Qatar, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, China, and India are the only countries with gender gaps bigger than 5%. Political empowerment Women in parliament and ministerial positions and years with female heads of state (in the last 50 years) are evaluated to define the gender gap as it relates to political empowerment. This is the section that has the largest gap with an overall global percentage of 22% ; the range here is also massive with the lowest country, Vanuatu, scoring 0% and Iceland scoring at 87%. Only 11 countries worldwide have closed more than 50% of their gender gap: Finland, Norway, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Rwanda, Germany, Bangladesh, Sweden, Ireland, and South Africa. Only 39% of countries are above the global average, meaning more than 60% are below it. The United Nation’s Path to Gender Equality The United Nations has established sustainable development goals to be achieved by 2030 and gender equality is the fifth. Made up of nine steps, these are the UN’s priorities when it comes to achieving gender equality: End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere. Eliminate all forms of violence against girls and women everywhere, including trafficking and exploitation. Eliminate all harmful gender-based practices, like early or forced marriages and female genital mutilation. Recognize and value unpaid care and domestic work through public services and public protection policies that promote shared parental responsibility. Ensure the full and effective participation and equal leadership opportunities for women in all levels in political, economic, and public life. Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health education and rights. Undertake reforms to provide women with equal rights to economic resources and access to ownership and control over land, financial services, and inheritances and natural resources. Use technology to promote female empowerment. Adopt and strengthen policies and legislations to enforce gender equality protection for all women and girls. The Gender Gap in Tech Gender-based digital exclusion has serious effects on society and the tech industry itself. “Hurdles to access, affordability, (lack of) education and skills and technological literacy, and inherent gender biases and socio- cultural norms, are at the root of gender-based digital exclusion. Enhanced, safer and more affordable access to digital tools is critical, as are policy interventions addressing long-term structural biases.” The first matter regarding gender equality is its ethical and just implications. A more equal world, however, could bring about benefits in lots of areas, especially global economics; research shows that a smaller gender gap improves global GDP, increases productivity, and promotes innovation . Need more convincing? Empowered women have been shown to: Increase consumer spending Improve decision-making processes Encourage more inclusive societies Increase sustainability efforts The IMF reports: “We know that in countries with greater gender inequality just closing the gap in women’s labor force participation could increase economic output by an average of 35 percent [...] In Norway, the expansion of universal child care increased the likelihood of mothers’ employment by 32 percentage points.” The World Bank’s Gender Employment Gap Index (GEGI) reports that if the gender gap were closed and men and women had equal access to paid employment, GDP per capita could increase by almost 20% . But in tech specifically, the gender gap is quite wide in four areas: internet use and access, digital skills and tools, STEM participation, and tech sector leadership and entrepreneurship. The gender gap and internet usage Internet usage is key to providing women with more opportunities, in tech and other areas. Europe and the American continents have the highest rates of internet usage and have reached gender parity or are very close to it; however, almost half the world’s population doesn’t have internet access. The majority of this group is made up of women in underdeveloped nations. Universal internet access is one of the UN’s SDGs and is absolutely essential to closing the gap. Worldwide access could provide women with educational options, widened healthcare, and more opportunities. The gender gap and digital skills Digital skills aren’t required for just tech jobs; everyone needs digital skills to fully participate in society and access financial services, educational opportunities, healthcare services, and more. But the gender gap could be shrunk even further if women had the same advanced digital skills to meet the gaps in the tech market. As the Digital SME Alliance reports: “Gender inequalities are most pronounced in disruptive tech skills, which are strongly requested in emerging sectors like AI, robotics and cloud computing. According to the World Economic Forum, women make up only 26% of AI jobs globally. The situation is even more dire in cloud and data, where the numbers are 15% and 12% respectively.” The digital economy is advancing rapidly and tech professionals are needed in practically every industry. Ensuring digital skill access will help achieve gender parity and improve the global economy. The gender gap and STEM participation Globally speaking, women have almost reached parity in their studies: undergraduate education (45%-55%), graduate education (53%), and PhD studies (43%). However, they only make up 35% of STEM students . This is problematic for two main reasons: one, STEM fields are rapidly gaining importance and if women aren’t studying them, they won’t be able to access jobs in those industries. Second, STEM jobs are some of the best-paid positions worldwide and if women don’t have access to those because they lack the necessary education or skills, the gender pay gap will only increase. We can equate the lack of women in STEM to these three causes: a lack of self-confidence, stereotypes of tech workers, and a male-dominated culture . These 2020 statistics help highlight the severity of this gap: Women made up just 16% of bachelor degree recipients in computer and information services, 21% in engineering, 27% in economics, and 38% in physical sciences. Women hold less than 20% of tech leadership roles. Only 19% of senior vice presidents and 15% of CEOs are women. 39% of women in tech see gender bias as a hindrance to getting a promotion. 34% of Apple’s employees are female but only 24% of their technical roles are held by women. During the COVID-19 pandemic, women were nearly twice as likely to either leave their jobs, be furloughed, or be fired. The gender gap and tech leadership and entrepreneurship As we already discussed obstacles that women entering the tech field face, this section will center on the problems that those already in the industry see, especially when up for promotion. Frequently, women face problems that men don’t even consider, such as taking on caregiving responsibilities, lacking role models and other women in similar roles, and greater pressure to prove their skills. Even though women make up 40% of global early-stage entrepreneurs , men still tend to start more businesses than women. Surveying entrepreneurs helped us learn that women are more likely to start a business due to making a difference or job scarcity while men do it to build wealth or continue a family tradition. In tech startups, only 2.7% women are involved, compared to 4.7% of men. The Gender Gap by Country Global statistics can help us get an idea of the overall gender gap in tech, but it’s essential to look at country-by-country data to get a more accurate picture of each market, its areas of improvement, and specific things to do to reach gender parity. The United Kingdom Five million people work in the tech industry in the UK but only 17% of those roles are held by women. When looking at the UK’s entire workforce, however, women make up 49% of all workers. This difference between the number of employed women and women employed in tech is precisely what we call the gender gap . This issue starts before women even enter the workforce - just 35% of higher education STEM students in the UK are women. Looking at this issue, we can separate three causes: Girls are less likely to choose to study STEM . This comes down to a few reasons: in such a man-heavy industry, girls don’t see role models or a place for themselves. Teachers are also ill-prepared to show girls the possibilities of tech roles and therefore aren’t even encouraged to promote girls in STEM. 33% of men had a technology career suggested to them and just 16% of women can say the same. Girls aren’t considering a tech career. Girls are more likely than boys to consider their future career when choosing their A-levels and when they don’t see a tech career as a possibility, they don’t take STEM courses. There’s a lack of female role models . Representation is absolutely essential; girls who don’t see female leaders in tech and instead see a vast majority of men won’t feel like a tech career is for them. And these numbers directly correlate to salaries. According to the UK Tech Workplace Equality Report , the average salary for male tech workers is £ 66,000 and £ 63,000 for women. To combat this gap and encourage more women to join the tech industry, some British companies have hired empowerment mentors to help women gain confidence when applying for jobs, ask for the right salary, speak up about harassment or other issues, and start new jobs. However, this isn’t a personal decision that women are making; it’s a systemic societal issue and for this to be fixed, a proactive approach by society as a whole is required. The United States The US tech market employs just 26% women , despite a nearly equal divide in the total workforce (49%). And despite the fact that 45% of STEM majors were women in 2020, only 22% and 20% graduated with a degree in engineering and computer science, respectively. Two years of collected data can help us determine where this problem originates: There are few female role models . Since the tech industry is largely run and made up of men, girls don’t see themselves as future tech workers. Stereotypes are prevalent in tech . Lots of girls are steered away from tech due to stereotypes and ideas that tech is a career for men and they should choose “feminine” paths. 