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International Women’s Day Spotlight: Anca Toma

This International Women’s Day, Revoke is celebrating women in the technology industry, and what better way to do this than with one of our own? Anca is a vital part of the company and works with us as a software developer. Here she is sitting down with Digital Jersey & Skills Jersey, outlining how she started out in this sector:

She also spoke with us to discuss women in the tech industry, and why she made the move over.


Q: Hi Anca, thanks for sitting down with us to talk women in tech! Could you start off by telling us a little bit about yourself?

A: Hi, my name is Anca, I am originally from Romania but have been living in the UK for almost 10 years. At first, I lived in Birmingham while studying for my bachelor’s degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management, and once I finished university I moved to Jersey, Channel Islands. I worked in a prestigious 5-star hotel on the island until I decided to change my career and started learning to program.

Long story short: I studied Web Development on my own through online courses and built a portfolio with projects using the latest, most in-demand technologies; in just a few months, I got hired at Revoke where I have been working as a Software Developer for more than 3 years.

During this time, I have learnt a lot, especially on the job, thanks to my amazing colleagues, as well as through additional courses such as the Digital Jersey Coding Course.

I have won a tech award and a Hackathon (second place ????), I have become a mentor and a programming teacher for 10-year-olds, and I have recently started to study for a master’s degree in Cyber Security Technology.

Q: What first sparked your interest in working in the tech industry?

A: I worked in the hospitality industry for about 5 years, advancing in my career from an internship in a luxurious hotel in Dubai to Events Supervisor and then Assistant Restaurant Manager in Jersey. I was really enjoying the work environment, learning about different cuisines, wines, customer service, the novelty of each day in events, meeting new people, travelling, and making connections.

However, because of the nature of the industry, I was working a lot of hours per week, late nights, as well as all the weekends and holidays and I, was feeling like there was no work-life balance in my job, as well as receiving very little appreciation for my effort and dedication.

Therefore, I started researching other career options and tried a few different things (including opening an online shop) until I eventually came across a great Web Development course online and the article that Andrei, the course tutor, had written about learning to code and getting hired.

That article was life-changing for me; it described a programmer’s career so well, emphasising on industry growth, the high demand for developers in the future, the need to always learn and stay up to date with technologies, as well as the freedom that comes with a job in IT, for example through the ability to choose where you want to live (since you can find a job anywhere in the world, or work remotely).

Q: What advice would you give to women just starting out in Software Development?

A: This is a great time for women to get into the technology industry as everyone is realising the importance of diversity. There is a lot of advice out there for women who are just starting to code, no matter if they have a degree or not. Most of these I’ve heard or read when I started this journey myself and I found them to be very valuable and helpful.

Probably the best advice I got was to not give up in the first couple of months while it feels like climbing “an insurmountable mountain”, to stay strong and keep learning until it all clicks, because it will. If you remember that, then you are halfway there, here are a few more tips that worked for me, to keep you going:

If you have a plan, it’s less probable that you will get distracted from your goals or that you will go down a dead-end by learning outdated technology. You should start with the basics of how the internet works, how the web integrates with HTML and CSS and reacts to your code, how to use the command line and a suitable text editor, and then choose one programming language and stick to it.

Anca is an inspiration to us all and has shown how strong women are in the tech industry. Learn how Anca and Revoke can help you in taking back control of your personal data today!