In Conversation: New Starters
The world is changing. At Akamai, we're proud to be part of the shift towards a more inclusive future. Where digital systems may replace human processes, we are determined to keep people at the center of our focus. After all, the evolution of technology is in vain if it is not to aid humanity.
At Akamai, we value all our employees equally. Those who have been working with us for many years, and those who are relatively new.
There's a generation of technologists who are at the mid-point of their careers that we are proud to work with. Their career paths have been different to some of the more experienced Akamai employees we have previously interviewed.
However, they are ideally placed to have experienced societal shifts that have occurred in more recent years with the influence of female pioneers and programs such as Girls Who Code. This, inevitably, gives them a different perspective.
So, we wanted to talk to an employee who is relatively new to Akamai about their experiences in the industry, and with Akamai, so far. We spoke to Kineret Raviv who, after building up her career, is now a Senior Software Developer with Akamai.
You can read our conversation with her below, to learn all about who she is and how we have been able to support her since she started with us late last year.
When did you first decide you wanted to work in tech?
At first, I wanted to be a scientist. I went to study physics at university for my first degree. However, during my degree, I was exposed to programming. So, when I finished, I decided I didn't want to be a scientist, but I wanted to be a programmer.
What prompted this change?
I found programming and writing code a challenge. I didn't like to be in the lab, but I did like to write code.
So, then I found myself entering the tech world.
Was it the challenge of code that attracted you?
I like coding because it's like a game. It's like a logical challenge, and I really enjoy solving logical problems.
Where do you see your career going in the future?
Honestly, I really like what I'm doing now. I just want to keep doing what I do now and continue to grow and develop in my profession.
When you wanted to be a scientist, how were you encouraged to pursue that interest?
I think I had a natural curiosity about physics and how the world works. I wanted to understand the nature of the world.
At first, I thought science was more of a hobby than a profession. I remember watching programs on television about space and astrophysics, and they were very inspiring for me.
Do you feel that you could have been more encouraged as a young person?
When I look back now, I don't think that anything was particularly missing. After all, I'm in a field and a position that I like. So, nothing stopped me. But, perhaps that is my own natural tenacity which enabled me to pursue what I wanted.
These days, the internet is such a valuable resource. It means that even young women who aren't encouraged to pursue STEM subjects by their close environment can investigate and, to some extent, choose what they want to learn.
You know, I was never told that I can't do what I want. When people around me learned that I was passionate about Physics, they encouraged me to continue.
Why did you choose to work for Akamai?
I remember browsing through Facebook, and I saw the connections between Akamai and The Client.
While I was at University, I was exposed to Web Development and, as part of that, I was exposed to what Akamai does. When I was searching for a job, I knew I wanted to work with big data, and I knew that this was relevant to Akamai.
So, the scale and the purpose of what Akamai does is really attractive to me. You know, we need Akamai and what they're doing for the world. So, that makes me feel like my job has meaning.
How have you found your first few months with Akamai?
I've found it fascinating. There are plenty of challenges and exciting technology to be working with. So, I'm really glad to be working here.
How did Akamai welcome you?
In my first month, I had personal meetings with the teams here and 1-2-1's. So, that meant that I felt individually valued and really welcomed.
Then, they gradually built up my responsibilities. I started with a small mission, which then led to a bigger task. Along the way, I had a lot of help. So, the whole journey has been a process in which I've been really supported.
What is your experience of being a female in tech?
I feel that my gender has had a positive impact so far. With diversity and inclusion initiatives being so important, especially to companies like Akamai.
In tech, there still aren't a lot of women, but seeing this increase makes me happy. So, this change for the better is really positive and makes things feel much more equal.
At Akamai, I'm surrounded by lots of women. However, I was around a lot less before joining Akamai. This is why I have enjoyed my time so much with Akamai. It's very new for me to be surrounded by so many women at work. It's a new environment and a new way of working.
However, I have found that everyone I'm working with wants to help and is incredibly supportive.
Do you have anything else that you want to add?
The industry has developed since I first started. When I first wanted to be a programmer, it was difficult for me because I had studied physics and not computer science.
When I was first looking for jobs, I found positions that interested me. However, I didn't send my CV to them because I didn't have all the requirements. One day, my husband decided to send my CV to all the positions I was interested in. Then, one of those positions called me for an interview, and I started to work with them.
So, I think as a woman, I was very hard on myself for not having all the requirements. We can give ourselves more opportunities by applying for more positions.
Thank you to Kineret for speaking with us and sharing her experiences of being a new starter with Akamai.