44% of women surveyed between 18 and 28 years old were never given information or resources about getting into tech; just 33% of men said the same. The STEM industry is hostile for women . Women in STEM report feeling isolated, being the target of microaggressions, and having lower confidence in the workplace. In addition to not having their opinions heard at work, these are all reasons why women don’t choose tech or decide to leave the industry. Another problem occurs when women actually reach the workforce. 38% of women with computer science degrees are working in the industry, compared to 53% of men; engineering has similar data. Women also feel that the glass ceiling, a metaphorical barrier that prevents women and minorities from advancing like men, is stopping them from holding leadership roles. 48% of women account for entry-level hires but just 40% of first-level managers; this gap continues to grow as the leadership role gains more importance. However, the data is promising. The National Science Foundation reports that more women than ever before are earning STEM degrees . As Gen Z enters college and then the workforce, we can expect to see more and more women joining the tech industry, thanks to their status as the first digital native generation. Spain In Spain, only 20.6% of tech workers are women. And in the tech sector, the number of professionals needed doubles every year, leaving a wide gap for women to get into tech. But in Spain, women earn 9.4% less than men ; it may not seem like that much, but that means that they work for free 34 days annually. As we’ve mentioned, the lack of women in tech stems from problems that occur long before women enter the workforce . Only 35% of higher education STEM students are women and just 3% study Information and Communication Technology and related subjects. Women made up 55.3% of all students from 2020-2021 but just 29% of them were in engineering programs and 13.4% in computer science programs. Interestingly enough, however, science is a female-dominated field in Spain . 75% of biomedicine students, 68.7% of medicine, 65.8% of biochemistry, and 61.7% of biotechnology students are women. In tech careers specifically, however, 87% of men are in telecommunications, 74% in industrial, and 73% in physics. This large distinction is due to differences in socialization for boys and girls; strong gender stereotypes dominate young Spanish children’s lives and boys are expected to invent and calculate while girls take on a more caring role. Women make up just 20% of the Spanish startup ecosystem and that number hasn’t changed over the past eight years. 51% of women are serial entrepreneurs; 62% are men. 42% of women have failed in a previous entrepreneurial venture and only 24% record having successfully sold a startup, compared to 33% of men. Spain, however, has the most female FinTech startup executives in Europe (25%). Spain is taking real steps to close the gender gap; in 2012, there was an 18.7% wage gap, nearly 10% higher than what it is today. And the Spanish government is also working to guarantee equal pay through its Real Decreto 902/2020 , which educates workers about the pay gap and wage discrimination, opening every company up to transparency. Germany 17% of German tech jobs are held by women, even though women and men are nearly equal in the general workforce. And despite making up more than half of the university population (52%), women only make up 35% of STEM students. Negative stereotypes contribute to German women’s reluctance to enter the tech industry, in addition to lower levels of digitalization for women which has the following effects: Limited information access Complicated job opportunities Reduced industry efficiency Increased gap between different socioeconomic groups Increased risk for cybercrimes A survey by Microsoft tells us that girls are interested in STEM at age 11 but have a change of heart by age 15; the main reason for this switch is a lack of role models. In addition, the gender wage gap in Germany is one of the worst in Europe; male tech workers earn approximately €15,000 more per year than female coworkers in the same role. In the engineering sector, for example, experts believe that women are socially conditioned to choose lower-paying industries and are more willing to accept part-time jobs . Women are also leaving the tech industry earlier than men; by the age of 45, only 9% of women are still in their tech field. In the startup ecosystem, German women struggle with receiving funding and receiving support to help them manage their work-life balance. In fact, 63% of startups are entirely founded by men and just 6% of female founders are active business angels. What Germany now requires is an equality-centered approach that focuses on eliminating both structural and cultural barriers for women. Portugal A key detail in Portuguese workforce data is that the pay gap between men and women in tech and men and women in all industries is quite similar, meaning choosing a tech career is not as financially risky of a decision as in other countries. Although the wage gap isn’t as severe as it is in other countries, male tech employees average 16% higher salaries than women in the same roles. This deters women from joining the industry: just 18% of tech professionals are women; many cite limited growth opportunities and low salaries as reasons for either avoiding the industry or leaving it. Many of its neighboring countries severely lack female representation in STEM courses in higher education, but Portugal actually has a female-majority of STEM-enrolled students , at 57%. However, this percentage lowers as the courses become more advanced and students report not feeling included or integrated into the courses. Similarly, students reported working in departments with one to two women for every ten men and 10% work in a department with zero women. Groups like Portuguese Women in Tech and the PWIT Salary Transparency Project are working to both close these gaps and educate the general population about these issues; these problems stem from an overall lack of diversity in the workplace and as tech continues to propel Portugal’s economy forward, women will play a key role. The Netherlands Long viewed as a male-dominated field, the tech industry in the Netherlands is beginning to open up to women. In the digital industry, women represent 38% of the total workforce ; this number falls to just 18% in the IT sector. And just 36% of women hold leadership roles (25% of those are CEOs). For entrepreneurs, this number has risen from 2% to 8% since 2005. Secrecy clouding diversity, inclusion, and salaries doesn’t help the Dutch tech sector attract women, either. 88% of companies don’t report salaries and 99% don’t have a public strategy on how to close the gender wage gap in the Netherlands. Not being forthcoming about pay, equality practices, and company diversity can promote stereotypes, myths, and inaccurate information and further deter women from entering the tech industry. The Netherlands suffer from specific societal views and norms about gender, education, and career choices that severely limit womens’ options. Curiously enough, women-dominated industries like healthcare (70%) and education (48%) boast mainly women working part-time and more than half of those working part time do so because of childcare obligations, housework, and informal care ; only 27% men say the same. These societal views also impact the educational choices young Dutch students make; the Netherlands has one of the lowest numbers of women in STEM in Europe and the lack of female role models makes joining the tech sector largely unappealing to women, in addition to long-held stereotypes or sexist beliefs. Although it may seem like these problems are insurmountable, the key to success in the Dutch tech industry lies with women. If women joined the workforce at the same rate as men, the national GDP could grow by €100 billion . To achieve this, PwC suggests establishing networking options for women in the industry, reskilling female talent, sharing success stories for female role models, promoting inclusive environments, and focusing on hiring and training women for tech roles. Brazil Although Brazil can say that 39% of roles within the tech industry are held by women, there’s an important distinction to be made: only 20% hold tech-related positions and the majority work in support or administrative roles. Until 1964 , Brazilian women didn’t have access to their finances and couldn’t even have an ID until 1963, therefore limiting their access to bank accounts; financial independence is still something to which Brazilian women are getting accustomed. Due to strong social stereotypes, the Brazilian tech industry lacks both gender and racial diversity; Black women are extremely