user-icon Paola Cantaboni
24. June 2020
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Seré Ingeniera 2019 - Programmers are not "Frikis"

What was your "dream job" when you were a child? Have you ever had the chance to get full immersion week (or two), led by experts in the field, to discover more about the possible path to take?

“Seré Ingeniera”: OSL-UGR training program supported by Novatec

Seré Ingeniera 2019 is a training program, promoted by OSL, the University of Granada, Novatec, and other IT companies in Granada, which is carried out free of charge and the target audience is composed by young female students. The participants work on a technological project for two weeks, its’ either focus on harder and software and exposes the results of their work in a final day open to the public.

The Campus has two main goals:

  • Awakening the vocation in the STEM areas (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) in girls in the pre-university stage.
  • Raise awareness amongst students about their potential and possibilities in the main areas, while offering a discussion forum about the current situation of women in the field and their low participation in it.

Programmers are not “Frikis”, they are “Frikis” and cool!

«Friki» (in Spanish) is a word that comes from English «Freak» means strange, extravagant, quirky. In a world of stereotypes, we are not surprised that people out of the ordinary, with different hobbies, tastes, and visions, look like weirdos. Ehm…I totally consider it is a wrong perception, it all depends on the perspectives!

This greatly affects the choice of a university degree or another, especially today, the data is quite clear, in the university course of 1984-1985 in the United States, women represented 37% of students in computer science. In the 90s the figures dropped to 24%. At present, a large part of universities worldwide is struggling to reach 15%. In the case of Spain (University of Granada) we find very similar figures, decreasing the percentage from 30% to 12% from 1985 to 2018.

Why do we bet on «Seré Ingeniera»?

The bet is on diversity, although unfortunately, in the selection processes we always find a greater presence of male profiles, that is why we think it is an excellent opportunity to contribute our grain of sand, for the second consecutive year and for many more than are coming. By working in a multicultural environment with colleagues from Turkey, India, China, Portugal, Mexico, Serbia, Italy, Croatia, Afghanistan, Germany, having people with different cultures, visions, and perspectives always bring something positive, different, and innovative. And the factor moving everything is the perfect flow.  This «perfect flow» can mean pleasure in our work with customers, great chemistry between us and our customers, the «flow» of a project that is working perfectly, or a total focus on programming.

What have we been inspired by in the workshop?

In our Scrum workshop and Agile teamwork, we have divided the participants into 3 groups, and  chosen 3 of the pioneers of the computer and programming world so that the participants will be encouraged, motivated and inspired with a quote from each pioneer and, above all, the importance of women in this sector:

HEDY LAMARR (1914-2000) Hedy Lamarr, the «most beautiful woman in the history of cinema» and the inventor of the communications system called «transmission technique in the spread spectrum» on which all the wireless technologies we have are based currently as GPS satellites, Bluetooth and some WiFi connections.

“The world is not getting easier. With all these new inventions, I think people rush faster and push harder. The hurried way is not correct, you need time for everything: time to work, time to play, time to rest.” (Hedy Lamarr)

ADA LOVELACE (1814-1852) Considered the mother of computer programming. He was the first person to develop a complex programming language, the first to write about the software of a computer processor and also to suggest the use of punch cards as an input method in computers.

“I think I am more determined than ever about my future plans and I have decided that nothing should interfere with them. I intend to make arrangements to have some hours each day (with very few exceptions) for my studies. ” (Ada Lovelace)

RADIA PERLMAN (1951-) Considered the mother of the internet, in the 80s, she designed the STP, the expansion tree algorithm, which helped the global connection of computers. She composed a poem called “Algorhyme”, so that everyone understood:


“I think that I shall never see
A graph more lovely than a tree.
A tree whose crucial property
Is loop-free connectivity.
A tree that must be sure to span
So packets can reach every LAN.
First, the root must be selected.
By ID, it is elected.
Least-cost paths from root are traced.
In the tree, these paths are placed.
A mesh is made by folks like me,
Then bridges find a spanning tree.”

“To know what the problem is we want to solve we have to find out:
– What customers ask for;
– What customers don’t know they need
And find a way to solve it with something simple to understand and manage” (Radia Perlman)

The result?

It is too early for a result, but in a few years, we will see the outcomes.

What we want to transmit the participants in Seré Ingeniera 2019 is that they should follow their dreams, their passions and believe they are able to get what they want in their lives, and if it is something related to computer science,  they should remember that the programmers are not “frikis”, they are “frikis” and cool!

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