Early years and where you came from?
When I went to college, I firmly believed that 5 years after I would be starting my professional path as a Chemical Engineer. I couldn’t be more mistaken. I’ve worked as a researcher at FEUP, doing research studies on biomechanics field, specifically in cemented hip implants and damage propagation, and even learned how to perform a micro anastomosis on live mice (that unfortunate little guy).
How were you introduced to the world of the Portuguese tech industry?
I was having dinner with some friends, starting my Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, and my friend said to me: “You should come to my company. Give me your resume and I’ll take it to my boss.”. I was scheduled for an interview, at Quidgest, with the CEO, one of my biggest mentors, and the only thing I knew at that time was that there was something called SQL and Database Management Systems and that there was this book about DMS with a cover with cows in it.
Walk me through your work and what you are doing now in the tech industry.
My day usually starts very early with my, almost, 4 y.o. daughter and all the logistics until I arrive at the office. I am a very organized person and a typical day in my life will include contact with the teams, quality assurance of processes, products, and development of new patterns for Genio®, products or prototypes. After regular working hours, it can range from work, meetups for professional engagement or even training in some field, and family time. However, experience has taught me that, as a team member or as a mother, something will for sure add up to your list. And that’s just fine, it’s how we’ll grow, and become better over time.
What part of what you do, you love the most?
At Quidgest, no two days are the same. The multiplicity of the tasks and challenges. As head of QA, one of my tasks is auditing. It’s a good cop, bad cop QA task, but we at Quidgest are data-centric and data-driven and the information we gather from internal audits, for example, is incredibly rich and it’s a driving force for change and improvement. There’s always something we can share with our colleagues but, most importantly, there’s always something new I can learn from them every day.
How do you think that your background and knowledge impact the way you approach your work in the Portuguese tech industry?
Having started my professional career as a researcher, I’ve learned that research is never complete, there’s always some approach that we can take into consideration, something new we can try, something “old” we can and must improve. We need to be aware of context and circumstances and include them in the road map of technological evolution and opportunities for improvement. Plus, I’m that person and coworker that asks a lot of questions: why, why this way, why not the other, why not, why now? I try not to sit through conversations and opportunities just listening.
What advice do you have for young women that want to get into tech and don’t know where to start?
I would say that the most important driving force is your curiosity and passion for learning new things. Start anywhere, know your strengths and weaknesses and develop your skills. Leave your comfort zone and that will challenge you to push yourself, and your peers, to be at the top of your game.
Walk me through a day in your life as a Portuguese women in tech.
My day usually starts very early with my, almost, 4 y.o. daughter and all the logistics until I arrive at the office. I am a very organized person and a typical day in my life will include everything mentioned in “Walk me through your work and what you are doing now in the tech industry”. After regular working hours, it can range from more work, meetups for professional engagement or even training in some field, and family time. However, experience has taught me that, as a team member or as a mother, something will for sure add up to your list. And that’s just fine, it’s how we grow, and become better over time.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
“You don’t have to know everything. You just need to know where you find the information you need.”
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
Definitely Genio®, Quigenio®, QAP® (Quality Appraisal) and Platina®, but also my email, Spotify, LinkedIn and Teams.
Anything else you want to share?
Be bold, be brave and let your curiosity, passion to learn and will to make an impact drive you. If you are in a comfort zone, don’t stop. Challenge and push yourself further.
👉Find Cláudia on LinkedIn