underrepresented. But studies show that more diverse and inclusive offices are overall more productive and positive, where employees feel valued and empowered. Just like lots of Latin American countries, Brazil’s stereotypes are strong and hard to change: women are expected to become nurses and men engineers. In 2019, just 26% of graduates in STEM fields were women. Here are some changes companies could undertake to promote diversity and inclusion: Ensuring job descriptions use inclusive language Conducting anonymous interviews to remove any conscious or unconscious bias Providing training to help employees identify and report incidences Promoting work/life balance, which helps women feel that they are not missing out on home responsibilities if they choose to work The truth is that these techniques won’t just help women; they’ll improve the overall workplace experience and job satisfaction for all. And when it comes to female leadership, there are 20 times more male-founded companies than those founded by women and women-founded ones grow much slower and are limited in what they achieve. An imbalance of women in leadership positions can make it harder for younger girls to see themselves in tech and choose to study STEM-related fields. But women need more than just a nudge to get into tech; Brazilian girls need to receive the proper training and empowerment to see that they belong in tech and see that both success and leadership options are a true possibility for them. France Despite the never before seen growth of the French tech scene and wide talent shortage, female workers make up just 20% of total industry workers . This is an improvement from 2020 where the percentage sat at just 17% , but there’s still a long way to go. Just 12% of French startup founders are women and just 11% hold a c-suite role; the money they receive to fund their startups is also less than male-founded startups, which doesn’t encourage women to jump into tech entrepreneurship. In addition, 46% of women in tech report experiencing sexist behavior , such as gender-based mockery and the lack of women in tech generally creates less innovation and a less inclusive culture. Others fear imposter syndrome, the feeling of not belonging, or facing unfair stereotypes. However, organizations such as La French Tech are working to combat this with their 2022 Parity Pact which aims to ensure the following in their member companies: Reaching a minimum threshold of 20% of women on the company’s board by 2025 and 40% by 2028. Training 100% of managers on diversity and inclusion and how to fight discrimination and harassment. Guaranteeing that 100% of published job descriptions are aimed for men and women. And starting in 2023, companies applying to join the French Tech Next 40/120, large companies with the potential to enter the CAC 40 stock index, must commit to working to improve gender inequality and receive gender equality monitoring. Mexico In Mexico, the gender gap in tech stems from a much more systemic problem: digital skill and internet access to the general population and, of course, women. When compared to other countries on gender gaps in tech, Mexico scored well below the global average. This is because state-by-state, digital access varies significantly with rural areas experiencing extremely low levels of access. Men generally have more digital skills than women and this goes from basic to advanced, sending an email to coding. And for women over 36, the gap expands even further ; however, girls and women between 16 and 25 are the most digitally literate, creating the perfect opportunity to welcome more women into tech . Only 12% of university tech graduates are women and only 10% of women who graduate with a degree in a STEM-related field actually work in it. In Mexico, 44% of women are in the workforce , compared to 77% of men; regarding management roles, only 9% of digital and tech companies have women in leadership roles and 23% have a female co-founder. And the outlook isn’t that much more positive on the salary front: male software developers can make 26% more than women with the same skills and experience. We can attribute this lack of women in the workforce to a few factors: Financial independence : few women boast financial independence in Mexico and taking an extra course or starting a new job would mean shirking on their childcare or family care responsibilities. COVID : Mexico lost 1.1 million employers due to COVID and women bore the brunt of lots of layoffs, in addition to taking on additional family care responsibilities. Non-paid domestic work : studies show that Mexican women across all socio-economic statuses dedicate more than 30 hours weekly to non-remunerated domestic work and care. Despite the troubles facing Mexican women in tech, many organizations are taking the next step to reach gender parity. The Women in Digital Award was first awarded on March 8, 2022 to president Salma Jalife Villalón of Centro México Digital, which publishes annual reports about the digital and tech industry. The Confederación Patronal de la República Mexicana provides scholarships to women to encourage remote work and developing digital skills; NIÑASTEM PUEDEN works to promote tech among young girls and Codigo X works with all levels of education to encourage women and girls to participate in tech. Women in Tech are the Future It can be daunting to take that first step into tech, especially as a woman. But don’t stress; it’s a great choice that will benefit both you and future generations of women in tech. If you don’t know where to start, take a look at some of the things you can do to get into tech: Create a strong network : use LinkedIn, your university connections, or people you already know in tech to help you gain confidence, get advice, and receive support from women already in tech. Be persistent and resilient : there will be challenges along the way and you might feel discouraged at times but remember to ask for help, keep learning, and continue pursuing your goals. Remember that you belong in technology: women are meant to be in tech and every field. Even if you can’t see as many, they’re there and eager for you to join. Advocate for yourself: know your worth and ask for promotions, raises, new opportunities, and any other thing you want on the job. You belong in tech and can achieve anything. And as you can see, the problems that women in tech face differ from country to country but there are overall themes that are constant across the globe. We spoke to some international experts about seven of the biggest challenges worldwide and what society can focus on to address them. Eliminating gender biases from childhood The gender gap begins in childhood and in very innocuous ways: giving girls dolls to play with and boys cars and legos encourages different behaviors and therefore conditions the way in which girls and boys choose their future career paths. When children see a majority of nursing or caregiver roles held by women and STEM and critical thinking roles held by men, they’ll assume that’s their path as well. Men are frequently given the most risky roles as well in group activities, giving women “safer” tasks such as organization, design, or details. Many countries have already placed a focus on this, but ensuring that children are raised in a more gender-neutral environment without societal-based gender expectations can help expand children’s minds and prepare them to take on whatever role they desire. Build womens’ self-confidence Here’s a quick stat: women tend to apply to jobs only where they are sure they meet at least 90% of the requirements; men apply even if they don’t meet them. This could stem back to societal expectations; men are encouraged to take risks and not be afraid of failure, women are more cautious. In addition, women can be faced with different kinds of scrutiny at work and asked about their family plans, marital status, or other questions that are reserved for just women. An increased focus on impartiality in the interview process and inclusive language could help women feel more comfortable when approaching new situations. And companies that offer maternity and paternity leave, supporting both parents equally, can help fight stereotypes. Create more female tech role models Women lack role models and examples of successful tech women; when women see the biggest tech companies with a male-dominated staff, it can be tough to feel encouraged. However, women’s associations and communities can help women connect with other female tech employees and access resources, tools, and mentoring programs. Companies can also work to give women more opportunities, offer scholarships, and provide mentorship connections to women. Create healthy work/life balances Women are disproportionately affected by domestic and family-related responsibilities and this can cause them to work part-time or leave the workforce entirely. Providing women with hybrid or remote options, in addition to childcare and flexible parental leave, could make tech roles an option for many more women. The gender gap in tech can be intimidating but here’s the key: it’s improving worldwide and more and more countries are taking action to ensure that all women have access to tech education and the same career opportunities as men. Women in tech are the future and here’s a fact: achieving gender parity in tech and all areas will improve overall life for everyone in every sector. At Ironhack, we're dedicated to helping more and more women enter the tech sector. Interested in being part of the change? You're in the right place.

