Women in Tech: “The only constant is change itself”
Women are underrepresented in the tech sector —myth or reality? Three years ago, we launched a diversity series aimed at bringing the most inspirational and powerful women in the tech scene to your attention. Today, we’d like you to meet Sandra Rapp, frontend developer and team leader at IBM Research & Development GmbH.
A research study by The National Center for Women & Information Technology showed that “gender diversity has specific benefits in technology settings,” which could explain why tech companies have started to invest in initiatives that aim to boost the number of female applicants, recruit them in a more effective way, retain them for longer, and give them the opportunity to advance. But is it enough?
Three years ago, we launched a diversity series aimed at bringing the most inspirational and powerful women in the tech scene to your attention. Today, we’d like you to meet Sandra Rapp, frontend developer and team leader at IBM Research & Development GmbH.
Today’s Woman in Tech: Sandra Rapp, frontend developer and team leader at IBM Research & Development GmbH
Sandra Rapp started her career at IBM Research & Development GmbH after studying business informatics. Within 12 years she gained experience in software development in various international projects. Currently, she works as a front-end developer and head of a UI team in the IBM Cloud area. In addition to programming, her tasks include customer support, project planning, maintenance, and product operations.
Sandra Rapp is also involved in the local front-end developer community, where she regularly organizes talks on front-end development topics.
When did you become interested in technology?
I still remember well that my father bought our first PC with Windows 95 when I was about in the 7th grade of secondary school. I started to learn MS Office, mainly PowerPoint, and Word, in order to create my school presentations and work with it. I also got the opportunity to participate in an “Internet course” that the local college offered to students. During this course, I created my first e-mail address and learned how to create a website in HTML.
During grades 11 to 13 at school, I discovered my preference for the subject “data processing”. It was about the basics of information technology as well as the practical application of programs for spreadsheets and databases. In grade 13 I continued to voluntarily take the subject and acquired basic knowledge in the programming language Java. This awakened my interest and the fun in programming finally led me to study Business Informatics.
During my studies of business informatics I soon realized that my main interest is software development and programming. I did my second internship semester at IBM R&D and also wrote my diploma thesis there. After handing in my diploma thesis I got a permanent job in the same company shortly after. My previous fields of activity were:
- Services (development at the customer’s site), much associated with travel
- Several years of 3rd level support for different products
- Finally, in 2012, switch to application software development in the cloud environment
I am still active in the cloud area today and have taken on various development tasks in several projects. This includes the development of backend functionality, tests, DevOps as well as frontend development.