Member highlight: Vanessa Sue Smith

At Women in Tech, we are excited to introduce a new series where we highlight our incredible members. This is a chance to get to know each other better and celebrate the amazing individuals who make up our community.

We are thrilled to kick off this series with Vanessa Sue Smith, a member of Women in Tech Sweden since 2020. Vanessa is a talented Full Stack Developer and an avid iced latte drinker.


– What do you do as a Woman in Tech?

After 11 years in the restaurant business, I decided to change careers and enrolled in the Technigo Web Development bootcamp. Shortly after graduating, I landed my first job and have been working as a Full Stack Developer at the consultancy company byBrick Axakon for the past 3 and a half years.


– What made you choose tech? 

My original studies were in Graphic Design, but when I migrated from Panamá to Europe with my family, I couldn’t work in that sector right away. After several years working as a chef, I began to feel the need to do something creative again, where I could possibly use my previous design skills. This is when I came across web development, suggested by my brother who works in the IT security sector. Web development combines a good eye for design with the problem-solving aspect of programming, which turned out to be the exact kind of challenge I was looking for.


– What does the Women in Tech community mean to you?

To put it briefly, Women in Tech is one of the places within the tech industry where I don’t feel alone. In this male-dominated sector, it’s easy to end up at workplaces where you are often one of the only women on the team. Every time I attend a WIT event or connect with the community, I am reminded that there are thousands of other women out there sharing the same experience. It feels like a safe place to seek support, discuss struggles that we can relate to more significantly, and, best of all, network! As someone relatively new to tech, I absolutely love meeting new people, and WIT has been a great platform to connect with others who have similar backgrounds and ambitions.


– Vanessa, what would be your #1 advice for someone considering a career change into tech?

Go for it! Nowadays, there are so many resources available to anyone interested in tech that trying it out is practically free. Find some online tutorials and give it a go! In no time, you’ll discover whether this is something for you. Testing the waters first is a great way to find out if you enjoy it and would like to pursue it further.

It can sound scary and challenging to risk financial security or personal time, but there are numerous ways to pursue this path that you can tailor to your needs and availability. From self-study online to bootcamps to vocational education, choose the approach that suits you best.

Most importantly, as you explore getting into tech, know that you are not alone. There are numerous communities and groups accessible to anyone aiming to work in tech that will guide and assist you. Search for these communities and sign up—learning is more fun when done in a group.

And to wrap up with some fun facts
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

I am dying to visit South Korea! I have been watching Korean dramas since 2012, and when my Spotify Wrapped comes out, it’s all about K-pop. I would love to visit one day and finally see all those gorgeous locations and soak in the culture for myself.


– Do you have any pets? Tell us about them!

I have two lovely kitties: Hera and Bandita. They are sisters whom we adopted back in 2019. It has been so much fun discovering their different personalities. Bandita is a nature lover who spends her days outdoors exploring, while Hera prefers to stay in doors and enjoys being close to us.


The state of Women in Tech 2023

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Elin Eriksson

Creative director and curator

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