  • 10 minutes

    10 Best Programming Languages to Learn

    Ironhack - 2023-05-27

    Web Development

    Let’s be real: there are tons of programming languages out there and choosing just one to learn (at first, at least!) can be quite the challenge. And while there aren’t any wrong choices when it comes to learning, we think that you can get a whole lot more bang for your buck if you choose one of these ten programming languages . But before we dive into each of them and what they offer, let’s first go over the basics of programming languages. What is a Programming Language? Simply put, a programming language is a vocabulary and set of grammatical rules that instruct a computer to perform specific tasks. Commonly used languages are Python, JavaScript, Java, C, C++, C#, Go, and Scala, but there are tons out there and finding the right one for your career goals might require a bit of research. Within the myriad of options, you’ll find five main categories of programming languages: procedural, functional, object-oriented, scripting, and logic: Procedural programming languages: these follow a series of commands or statements to reach a desired output and include C and C++, Java, Pascal, and BASIC. Functional programming languages : instead of working with a series of statements, functional programming languages use mathematical functions to achieve the desired result and include Scala, F#, and Haskell. Object-oriented programming languages : these programming languages work with attributes and methods to create groups of objects that can be reused, making it valuable for complex programs and include Java, Python, Ruby, and PHP. Scripting programming languages : used to automate repetitive tasks, scripting programming languages include PHP, Ruby, Node.js, and Python. Logic programming languages : these languages create a series of facts and rules that teach the computer how to make decisions and includes Prolog and Alma-0. Front-end vs. Back-end Programming Languages You might have already picked out your dream programming language to learn, but not so fast: do you know what your dream role is? Do you prefer to work on the front or back end? Or combine both and become a full-stack developer? Before you decide which programming language you want to learn, make sure it lines up with your focus: Front-end programming languages : these tend to focus on the user aspect of the software, meaning everything with which the user interacts: colors, images, text, and more. HTML, CSS, JavaScript, React Back-end programming languages : back-end developers will work with the behind-the-scenes aspects of software, such as the data architecture, scripting, and database communication. JavaScript, PHP, Java, Python, Ruby, C# If both sound like great options, your future may lie with full-stack web development. But there are a lot of other things to keep in mind, such as the differences between high-level and low-level programming languages and interpreted and compiled programming languages. We could go on and on about these, but let’s get back to the topic at hand: the ten best programming languages to learn. The 10 Best Programming Languages to Learn Now that you have a better idea of your focus, let’s dive into why we’re here: figuring out the programming language that will fit in perfectly with your career goals . And while we could write a separate blog post on each and every one of these ten programming languages (and more!), we’re going to cover the following points: what it is, their characteristics, and what role uses it the most. JavaScript You’ve definitely heard of JavaScript and that’s because it’s one of the world’s most popular programming languages. Here’s what you need to know: What is JavaScript? Used for creating interactive web pages, JavaScript can be used on both the front and back ends and is designed to create network-centric applications. In addition to being one of the world’s most widely-adopted browser languages, JavaScript is fully integrated with HTML/CSS and can run on all major browsers. What are the characteristics of JavaScript? JavaScript is an interpreted, high-level programming language that boasts less server interaction, immediate visitor feedback, increased interactivity, and richer interfaces. On the other hand, JavaScript is limited because client-side JavaScript doesn’t permit reading or writing files, cannot be used for networking applications, and doesn’t have multithreading or multiprocessing capabilities. Who is JavaScript for? As the programming language of choice by 97% of websites , JavaScript is used by both front and back-end developers alike. Java Don’t be confused by the name: Java is a completely separate programming language from JavaScript. What is Java? Java is one of the most common programming languages for coding web applications; it’s multi-platform, object-oriented, and network-centric and is used for coding all sorts of projects, from apps and websites to big data applications and server-side technologies. What are the characteristics of Java? Known for being simple, platform independent, secure, and well-performing, Java is easy-to-use and benefits from creating flexible and reusable code. However, it runs slower than similar programming languages like C or C++ and isn’t UI-optimized; it also lacks a backup facility and requires lots of memory space. Who is Java for? Java is used by back-end developers, dealing with the functional and logical aspects of web development. Python Let’s take a look at another very common programming language: Python . What is Python? Used in web development, data science, data visualization, and automation environments, Python is a generally-used, object-oriented programming language. It’s incredibly versatile and can be used for many purposes and here’s the key: it’s not just proficient in each area, it provides expert-level performance for a wide range of tasks. What are the characteristics of Python? As an interpreted language, Python doesn’t need compilation and is object-oriented, easy to learn, high-level, open source, and portable. Its gentle learning curve makes it easy for those coming from other programming languages to learn and boasts lots of available third-party libraries and an extensive user community. However, Python isn’t as fast as other programming languages, is memory intensive, isn’t optimized for database access, and is prone to overuse or misuse. Who is Python for? Although both front and back end web developers can use Python, it’s more frequently used by back-end web developers. Ruby Maybe you’ve checked out our blog post on Ruby ; maybe not. But just in case, here’s what you need to know. What is Ruby? This open-source programming language increases productivity while boasting simplicity. Mainly used