Welcome to our Women in Tech series, a series of articles that aim to highlight the wonderful work done by the women involved in the technology behind LetsGetChecked.

This week, we spoke with Alma Elder, our Database Administrator. Alma has always had a keen interest in technology. The consistent learnings and orderliness of data have always been something that motivated her to pursue a career within the tech field.

When did you join LetsGetChecked?

I started in September 2020, so almost four months now.

What is your role in LetsGetChecked?

I am a Database Administrator.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your role

On the work side of things, I started out in electronics, that was what my degree was based on. A little while after that, I pursued a graduate diploma in computer science - I was really just trying to figure out what I had an interest in!

I got my first job and I had the opportunity to go down the route of database administration. So, I started out on a very different kind of platform, the shift here in LetsGetChecked is that you’re fully in the cloud. There are a lot of things here that have taken getting used to, which opens up the opportunity to learn new things. While I had some experience in the cloud, it still is very new and involves a lot of learning.

What motivated you to pursue a career in technology?

I tend to be a bit more of a literal person so, having something where it either does or doesn’t work is quite nice for me - I like that. Although there are areas where you have to figure stuff out or things can be a little bit vaguer, at the end of the day, it’s either working or it’s not and I like that kind of neatness to technology.

With technology you can sit down, see a problem, map it out and figure out how to approach it - it’s more logical which is what the draw is for me.

Why did you decide to join LetsGetChecked as opposed to any other organization?

The company that I was previously in was well established with set patterns of what you needed to do, so you can get into a very established daily routine.

With LetsGetChecked, for me, it was all new. I’ve never experienced AWS, and everything was completely in the cloud. That brought a whole world of new learning. Plus, because the company is a little bit smaller right now, you can get to see and experience new things and it opens a lot more doors in terms of what you can learn and what you can access. For me, I want to constantly experience new things and I feel that I can do that here.

What advice would you give a woman interested in pursuing a career in technology? Is there anything you wish you had known?

You don’t have to be an expert in tech all the time. For me, that’s the most important thing. Obviously, it’s good to progress your knowledge, but being able to collaborate with people and being able to communicate and gain experience from other people’s experience is important.

Soft skills are equally as important as your technical skills. So, having the skill to be personable with people and working together with them, and building something together is necessary - sharing ideas, sharing experiences. It’s a two-way street, and that can be very helpful so embrace it!

That’s great advice! Is there any particular female leader that you look up to or take inspiration from?

Not necessarily a female leader, per se. Well, unless you count from the household!
My Mom would be someone who I really admire, I'm one of six kids so she had a lot on her plate but she always found time to encourage you in the areas that you wanted to do. For me, at the time I wanted to ‘do things that were for boys’ and her response to that was always - ‘So what if it's for boys? You can still go and do that!’. She pushed me to do whatever I wanted to do, she encouraged me and she did that with all of us.

What does the future hold for women in technology?

I think right now, we’re at a place where it’s a little less ‘weird’ for a woman to be in technology, though I don’t think we’re at the place where it’s completely normalized either.

What I’d like to think will happen is that we continue to encourage young women to explore STEM, encouraging diversity, and helping each other - in a sense, being that support for each other. That will help us get to the future where it’s not even really a question of ‘what’s the future for women in tech’, because it will already be there, already in place.