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The lawyer who became a programmer

August 22, 2022

Dorka Schattmann was already debating whether to make a career change when she attended her first coding event with Pink. Halfway through her master’s degree in law and with an internship in the European Parliament on her resumé, the event came and changed everything.

The courage to make a change

– Every Pinker became my role model. Growing up I was always fascinated with IT and tech, but it was a typically male-dominated career option, it never even occurred to me that I could do it too. Pink gave me the courage for a career change, Dorka says.

Dorka took the corageous leap and change of direction after attending a Pink Sunday – a coding and networking event for women, non-binary and transgender people. She decided to graduate early and apply to a Bachelor’s degree in information systems.

Becoming a programmer

Today Dorka works with cloud development at Axis, the company where the Pink event she first attended was held. At work, she’s involved in everything related to backend: from databases and developing api, to testing cameras and gadgets. However, the backend route was never the obvious choice when she first started out programming.

At the time, I still felt that only “real” engineers can work with backend. But programming really is a continuous learning experience, everything is possible, even if it takes some time. 

Community that opens doors

The view that everything is possible as a woman in IT isn’t obvious. 92% of developers are men, and finding role models and peers can be a struggle as a minority.

– The people of Pink really showed me that I am not alone. Starting at a new workplace is always scary and it does feel a bit lonely, even if one ends up in the best team possible. A month into my new employment we had an event with Pink and that changed my life again. I met colleagues who I would have never met if it was not for Pink.

To others who are curious about a career shift, Dorka emphasizes the importance of finding a community and people in similar situations.

– Pink has helped enormously to open doors. Employers seem to know the value of the Pink community and they are very much intrigued when they see Pink Programming on the CV. It’s the best community when it comes to boosting confidence. And the IT industry really needs diversity, we are all needed.

Dorka Schattmann

My occupation: Software engineer at Axis Communications and Pink Programming member.
In my spare time: I go hiking, bathing in the sea, play tennis and growing vegetables on our allotment garden.
The best thing about programming: It is very hard to get bored. There are always new challenges to tackle and new things to learn. Literally no workday is the same.

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