for web development, Ruby is also useful for automation, static site generation, DevOps, web scraping, and command-line tools. What are the characteristics of Ruby? Ruby is an open-source, freely available license, used for general purposes. This interpreted programming language is object-oriented and is a server-side scripting language. It offers plenty of unique features for web developers, giving them creative freedom. Its lack of flexibility, on the other hand, means it's primarily limited to web development and is difficult to debug. Who is Ruby for? Ruby is mainly used by back-end developers. Go The Google-born programming language, Go , offers users an efficient programming experience. What is Go? Although it may not be as common as the aforementioned programming languages, Go is gaining popularity quickly, known for its simplicity, concurrency, and high performance. It was created to fill in the gaps that software engineers were experiencing and improve productivity. Although it’s similar to C, it’s quite fast and is widely used at Google and in other companies. What are the characteristics of Go? This open-source, static typed programming language offers a powerful standard library and tool set, testing capabilities, garbage collection, and much more; it’s also easy to use, boasts cross-platform development opportunities, faster compilation and execution, and time-saving techniques. However, as it’s relatively new, it’s still being developed and is quite simple, unable to handle complex requests. Who is Go for? Back-end developers at Google are the main users of Go. Rust Popular with data scientists that need to run heavy data analysis, Rust is highly proficient at processing large amounts of data. What is Rust? Rust is ideal for machine learning, data analysis, and computational biology, among others, because it’s able to process large amounts of data incredibly fast. It runs on embedded devices, integrates easily with other languages, and can power performance-critical services. What are the characteristics of Rust? As an integrated package manager with great documentation and useful error messages coupled with top-notch tooling, Rust offers multi-editor support, is very fast, and memory-efficient. It’s also incredibly safe and used to guarantee high performance, safety, and memory management. On the contrary, its compile time is quite slow and only offers a single implementation and has a high learning curve. Who is Rust for? Back-end engineers and software developers will use Rust. C C is our first low-level language on our list and despite the fact that it can’t be used for internet programming, it’s used to create hardware devices, OS, drivers, kernels, and more. What is C? Although it was created in 1972, C is still widely used, largely because it works closely with the processor and most performance-critical applications are written in C; this means that newer programming languages follow C-style syntax and constructs. When performance and efficiency are critical, C is a great choice. What are the characteristics of C? Known for being simple and efficient, C is fast, extensible, offers function-rich libraries and dynamic memory management, and is a mid-level programming language. It’s compiler based and is low-cost and easy to bug. Keep in mind, however, it lacks a constructor and destructor and is frequently named the hardest programming language to learn. Who is C for? C is primarily for back-end engineers; it’s used for general programming needs and is never used for front-end reasons. Scala Used to build modular, scalable, and fast software, Scala is a popular choice with data engineers who need to easily and cleanly process large amounts of data. What is Scala? This object-oriented and functional language is a popular choice for web developers, used by professionals who need to quickly process large amounts of data or build mobile or web applications and big data systems. Websites that receive lots of traffic typically use Scala because it’s capable of managing all that information. What are the characteristics of Scala? Scala is a statically typed language, meaning it’s easy to find and rectify errors during compilation, saving time later on and increasing efficiency. It has built-in support for pattern matching, allowing developers to write elegant code. It does have some drawbacks though: it is quite hard to learn and offers limited tools and is not always compatible with other systems and libraries. Who is Scala for? Scala can be used for front-end, back-end, and full stack projects, but is generally adopted by back-end teams. Haskell The purely functional programming language Haskell is used specifically for back-end job scheduling and brand matching. What is Haskell? Haskell works quite simply: it gives the computer a series of tasks to execute. Marketed as being purely functional, Haskell is primarily used by back-end engineers looking to find solutions for what to solve instead of how to solve. What are the characteristics of Haskell? Haskell boasts functions with no general side effects and lazy evaluation, lambda expressions, pattern matching, list comprehension, and type polymorphism. It’s referred to as the most state of the art programming language and supports programming with abstract mathematical concepts. However, as it differs so greatly from other programming languages, it can be tough to learn. It can also run slow on applications that require more power. Who is Haskell for? Haskell is ideal for back-end developers seeking clean and reliable code. Lua Built on top of C and the programming language chosen to design the Venmo app, Lua is an open source programming language used for larger server systems to applications. What is Lua? Used for procedural programming, functional programming, and object oriented programming, Lua is frequently used for game programming or building apps. It’s similar to Python and is concise and easy to read and write, making it a popular choice for programmers. What are the characteristics of Lua? Lua’s unique because it’s designed to work as an extension language, embedded in other platforms or systems, and can work with practically any system to make easy changes. It’s small, flexible, and portable and a great choice for coding beginners. It only has a small user community, however, and all Lua codes aren’t readily available. Who is Lua for? Lua can be used for both the front and back-end, but is more frequently associated with the latter. Whew! That was quite the list–we hope we gave you a great summary of the most popular programming languages and helped you decide which one you’ll learn next. And if you’re looking for some added assistance, check out our Web Development Bootcamp. We’re sure you’ll find what you’re looking for!

