Inviting team members to share their stories on the blog is now a tradition at Infinite Lambda.
The end of 2021 saw the kickoff of our first traineeship, the Infinite Lambda Talent Accelerator Programme (TAP). Today, we introduce you to one of the graduates from the data track of the programme, who is now a member of our analytics engineering team.
Yanitsa holds a bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics from Sofia University. She had a data background before she joined us but not one in tech. After a prolonged period out of the workforce to take care of her children, Yanitsa was determined to pivot into a new role. She is here to tell us her story today.
How did you join Infinite Lambda, Yanitsa?
I had previous experience with data, business analysis and reporting but I had always known there was more to it and had been looking for ways to expand my knowledge.
I had been on maternity leave for over 6 years, raising two children. I felt it was time for me to upskill, so prior to reentering the workforce, I took up Python and MySQL courses to help me prepare for a change. I did this because I believed it would empower me to find the right role for me where I would keep learning by doing.
Then I went back to work and a few months passed with me juggling my full-time job and looking after my family. I learnt about Infinite Lambda’s Talent Accelerator and recognised it as the opportunity I had been hoping for. It came as the perfect continuation of my career change journey.
Was this transition difficult?
As every major change in one’s life, this one also took time for me to get used to. To be honest, I'm still getting used to it. But when the change is a function of one’s own will, the transition is less difficult.
You had also been studying while on maternity leave. How did you manage that?
I have always believed that if there is a will, there is a way. It was probably my own motivation that helped me the most. I was also lucky to have the full support of my husband, which also helped me keep going through the roughest times.
It has been empowering to be an example to my children of how you could start doing or learning new things whenever you want, regardless of your age, and that if you want to achieve something you should make the effort.
Tell us about your experience in the Talent Accelerator Programme.
TAP is a one-year programme in two phases: 3 months of highly intensive training followed by 9 months of hands-on experience on real projects. I am a part of the analytics engineering specialisation and currently in 6th month of the programme.
I have been trained in cutting-edge tools, such as Snowflake, Looker, dbt, Fivetran and have taken exams for each. There was an end-to-end assessment project at the end of the training phase, which had us implement all of the tech learnt.
The programme has been challenging, especially the first three months. I must admit feeling exhausted quite a few times because every single one of the tools has been new to me and it has taken great effort for me to keep up at times.
Great learning opportunities and supportive mentors keep me going, and it is inspiring to see the level of diligence the lecturers maintain to provide top-north training. This has been the chance I have been hoping for and despite the difficulties, there is no looking back.
You have worked on your first project after graduating from TAP. How did it go?
My first project had us set up real-time Looker dashboards to enable customers to monitor LiveOps efficiently. The most important aspect for the client was the dashboard performance. We had a senior engineer by our side who would guide us and make sure we met all of the requirements. We received overwhelmingly positive feedback after project completion, which was very motivating.
Are you happy with the progress that you are making at Infinite Lambda, Yanitsa?
Since my very first day at TAP, I have been trying to anticipate the next item on the flow of learning content (which never ends) and comparing myself to experienced engineers. This has sometimes stopped me from appreciating the progress I am making and being kind to myself.
It is amazing how much I have learnt in such a short time and how far I have come. I feel I should remind myself of that more frequently. 🙂 So, yes, I am very happy with my progress and I hope to keep it up.
How can the tech industry better support women?
I am not sure I have a straight answer to this. We need to talk more about gender imbalance. A great approach is engaging young women who are at the start of their studies and helping them explore the opportunities in the industry.
Hiring more women in general, supporting families with longer parental leave and raising the topic itself for discussion are the essentials to me. I feel the industry can support not only women but families too. Flexible working hours and remote/hybrid options really help in managing the new responsibilities parents find themselves dealing with.
What is your advice to other women reentering the workforce?
To be honest, it is probably not going to be easy, especially if your absence has been a long one. Nevertheless, giving yourself time and managing your expectations could help in the transition.
Remind yourself you do not have to be perfect in everything or at least not since day one. 🙂 Do not be afraid to ask for help and communicate your concerns. Give yourself credit and remember that motherhood has definitely added value to your personality and expanded your skill set.
We loved talking to Yanitsa about her experience so far at Infinite Lambda and hearing her story. Read the stories of Yanitsa's buddies as well on the Infinite Lambda blog.