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Women at Work

Coding For Hearst And Firefighting (Literally) ​At Home

What’s your experience been like working remotely for a year?


I worked remotely for a few years before coming to Hearst. It’s always very different depending on the project. I worked in small groups where everyone telecommuted, so being the only remote developer in a big on-site team has required adjusting my communication strategies.

Describe your typical work day.

There’s a two hour time difference between my co-workers and I, so I have time to go swimming every morning before logging in. My ideal daily structure is communication-development-communication, so I always try to begin my day answering questions and requests. I finish with an end-of-day report to the team. I’m more effective if I take a couple of brief exercise breaks during the day, so I generally stay logged in longer than eight hours. I go for a walk or run when I need clarity about something.

When did you develop an interest in coding and learn how to code?

My teenage cousin taught himself how to code when I was a child, and he introduced me to BASIC. I still remember my determination after he told me that alphabetizing things programmatically was for bigger kids, and I shouldn’t even try.

Did you know other female developers when you started?

No, but growing up I always had great female math and physics teachers. There was also Scully from The X Files, and my nerdy big sister. It felt like all of the cool girls were into science! I assumed that there would be lots of them. I was pretty surprised that women were only about 5% of my first algorithms class in college. Luckily, the number of female coders has picked up since then.

Lara in Cordoba, Argentina

Do you have any strategies for staying efficient outside of an office? What tools do you use?

I use a big old cork board and sticky notes. I like tangible representations of the work to be done.

Biggest challenges and biggest rewards when it comes to working remotely? How did you overcome your challenges?

It’s easy to get lost in the abstract notion of a feature or ticket and lose perspective of what and who you’re working for in the end. It helped tremendously to visit Hearst’s New York headquarters, meet the team and get to know what everyone was working on. It gave me a much clearer picture of the team and project as a living, breathing unit with a simple objective to keep in mind when making decisions.

What is the biggest thing you’ve learned from others while working in a remote environment that is also global?

Effective remote functioning requires all parties to be proactive about communication. Your needs are much less visible to your teammates when you’re not sitting next to them, so if you need assignments or answers in order to continue, you have to be very explicit and even insistent about that.

Favorite song, book or article that you’ve read lately that got you excited about work?

I’m a big fan of Diablo II. The first act of the game introduces you to a sisterhood of rogue sorceresses that act as a base camp and source of knowledge and weapons for you, while you take over a map. Being part of PowerToFly feels a bit like that.

Courtesy of Lara Tais

What’s one thing that people don’t know about developers or women who like to code?

The creative nature of coding doesn’t always come across to people outside of our sphere. It’s seen as more of a structured, boring process than it actually is. It’s always a surprise when someone that seems more suited to creative disciplines, or anyone who is the slightest bit of a rebel, chooses tech. I took some filmmaking classes in college, in parallel to computer science, and it surprised me tremendously to find that I actually had more encouragement to experiment in my programming classes than in film school.

Please share one interesting observation about where you currently live and work that most people don’t know.

Recently, lots of very cool dinosaur fossils have been found in Argentina.

What’s your favorite way to spend your time after work or on the weekends?

I study religious anthropology. I also like to garden, roller skate and go out dancing.

What advice would you give other women interested in working remotely?

Structure the beginning and end of your work day routine with clear markers that can toggle a production mindset, like going in and out of an office building would. This helps because you don’t spend all your waking hours in working mode, which could make the quality of your work suffer. Stay physically active, call your inspiring friends, get some sun every day and ask all the questions you need — as many times as it takes.

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How These Companies Are Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

According to a recent study, anti-Asian hate crimes have risen 150% since the pandemic started. But these acts of violence are not new — they are part of a much larger history of anti-Asian racism and violence in the U.S.

That makes celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (which was named a month-long celebration in May by Congress in 1992 "to coincide with two important milestones in Asian/Pacific American history: the arrival in the United States of the first Japanese immigrants on May 7, 1843 and contributions of Chinese workers to the building of the transcontinental railroad, completed May 10, 1869") this year all the more important.

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Being fully committed to work and family is a challenge that many working parents have to take on. It can be exhausting and thankless pursuing a fulfilling full-time career, while taking an active role as a parent. Achieving a healthy balance can help keep you motivated and productive at work, while allowing you to be fully present when you're home.

We recently chatted with working moms at technology skills platform, Pluralsight, about their best advice for striking that elusive work-life balance. Here were their key points:

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How to Make the Most of Being on a Growing Team: 3 Tips from Plex’s Adriana Bosinceanu

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She went from being one of eight engineers on a small team building a streaming service to joining a company that was five times larger and had a much bigger scope.

That company was Plex, where Adriana has been working remotely as a software engineer for the last four and a half years.

As her team grew from two people to ten, Adriana decided to lean into the opportunity to grow; along the way, she found herself deepening her technical skills, her self-confidence, and her relationships. We sat down with Adriana to learn exactly how she did that, and to hear the tips she has for other engineers experiencing growth opportunities on their team.

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10 Tips to Stand Out at a Virtual Job Fair

Your guide to preparing for virtual career fairs and making a great impression with recruiters

According to a LinkedIn survey, up to 85% of jobs are filled via networking. For job seekers, virtual job fairs make networking with recruiters more convenient. You can interact with potential employers from all over the world, ask them questions, and apply for jobs. Every event is different, but they most often include video conferencing features, chat rooms, and Q&A sessions.

Dilyara Timerbulatova, Virtual Job Fair Coordinator at PowerToFly explains that, "virtual job fairs have many benefits, namely connecting top talent and recruiters that would otherwise never cross paths. These events are a tool to help companies build well-rounded, diverse teams that align with the company culture and business vision."

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Pride At Work: Learn more about Our Partners, Sponsors & Speakers

Learn more about our amazing speakers and sponsors at our June 2021 virtual summit Diversity Reboot: Pride At Work, three days of conversations and panels plus an interactive virtual career fair.

Our Pride At Work summit certainly made us proud! PowerToFly was thrilled to present talks by members of the LGBTQIA+ community alongside some amazing allies. Our conversations ranged from leaders at the highest levels of government positions to visionaries in the worlds of business & tech to artists from the music and entertainment industry. If you tuned in, and celebrated our speakers, thank you! And if you missed the summit or would like to re-watch any of the talks, those conversations will all be available to watch for free on PowerToFly.

We want to extend a HUGE thanks to our amazing sponsors American Express, NGA, Smartsheet, S&P Global, Raytheon Technologies, PwC and Esri plus our media partner MMCA.

If you can, please consider donating to some of the amazing organizations we highlighted at the summit including GLITS, fighting for the health and rights of transgender sex workers; Garden State Equality, the largest LGBTQIA+ advocacy organization in New Jersey, with over 150,000 members; National Black Justice Coalition, a civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people, including people living with HIV/AIDS; and NYC Anti-Violence Project, empowering lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and HIV-affected communities and allies to end all forms of violence through organizing and education, and supports survivors through counseling and advocacy.

Plus, don't forget to visit our Merch Store and grab yourself some PowerToFly apparel. 100% of the proceeds from our sales will be going to TransTech Social, supporting transgender and non-binary people in tech.

Finally, registration for our July 12th - 15th virtual summit Diversity Reboot: Tech For Social Impact is now open! Join us to learn about founders from mission-driven organizations and their social impact. Register for free here
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