  • 7 minutes

    A Beginner's Guide to HTML and CSS for Web Development

    Ironhack - 2023-07-09

    Web Development

    You’ve decided front-end web development is for you; you’d love to focus on the client-side of web development, creating intuitive and efficient interfaces that facilitate client use . And you probably already know this, but both HTML and CSS are absolute necessities for any front-end developer. What are they? How do they differ? Are both really necessary? How can you learn them? We’ll discuss this and much more in this article. Why are HTML and CSS Important? We see this question a lot and we get it! Especially for beginners, there seems to be a massive number of programming languages out there and tools you need to know. But HTML and CSS are truly essential to your work as a front-end web developer. In fact, HTML and CSS knowledge is so valuable that it’s highly desired in other roles as well. Imagine that you’re working as a freelance makeup artist. Instead of having to hire a web designer to build your website/app and hire them to deal with every single issue, you’ll be able to do it yourself, saving valuable time and resources. Regardless of your area of work, today’s world is so digitized that such knowledge is absolutely crucial to your success. As you continue reading our article, think about HTML and CSS applications that could be useful in your professional or personal lives. It’s probably worth learning! What is HTML? Short for HyperText Markup Language, HTML is the generic language used to create web pages, describing the structure of the site. Using tags and hidden keywords, HTML tells the site what to display, but is not a programming language; HTML is a markup language. Through specific keys, HTML dictates the format, style, font size, and pictures that are seen on a page. Within an HTML page, there are five sections: <!DOCTYPE>: this tag exists to tell the browser about the type of HTML used on the page; it doesn’t contain any content. <html>: there must be a <html> tag at the beginning and end of each document, communicating to the webpage that anything between those tags has HTML content. <head> : this section contains metadata; this part isn’t displayed when the page loads but instead contains key information about the page, such as characters, links, and styles. <title> : this is where the title of a webpage goes; this is a key place to include keywords if the web page wants to be well-positioned in search engines. With only one <title> tag per page, it’s a key part of the page setup. <body> : here’s where the meat of the website lies, containing all text, paragraphs, links, images, videos, and more. Here’s an example of what HTML tags would look like: <!DOCTYPE html> < html > < head > < title >Ironhack</ title > </ head > < body > < h1 >Ironhack</ h1 > < h2 >Ironhack</ h2 > < h3 >Ironhack</ h3 > </ body > </ html > Sounds good? Let’s dive right into the benefits of HTML and how it can help you as a web developer. Benefits of HTML HTML is widely used and there’s a good reason for that! It’s quite easy to understand and implement, in addition to being free and easily accessible to all. In addition, HTML offers: Compatibility with any browser Ease of editing Simple integration with other languages Quick speed Small learning curve How to Learn HTML If we’ve convinced you that HTML is just what you need to learn (and as a front-end developer, it is!), you’re probably wondering how to do it. As one of the easiest languages to learn, it’s possible to do it on your own with some practice. But if you’re unsure of where to start, try some of these tips: Online resources : before you commit to paid resources, check out free ones online, such as videos or quick courses. Watching other people walk you through the basics can be extremely helpful. Books : depending on your preferred learning methods, HTML can be best understood through a bit of theory. If you learn better once you have a strong foundation, consider checking out some books on the topic. Bootcamps : once you’ve decided that you really want to dive into HTML and become an expert, there’s no better way to learn than taking a bootcamp. Bootcamps will help you learn the foundational details that are needed to succeed and even provide you with career assistance to help you land that new role. Well, we’ve covered HTML and everything you need to know. Let’s head into CSS so you’re well-versed in both. What is CSS? Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is a stylesheet language for documents written in HTML or XML, telling websites how to present web page information. It is also able to adjust for various formats, such as mobile and desktop. If this sounds similar to HTML, we get it, but they’re totally different: HTML is the content of the web page; CSS is the presentation of that content. Within CSS, there are three styles: Internal CSS : used to style a single page, internal CSS is used with HTML to provide instructions to a specific page. However, adding CSS to HTML can increase the page’s loading time. External CSS : ideal for bigger pages, external CSS links to an external file (as the name suggests!) and is able to edit entire pages at once. As the CSS code is in another document, your HTML code can run faster and is lighter. Inline CSS : used for styling a specific HTML element, inline CSS is used just for single elements; due to its complex nature, it’s not ideal for large amounts of text. Benefits of CSS CSS is widely used, and not just for its abilities to make web pages more visually appealing. Some benefits of using CSS are: Because CSS allows you to use less code to accomplish multiple things, pages are faster and easier to set up. As CSS works to make a more attractive web page, the overall user experience will be superior and users will be more likely to return to the site. CSS code can be replicated across multiple pages, saving time and speed when it comes to both setting up the page and loading later on. CSS is compatible with websites, mobile sites, and more. Just in case we didn’t make it clear, here’s the difference between CSS and HTML: HTML is a markup language for static web page design and CSS is a stylesheet language used to design the actual page design. You might see articles comparing the two, but they exist for completely different functions and aren’t comparable ; used properly, they are both quality options. How to Learn CSS Before you jump into CSS, it’s best to have some familiarity with both HTML and web development in general; it’s quite technical and you’ll struggle if you try to jump right in with little to no experience. However, the technicalities tend to come with more advanced features and you should be able to start practicing after a bit of studying. The following suggestions will help you on your journey to proficiency in CSS: Online communities : the online web development community is widespread and there are tons of beginners out there looking for assistance. This means that you’ll both have access to other people’s troubleshooting and a place to solve your own doubts. Bootcamps : if you’re looking for hands-on, guided practice where you’ll be able to be corrected and ask questions, bootcamps are probably your best bet. These intensive courses seek to teach you everything you need to know in a short period of time, giving you tons of opportunities to get your hands dirty. Practice : practice makes perfect and you’ll get much better if you practice writing codes and work to solve your own bugs through research/professional guidance. As you get more and more comfortable writing CSS code, you’ll be ready to tackle more advanced tools and even try to learn another programming language. HTML vs. CSS: which is for me? Our answer to this question depends on your specific situation, of course! If you’re working as a front-end web developer, both of these are quite important. Here’s our recommendation: Start with HTML and make sure you understand the foundations of web development; practice creating very basic web templates. Once you’re fully comfortable with HTML, dive into CSS, working slowly. CSS has lots of different levels and options; take your time and make sure you’re proficient with the basics before heading into the more advanced aspects of it. Both are valuable to learn and with time, effort, and, of course, practice, you’ll be well on your way to reaching proficiency in both HTML and CSS. And after that, the world is yours! You can explore programming languages and pick your next victim. To get started on your web development journey, there’s no better way to learn HTML or CSS than with a bootcamp. At Ironhack, our Web Development Bootcamp is designed to provide you with the foundational knowledge necessary for entering the workforce, and HTML and CSS are integral parts of our coursework . You’ll leave comfortable with both--are you up for the challenge? We can’t wait to see you in class.

  • 6 minutes

    Is UX Design a Good Career Path?

