Meet #bartaileboss Mey Akiva, a software engineer.
1.) Basic, simple question: who are you and what do you do?
My name is Mey Akiva and I'm a software engineer. I work at the first digital bank of Israel (Pepper) coding in nodejs.
2.) Where are you currently based?
3.) Where is your favorite place to work?
It depends on my mood. Most of the time all I need is my headphones and a desk and I can even focus sitting in McDonald's . When I need to learn something new or read someone else's code, I find it best to work on my two hour train ride to and from work where I can completely focus without any distractions.
4.) What are three of your goals this year and how do you plan to reach them?
No. 1— Becoming a confident developer. Believing in my work, not being afraid to speak my mind in meetings. I find that I give up too easily thinking I was wrong when often I find out I was actually right.
No. 2—Writing code that makes a difference in the way we see banking today-We are creating a bank that people will love to interact with, that will give you useful insights about your account and that will learn what you find interesting and adapt. Code allows you to create something that together with a team can change our reality. I hope that the code I write today will help our product be better and help in the process of changing how we perceive banks today.
No. 3—Learning Russian. To best utilize my long commute to work I decided to learn another language. I bought a nice notebook and I started to translate Russian articles on different topics like fashion or food. I use google translate and test myself—if I recognize the words on my own, I add it to the list of words I know. It feels good to see the list grows so it encourages me to continue.
5.) Can you describe a moment in your career where one decision had a really big impact? What did that moment look like and where did it lead?
I walked into the big hackathon hall, the annual murata start-up competition. My team and I didn’t win the year before so going there again felt crazy. We changed our team name, and came with a completely new idea. There were many more teams this time, but we were much more determined. That moment when they called our name as the winners, I knew - there is always a second chance. The winning idea of the competition encouraged me to take the next step, and found my own startup. My team and I flew to Tokyo and got to pitch our idea to the board members of Murata. We worked on our startup over the past year until we eventually decided to part to our own ways. This experience taught me so much about business, partnership and entrepreneurship but most of all I learned to never give up.
6.) What's one thing you wish to see change in the world over the next five years?
I hope to see more women interviewers next time I look for a job. The lack of women in most engineering companies I went to showed me that real equality isn't here yet.
7.) How do you remain motivated, inspired?
The reason I chose software Engineer is because I always knew I was born an artist, always feeling the need to create something new.
I tried music, art and theater but it wasn't enough for me so I decided instead to channel my energy into engineering . When I write code this is my art. When I see something I wrote running, working, coming to life it inspires me and gives me the drive to continue to develop and learn more and more.
8.) What's your favorite app and/or piece of tech and why?
My favorite app is Instagram. I met amazing developers through this network. I have the chance to help and learn from people I never met. The other day I got a question from someone who tried to get into a specific university three times and he was desperate. He said he is afraid he won't find a decent job if he didn't graduate from the best university in Israel. I told him my story, how I graduated from a local college and I have a wonderful job. I told him that in most companies they don't care where you've graduated from as long as you love what you do. I think I helped him. :)
9.) What's on your reading list?
2. "Cracking the coding interview" by Gayle Laakmann McDowell
3. "Are you there, vodka? It's me, Chelsea" by Chelsea Handler
10.) Who's your woman in tech/business icon?
Every women who choses to explore her abilities beyond what she ever thought she can do is my role model. I admire strong women who speak their minds in meetings I attend or women like Sheryl Sandberg who “Pay it forward” and teach other women in the world it is possible to be both a mom and a successful career women.