First of all, Happy International Women’s Day!
Girls in tech has always been a hot and sometimes touchy topic, especially in the gaming industry. In a survey published by the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) surveying 963 people working in the games industry found that when it comes to diversity, 74% of workers are males, 61% are white/caucasian/European, and 81% are heterosexual. Gradually more and more organizations are encouraging young girls to learn how to code, a vital part of the game development process, and potentially inspire them to seek jobs as programmers.
MegaZebra is proud to be an inclusive environment, where diversity thrives, and everyone feels they have the same chances to succeed. That is why this year we decided to celebrate this day interviewing two of our girls, Claudia and Milica. But let’s hear directly from them!
Can you share a little bit about what it is that you do and what a typical day for you is like?
C: I am a Game Development Trainee. I am implementing new game mechanics and features ,while constantly trying to improve and maintain our old features. Some days I am busy with implementing new UI, on others I am creating or improving the current behavior of our systems. I am striving to create clean code that is easy to maintain and refactor, if needed. A typical day starts with me checking my task list and our bug tracker. Depending on what has higher priority, I will start working on either one of my tasks or bugs – fueled by a cup of coffee, of course! When we are working towards a release, I will jump between continuing my task and fixing the most urgent bugs that come up to ensure we stay on time.
M: I’m a Backend Developer and System Administrator, which means keeping all the systems up and running. Basically my job is not to make things look pretty, but to make them work well and smoothly.
Women in the field of technology are still a minority, especially in the gaming industry, so why did you decide to pursue a career in tech?
C: I have always been a fan of games and wanted to create my own, so I was curious to learn how they are made. IT has always fascinated me and I knew right from the start that I wanted to develop for the games industry. So I enrolled at university to study computer science here in Munich!
M: When I decided to choose this career, I didn’t consider the tech industry to be a “men’s industry”. It was just the field that, beside maths, interested me the most since I was a teenager.
What’s the most rewarding aspect of your job?
C: I feel like I am able to bring new features to life by combining game design rules and art assets. By doing that I am creating something that is playable and that others will enjoy. While players might only notice how beautiful the artwork is or how good the game mechanics are, the underlying code is what glues all of that together, so my work feels really important even though it’s “just games”.
M: That feeling you get when you create something new, especially in the gaming industry. I know for sure that the product I make will make some people happy and entertained.
What advice would you give to women who would like to start a career in tech?
C: Go ahead and do it! Don’t listen to anyone saying otherwise. There’s nothing a man can do better here than a woman, just because he is a man. If you have the passion for it, if you want to dedicate effort and time to it, then pursue a career in tech! And also, the first computer programmer was a woman called Ada Lovelace.
M: I would advise them to definitely go for it, because this is a super exciting and interesting career path and also we need more women in technology. Unfortunately prejudice exists in all areas, so of course the tech industry is no different. But at the same time, it is not worse than other industries. There is no reason for women to avoid it. If you have the right attitude, you can succeed in every field, no matter what your gender is.
What’s your favorite video game of all time?
C: My favourite video game of all time? It’s the Witcher 3, for sure. The developers have poured their everything into making that game and the attention for detail is phenomenal. They inspire me to always do better!
M: 100% The Sims!