    Juliette Erath - 2023-11-15

    UX/UI Design

    As of 2022, there are almost a billion active websites in the world with new websites and apps being built every day. It’s a user experience (UX) designer’s job to make those websites and apps easy to navigate , and enjoyable to use. It’s no wonder LinkedIn featured UX/UI designers on their list of the 10 most in-demand tech jobs in 2022 . With high salaries and low barriers to entry , a career in UX design has a very long list of benefits. But before you jump feet-first into a UX design bootcamp, you first need to know if a career in UX ticks all your boxes. What kind of companies could you work for? What kind of UX roles could you progress to? And how hard is it to break into the field? We address these questions (and more!) in this quick-fire beginners guide to a career in UX design. Before you know it, you’ll have all the answers you need to confidently foray into the exciting and innovative field of UX design. Let’s dive in! What Kind of Companies Hire UX Designers? If you’re thinking a UX design qualification will tie you to the tech industry for the rest of your life, think again. Today, almost every industry has an online presence; this means they need UX designers to facilitate a positive user experience . In fact, most companies recognize that good UX = good business –making UX design one of the most hired digital roles in the world. Beyond the tech industry, you’ll find job ads for UX designers in education, finance, non-profit organizations, healthcare, government, media, and sustainability (to name a few). A lot of the companies that hire UX designers tend to be those that have a strong focus on user experience, product design, and customer service . Some of the top (and highest paying) companies that hire UX designers include: Apple IBM ServiceNow Google Amazon Can You Work Remotely As a UX Designer? UX design is a highly collaborative (and versatile) discipline. Throughout the product design process, UX designers find themselves communicating with business stakeholders, conducting user interviews, and running live whiteboarding sessions with the rest of the design team. With so many moving parts, UX design might seem like a job best performed in the office. So what is the scope for UX designers to work remotely? As we saw throughout the pandemic, there are very few tech jobs that can’t be done from home and UX design is no exception. Today, there’s an abundance of remote tools that make a UX designer's life easier, from collaborative wireframing tools like Balsamiq and Figma , to user research tools like Maze or Userzoom . With a growing number of tech companies going fully remote, it’s never been easier for UX designers to wave goodbye to office life and say hello to remote working benefits, like a better work-life balance and more autonomy over your working hours. To learn more about remote working in tech, check out our on-demand sessions on being a Digital Nomad in tech . Is UX Design Hard to Get Into? UX design is one of the most accessible careers in tech. It’s also a popular choice for career-changers, because it involves tasks and responsibilities that overlap with so many other disciplines like psychology, research, and visual design; it’s one of the few tech careers where being a career-changer is seen as a huge plus as it means you’ll likely be better at empathizing with the end-user, and advocating for their needs. What’s more, beginners have access to a vast number of UX courses and bootcamps, like Ironhack’s UX/UI Design Bootcamp . This bootcamp seeks to train complete beginners in the in-demand skills and methodologies that today’s employers are desperately looking for. You’ll also learn how to think like a designer and work collaboratively at every stage of the product design process. The best part? You don’t need any qualifications to enroll in a UX bootcamp. All you need is a laptop, enough time to learn the right skills, and the drive to make the switch! What Skills do UX Designers Need? UX design is a versatile and multidisciplinary field, which means U X designers need a diverse array of skills that stretch far beyond the confines of design . Entry-level UX-ers are expected to have skills in user research, wireframing, user journey mapping, user testing, and visual design and should also be familiar with UX methodologies and frameworks, like design thinking and lean management. What about soft skills? UX designers are responsible for making sure the digital product is accessible, usable, and intuitive, which means putting themselves in the user’s shoes. To do this, they need empathy and curiosity, constantly striving to understand the users’ needs. They also need strong communication and collaborative skills, so they can work closely with UI designers, interaction designers, information architects, copywriters, and other stakeholders across the business. Overwhelmed by how much there is to learn? Don’t worry: beginners can master all of these skills (and then some) with a UX design bootcamp . What Does UX Design Career Growth Look Like? The phrase ‘the world is your oyster’ is particularly applicable to entry-level UX designers. UX design is a broad field, which can take you in a number of different directions across various sectors. Most UX designers stay in their entry-level position (like UX designer or junior UX designer) for a few years to get a lay of the land. Then, you might find yourself branching off into more specialized mid-level roles like interaction designer, UX researcher, UX architect, UX analyst, service designer, or motion designer. All these roles relate to specific parts of the product design process, which is why it’s so important to first build up your portfolio as a UX designer. You could also go in the opposite direction, into a more broad-scope position like product designer. Product designers work on every stage of the design process across both UX and UI design, even dipping into some frontend web development where necessary. They won’t be as involved in the day-to-day design as a UX designer; instead, they’ll be more focused on overall strategy and creative direction. Mid-level UX designers can quickly progress into more senior roles like product manager or senior UX designer–as well as C-suite level roles like UX director, or VP of user experience. Don’t see yourself as a manager? You can continue building up your skills as an individual contributor, and choose a niche based on the types of products you design and the industry you work in. What Makes a Good Career? UX design is a popular career choice for a reason. It’s in high demand, offers rewarding salaries, and opens the door to more specialized (and lucrative) career paths. But while these factors are all important, a good career boils down to one thing: how much you enjoy the work. The last thing you want is to go through the process of investing in a bootcamp course and working hard to land your first role  only to realize it doesn’t fulfill you. Career changes are a commitment, so it’s worth taking your time with research. To help you figure out your dream career, check out Ironhack’s Career Vision Planner . And if you’re ready to make that first step towards your future career as a UX/UI designer, get started today.

