Meet Jade, Software Engineer at Doctolib

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  • Tell us a bit about your background.

My background is pretty straightforward. I am now 23 years old and have worked at Doctolib for nearly a year now, first during my final year internship and now as a Full Stack Developer.

Before that, I graduated in 2020 from an engineering school called Polytech in Grenoble, France where I took modules specialising in computer science and mathematics. When I was looking for my internship I found Doctolib and I haven't left since! 

  • How did you come to work in the industry? 

The world of software development was not what I initially considered even though I have liked computer science since middle school but I was thinking more of becoming a vet or teaching philosophy or english — nothing close to computers! 

At key turning points when you need to make a decision that will influence the rest of your career, I have always found myself choosing one path over another because it is supposed to open more doors. For instance, I chose science over literature in high school because I was told it would lead to more jobs and successful careers. 

After high school, I did not really know what I wanted to do, so I turned to the obvious choice which was to continue my studies in an intensive foundation degree. Eventually, I did a preparatory class in order to take the exams for the school I was applying to. When I arrived at Polytech, I had to select the program I wanted to follow, two of which included Physics and the other of which was in mathematics & computer science. At that time, I was tired of physics so I chose computer science. 

I really got into web development because I could quickly see the results of my work and the direct impact on users. 

Today, I am a Full Stack Developer and I am proud to be part of the development of features that bring practitioners and patients together via the Doctolib platform. Part of my scope is to collaborate with other teams in Data, Marketing & Sales to ensure a "user first" experience. As I continue to grow within the company, I will soon be joining a team that is dedicated to  tele-consultation features. 

  • Have you had difficulties finding your place in the tech world? Did you ever think it was not for you? 

In the professional world at Doctolib, I have never had any doubts, but during my studies, there were only a few women and I couldn’t really relate to many other students in my classroom. We did not share the same passion for computers for instance. Finding a common conversation topic was sometimes difficult, but other than that, I did not face any particular challenges. 

  • How do you explain the scarce presence of women in the industry? 

There are some clichés that exist about the tech industry such as everything linked to computers being masculine or that you are likely a video game enthusiast. Others have this idea that it’s almost a “geek” culture associated with antisocial representations, or a type of recluse in society. In my opinion, it’s this kind of imagery and cultural representations that have rendered tech unattractive and have likely played a role in the lack of female tech engineers. 

Globally, there still is a lack of knowledge and education about the industry and jobs related to software development.

It is still rare to see IT taught in primary schools, consequentially, students who wish to make a career in it often have a prior interest in the subject, it is already a hobby for instance.

In general, the industry has a lot of progress to make in leading us away from the clichés, like those mentioned above. 

Finally, I think it is difficult for a woman to work in the tech world as we don't have many feminine role models to identify ourselves to yet.

  • Are inclusion and diversity topics in your company? What are the actions taken to address them? 

Yes, these are definitely working topics at Doctolib and there are a lot of initiatives for women working in tech within the company. Here are some examples of what is happening across Doctolib: 

  • Last month, a BBL (Brown Bag Lunch) meeting was organised and led by two women, to talk about diversity, inclusion, and allyship topics. It was about all minorities and covered best practices to include those people. For instance, there was one focused on onboarding non-french speaking people onto meetings. 
  • Manon, one of my co-workers, is the organizer of a Meetup Event called Sororitech which is to gather women together and create a safe place to share and discuss common challenges around women in tech.
  • All of our job offers are run through a software that spots terms that are not inclusive and replaces them with more neutral ones. 
  • For each woman interviewed, we are trying to have a woman present during the interviews at some point in the process when possible. 
  • As two female developers did a couple of months ago, I will give a masterclass at the ADA Tech School, the first feminist computer school, on March 31st, to talk to the students about my background and journey as a Full Stack Developer and participate in a Q&A.
  • We have a lot of informal initiatives like a bi-monthly coffee break with all women working in tech in the company. We also have a pretty active Slack channel dedicated to the community. 
  • We organise talks with women holding leadership positions in tech to discuss their experiences or even approach specific topics such as Impostor Syndrome.
  • For the International Women’s Rights Day, Doctolib has decided to make it a month and to present portraits of women working internally in tech - I have contributed to this series for instance. 

  • What would you say to a woman aspiring towards a career in the tech industry or hoping to immerse themselves in the culture? 

Go for it! You have nothing to lose and everything to win, you are capable of this.

Don't let fear, doubt or uncertainty hold you back.

Plus, there is a very strong community of women in tech who are super dynamic and always there to help! 

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