Women in Tech

Women in Tech: what do female developers look for in a job?

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What’s it like to be a woman in tech? HackerRank has recently released its 2019 Women in Tech Report. After interviewing more than 12 000 developers, fascinating insights have emerged, particularly for Generation Z female coders – those born from 1997 onwards. Let’s take a closer look at women in tech, particularly what female developers look for in a job.

Professional development + prestigious brands

Female developers rank “professional development” and a “work-life balance” as the most important aspects of a job. However, Gen Z women – those 21 and under, are “twice as likely to seek out an employer with a prestigious brand as women from previous generations”. A potential reason for this is that Gen Z women, or “digital natives”, have spent so much of their life engaging with prestigious digital brands like Apple or Twitter (remember, 25% of them had smartphones before the age of 10) that they now seek out such brands in their work life.


Here’s a graph depicting the things women look for in a tech job.


Women in Tech

Image Source: https://research.hackerrank.com/women-in-tech/2019


A new career path

23-year-old Zita Preuss, who just misses the Gen Z label, is enrolled on a HyperionDev Full Stack Web Development course. She attends classes at their  Woodstock campus in Cape Town. As a newbie developer, she, too, is looking for professional growth opportunities. Says Zita: “I’m keen for a new career path. I considered Computer Science, but I was put off by the long time commitment – three years is just too long! I needed to find a viable alternative, which led me to this bootcamp.” Interestingly, bootcamp graduates stack up well against graduates with degrees. A 2017 survey conducted by job site Indeed found that the vast majority (72%) of employers consider bootcamp grads to be “just as prepared to be high performers” as graduates with degrees.

Professional development is obviously important, but what about money? For Gen Z women, compensation is viewed somewhat differently from previous generations – it’s just not as vital a factor as it was for older women (16% of Gen Z women consider compensation important compared with 26% from other generations). For the Gen Z, it’s just lower down on their list of priorities.

The HackerRank report explains this finding as follows: “(M)ost Gen Z women currently do not have the same financial obligations that their older counterparts do, and can thus move compensation lower on their list of priorities in favor of other factors like company prestige.”

Zita doesn’t mention compensation as one of her chief priorities. However, after bartending, which she did before enrolling on her bootcamp, she’s keen “to find herself a proper career path”. Her plan is to move overseas with her bootcamp qualification after she has acquired the relevant skills and experience.

And how is she finding her bootcamp? Says Zita:


I really enjoy it, because I have the freedom to do tasks at my own pace. Plus, the environment is so friendly and welcoming. When I need help, my mentor is always available. Because it’s such a practical course, you get to try out a lot of the coding yourself.

Zita is sure to graduate from her bootcamp with in-demand skills that companies want.  According to the HackerRank report, JavaScript, Java and Python top the list.


Women in Tech

Image Source: https://research.hackerrank.com/women-in-tech/2019


Luckily for Gen Z women, the majority of them entering the workforce know Java and Python, while about 50% are proficient in JavaScript. Here’s a graph showing the languages Gen Z women and men know.


Women in Tech

Image Source: https://research.hackerrank.com/women-in-tech/2019


Perhaps part of their skill proficiency comes from the fact that Gen Z women are coding at a younger age than generations before them. Almost a third of women in this generation learned to code before they were 16 years old. For previous generations, only 18% of women learned to code at such a young age.

The good news is that HyperionDev offers a Software Engineering course that covers Java and Python, and their Full Stack Web Developer courses incorporate JavaScript, among many other languages and frameworks. You can enrol to do the course online or on-site at one of their campuses in Cape Town or Joburg. Part-time and full-time courses are available. If you’re a woman who wants to enter the tech field, now is the time to make your dream a reality.