I was born/grew up in: I was born in Algeria and have lived all my childhood there. I studied IT and worked a bit before moving to Belgium where my husband comes from.
I now live in: I moved to Montreal, QC, in 2013 and don't want to move anymore!
I completed my training/education at: I got my bachelor degree back home in Algeria, in software engineering from ESI
Describe what you do at work.
My day to day activity consists of helping customers when they have problems with their software. They send us a ticket (kind of email) where they describe their problem. Then my team and I will find a solution to answer the problem. Most of the time our customers have problems with their application such as it's slow or it doesn't show the right data or some parts don't work properly, this is what my team and I look into. It's a bit complex because there are many parts to an application and where it runs, but so interesting! I also help my colleagues by training them on new technologies, and showing them ways to best serve our customers.
In my work I use mostly Cloud IT technology. Cloud technology allows people (our customers) to have programs (applications) running on servers without them having to install any software or manage anything. We take care of all that behind the scenes. Some tools are from the company I work for; some are from other companies like Google, Microsoft, etc. I also do some engineering, because we need to create and design ideas that improve our tools and the quality of our service. I recently got interested in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and how to use it in our company. That requires a lot of Math and Statistics!
When I was a student I enjoyed:
How does your job affect people’s lives?
SAP is a big company so you don't always see a direct impact of your work. But if you think about it, people are able to shop on our customer's websites easily and without troubles thanks to our work. Also SAP itself contributes a lot in making people's life better with the different programs and software we offer (e.g., in healthcare, scientific researches, improving cities and governments). I feel proud to be part of this big contribution!
I always loved helping people and making their life easier, and I see it daily happening with customers because I help them avoid problems or solve those they have. I also help them make the best decisions in their business.
What motivates you in your career?
I think the best part of my work is all the problems and challenges! Every day is different; everyone has different problems to be solved. I love when it seems impossible and we can make it possible! I also love working on new technologies (Don’t forget that I’m a nerd!) I also love that I get to work with people, both my colleagues and our customers. I love the interaction and the exchange of ideas. It makes you better!
When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:
Describe your career path to this career.
I was always interested in IT so I guess I expected to be working in IT. I had my own PC when I was 10 and used to do programming. My parents encouraged me to take this path (I think it was so I would have more chances to get a job!). My brother is a mechanical engineer, but used to do some projects on PC, and seeing him working triggered something inside me. After I graduated high school I studied IT, then I worked in IT, and now I breathe/eat IT !
When I started out I used to always be a software developer. I designed and created software but never got to see my work used by the customer. At that time I was working much more on the software part than with hardware. Then I shifted to services and support. I didn’t set out to do this, but it got me much closer to the people using software. It also got me more into learning about the hardware and then the Cloud world, and that is so fascinating!
While I love my career, being a woman in IT is still challenging. Some people still think it's a "guy thing" or a "man’s world". Let me tell you one thing, IT is about 0’s and 1’s; true and false. Not boy or girl! If you like it, stick to it. Do it and be proud!
What activities do you like to do outside of work?
I like art. When I watch movies I'm more interested in the film making. When I listen to music I'm more interested in the sound composition and the melody. When I have time, I like to volunteer. I try to focus more on activities to attract young girls in IT. I used to go to the gym for physical activity. But after becoming a mom it gets complicated to have some time for that. Does running after a toddler count though?
What advice or encouragement would you give others seeking a similar career?
If you like it, go for it, don't listen to negative people. Your job is a big part of your life, so make it fun and fulfilling.