08:48 | 10.05.16 | Girls in Tech | exclusive 31934
We pictured exclusively a man when saying “IT specialist in Armenia” a few years ago, but the success of Armenian technological products on international markets and numerous projects promoting startups development made the industry more attractive for women as well in recent times.
Whether it’s writing code, developing products or making other contribution to the team, the opportunities are numerous.
Itel.am presents Armenian women engaged in IT industry in the “Girls in Tech” series.
Liana Korkotyan is the Microsoft country manager in Armenia.
This is my first real job in technology
I am a relative newcomer in the sector – in fact this is my first real job in technology. I spent most of my career with large international donors and management consulting firms, helping small and medium-sized businesses grow and become successful. Many of the projects I worked on, however, were directly or indirectly related to technology.
I have always been fascinated by the potential technology has in empowering individuals and businesses to do great things, and in my role as Microsoft country manager in Armenia I certainly look forward to further encouraging the use of technology in the country.
Mentality is gradually changing
There are few women in this industry. This is common not only to Armenia - it is a worldwide phenomenon. In fact, there has been a lot of research in an attempt to answer this question. Some people think that the sector is simply not attractive enough for women. There is also a widespread prejudice that traditionally this is a male-dominated industry and that it is not appropriate for women to work there.
The good news is that it is changing and more and more women are entering the industry. Many countries these days have special initiatives that encourage school age girls to learn to code, for example. I hope soon we will have similar initiatives in Armenia as well.
We are not very different. We care about the same things most women do – love, family, friends. And shoes of course… (laughs - edit.)
Fashion in tech is coming back
For some people it is really important to use cutting edge technology. We have observed this trend when mobile phones just came out – with people replacing their phones every several months (remember LG Prada?).
The fashion in tech is coming back, with world class fashion houses producing accessories for tech devices.
I myself am an early adopter when it comes to technology – for example, I can’t wait to get the Microsoft Hololens, when it becomes available soon.
The next big innovation I am looking forward to are electronic mirrors – soon they will be installed in every store allowing you to try on things with a few clicks on the touchscreen.
Alternatives for coding
If you are interested in working in the IT sector, but do not want to learn to code, there are alternatives. Today in Armenia, for example, we have a serious demand of business analysts.
These are the people who translate the real-life, business requirements into technical specifications - making sure that developers and business people speak the same language is key to any software development project.
I call Armenian girls and women to follow your passion, no matter what others say. If men can do it, we can do it. Never hold back and never waste an opportunity to learn and grow!
Photos by Emin Aristakesyan
The interview was taken at Malocco café