  • 6 minutes

    How to Get into Cybersecurity in 2024

    Ironhack - 2023-11-11


    The realm of cybersecurity is looking to greatly expand in 2024, presenting an opportune moment for cybersecurity professionals to immerse themselves in this field. Regardless of your background in technology or your overarching career aspirations, embracing the world or cybersecurity holds great potential. Ironhack hopes to walk you through the specifics of a cybersecurity professional’s responsibilities and outline the importance of this field and its growing relevance across industries. This guide lays out actionable steps you can take to position yourself for success in the field of cybersecurity in 2024 . Let’s get to it. What Does Being a Cybersecurity Professional Entail? Being a cybersecurity professional entails taking multifaceted actions with the intention of safeguarding digital systems, networks, and data from an onslaught of cyber threats . Cybersecurity professionals are responsible for protecting organizations, individuals, and governments against cyberattacks, data breaches, and unauthorized access. Pursuing a career as a cybersecurity professional comes with its fair share of advantages and challenges. Let’s break down a few of the pros and cons of the industry: Pro–high demand: given the ever-evolving digital terrain, there’s an increasing frequency and complexity of cyber threats. Knowing this, there’s a growing demand for cybersecurity professionals which translates into abundant job opportunities. Pro–competitive salaries: cybersecurity professionals are often granted lucrative salaries given the specialized nature of their work and the high demand for their skills. Pro–continuous learning: if you like learning, then that’s a positive aspect of becoming a cybersecurity professional. The dynamic field of cybersecurity requires that professionals remain engaged, adapt to new challenges, and embrace learning opportunities. Con–significant responsibility: being a cybersecurity professional is not a job that one can slack on. They bear high responsibilities as they are entrusted with safeguarding sensitive information. The consequences of slacking off could lead to severe security breaches. This means cybersecurity professionals are under significant pressure and stress in the role. Con–long hours: cybersecurity threats don’t necessarily sleep, which creates a need or constant vigilance. Often cybersecurity professionals will be expected to work long or irregular hours, especially during security breaches or urgent situations. Con–risk of burnout: due to the demanding nature of the job, there’s a high risk of burnout for cybersecurity professionals. The work is often high-stress, revolves around tight deadlines, and is overwhelmed by the looming threat of a cyber attack, making it work that can weigh on professionals. Knowing this, the field of cybersecurity offers numerous opportunities and can be incredibly rewarding work. It requires individuals to take on significant responsibilities, continuous learning, and potential stress. That said, as with any profession, the right balance of skills, interest, and dedication partnered with stress management can make the challenges enjoyable and lead to a long lasting career. What are the responsibilities of cybersecurity professionals? Now that we’ve laid out some of the advantages and disadvantages of working in the field of cybersecurity, let’s break down the key responsibilities for cybersecurity professionals. These include: Identifying vulnerabilities: cybersecurity professionals must assess computer systems and networks to identify potential vulnerabilities that could be exploited by malicious actors. This means carrying out thorough security assessments and penetration testing in order to determine areas at risk. Implementing security measures: once risks are assessed, designing and implementing security measures to protect computer systems and networks. Vulnerabilities are limited through deploying firewalls, encryption techniques, and intrusion detection systems to safeguard against unauthorized access and data breaches. Monitoring and incident response: cybersecurity professionals continually monitor networks and systems for suspicious activities. They develop incident response plans to mitigate the impact of cyberattacks, minimize data loss, and ensure a quick recovery in the face of a security breach. Security awareness and training: an organization’s cybersecurity protocols are only as strong as all the employees carrying them out make them. That said, a crucial responsibility for cybersecurity professionals is to educate employees and users about security best practices. Cybersecurity professionals lead training sessions to create awareness about phishing scams, social engineering tactics, and other cybersecurity threats. Compliance and regulations: a crucial part of a cybersecurity professional’s work is ensuring that the organization is in compliance with industry-specific regulations and cybersecurity standards. They often work closely with legal and compliance teams in order to align security practices with regulatory requirements, Ethical hacking and penetration testing: cybersecurity professionals must utilize a variety of tests in order to identify security weaknesses. Ethical hacking and penetration testing are proactive approaches that help organizations strengthen their security measures. Keeping up-to-date : a pivotal responsibility for cybersecurity professionals is to keep updated on the constantly evolving field. In order to be in tune with potential security threats, and build the strongest security solutions, cybersecurity professionals must stay informed and embrace continuous learning. In all, cybersecurity professionals must possess a deep understanding of technology, strong problem solving skills, attention to detail , and a commitment to ensuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of sensitive information in digital environments. How to Become a Cybersecurity Professional? Becoming a cybersecurity professional involves a combination of education, practical experience, and continuous learning . Ironhack hopes this guide can help you as you learn cybersecurity and pursue a career in cybersecurity. Qualities of a Cybersecurity Professional If you’re new to the field, don’t worry: there are endless opportunities and entry level cybersecurity positions . That said, cybersecurity jobs require that professionals possess a variety of hard and soft skills . Successful cybersecurity professionals possess the following soft skills: Problem solving : as a cybersecurity professional, you need excellent problem-solving skills to analyze security issues, identify root causes of issues, and develop effective solutions to mitigate security threats. A crucial part is being solution oriented; if something doesn’t work, dust yourself off and try again. Attention to detail: being meticulous and detail-oriented is critical in cybersecurity. Overlooking small details or getting lazy in the face of potential vulnerabilities can have severe security consequences. Ethical judgment: ultimately cybersecurity professionals are positioned to make ethical decisions regarding how to best test for vulnerabilities, utilize ethical hacking, and handle sensitive data. Having a sense of ethics and integrity is paramount to a cybersecurity professional’s success. And when it comes to hard skills, cybersecurity professionals must possess the following: Programming and scripting: proficiency in programming languages such as Python, Java, or C/C++ is immensely valuable in the field of cybersecurity. Scripting skills are equally essential for automating tasks and analyzing security data. Security tools: cybersecurity professionals must be familiar with cybersecurity tools such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems, penetration testing frameworks, and antivirus softwares. Being up to date with new tools and technologies and properly implementing these tools is crucial to managing security solutions. Cryptography: understanding cryptographic algorithms, encryption techniques, and digital signatures is vital for securing data and communications. Vulnerability assessment: skills in conducting vulnerability assessments and penetration testing to identify and remediate security weaknesses in systems and applications is crucial to a cybersecurity professional’s work. Becoming a cybersecurity professional If you’re looking to become a cybersecurity professional, 2024 may be your year. Cybersecurity professionals are in high demand and the industry is only growing; that said, how do you get started? Here are the most common ways individuals learn cybersecurity and enter the field: Computer science degree: if you’re in university, pursuing a degree in computer science, information technology, or a related field will greatly enhance your credibility and job prospects. Online courses and certifications: ultimately a university degree is not mandatory for a career in tech. We’d recommend enrolling in online or in person cybersecurity courses and certifications. Applying for entry level cybersecurity jobs Don’t shy away from the field if you don’t have much experience. There are many entry level cybersecurity jobs that online courses or bootcamps can prepare you for. We’d recommend the following as you apply for cybersecurity jobs and particularly entry level cybersecurity work: Craft a strong resume: designing a resume such that it highlights your hard and soft skills, certificates, and practical experience is crucial in catching the eye of recruiters. Emphasize any transferable skills, relevant projects, internships, or volunteer work you’ve done. Apply widely: apply for entry level cybersecurity jobs even if you do not meet all the requirements. Many employers understand that the field is highly dynamic and are willing to train candidates who show potential and a willingness to learn. Don’t let your lack of experience hold you back! Prepare for interviews : show up prepared to discuss your skills, experiences, and problem-solving abilities. Practice common interview questions related to cybersecurity in order to demonstrate your knowledge and interest in the field. Through following these steps, you can secure an entry level cyber security job with no prior experience. Be confident and show up ready to showcase your technical abilities, knowledge of industry trends, and commitment to collaboration and teamwork. There are many paths into a career as a cybersecurity professional, that said, our top recommendation is to enroll in a bootcamp. Bootcamps offer an immersive and quick way to gain the necessary skills in order to jumpstart your career in the tech industry as a cyber security professional. At Ironhack, we cater our bootcamps to what we know to be the most in-demand competencies , such that our students graduate ready to enter the job market well equipped. Our curriculum is meticulously designed by experienced cybersecurity experts and we count on the support of strong career coaches in order to fully support our students as they enter the industry. If this resonates with you, we recommend checking out our Cybersecurity Bootcamp , which is offered both online and in-person, as a potential next step in achieving your career goals.

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