Today's interview is with Laura Cardona from our partner Axial Solutions who has kindly agreed to talk to us about her career as an IT professional.
Laura, please tell us, where did you learn programming and how was your training?
Good morning and thank you very much for the invitation! Well, I was born in Ibaguén and came to live here in Bogotá, the capital of Colombia. I am an international business administrator by profession, however I have always been involved in the technology and finance sector as well.
Last year I was able to get much closer to the technology sector as well. I took a number of courses, including some diploma courses in data analysis, and this has brought me a little closer to understanding the technology domain. I was also lucky to take part in the Junior Developer training program provided by our partner and supplier. And now I’m also waiting to start the Senior Developer program.
So, this was my first approach to software development as such. Previously, as I was saying, I had to deal with data analysis and API connections, but I had never done any development and written code as such. So, that's a little bit of my background.
Awesome. Tell me what you think about this contact you have had with the software development part.
Well, I think development is a skill that we don't often see because it's always in the back and it's probably not given the recognition it deserves. The BAC is what allows us to do everything, to see all the interfaces, to establish multiple connections with different platforms and databases. So I feel that it has been a very cool approach.
It is very nice to be able to understand how everything is connected, because I spent a lot of time in the Front End, doing all that I was telling you, data analysis and so on. So, understanding how the development works from the inside has been a challenge, but a very rewarding one.
Excellent. And tell us, what is the most important for you in your current role?
Well, at Axial ERP I play the role of an operations manager. For me, it is important to not only understand business issues, how to do things, how to create strategies, but also to go into detail. So that's what technology allows you to do. It seems to me that technology is an incredible tool to educate you, to help you adapt and be flexible with all these different business models that we are currently seeing—and new models are emerging all the time.
So, it seems to me that going into detail is very important. For me it is also crucial not to lose the closeness and empathy towards one’s team, leads and clients. It is very important to nurture relationships, to be able to get to know people closer, in a more detailed way.
Indeed, we can totally relate to that. What challenges have you faced most frequently in your work?
I have noticed that when you start doing business, there is a resistance to change from the very beginning. If we are taught to do something in a certain way, we want to keep it that way, because we might be afraid or we don't know how to do it differently. So that resistance to change is always there in any area of any industry and in any company.
I also feel that sometimes there is no clear articulation or free communication between different business areas, which is also quite a big challenge. For example, I don't know any import company that has perfect communication among all areas and perfectly synchronized processes. And that can be seen in all industries.
There is also a challenge of not always doing the same thing. I think it's very cool to be able to do different business activities, visit clients, do the development, design a logo or a new product, a brochure. In other words, being in different areas also allows your skills to be multidisciplinary and you can contribute much more to your team. Sometimes you can feel that you are not working, but rather, you are doing something you really like. I think it is very important to have that space to vary your capabilities, your skills or your operational functions.
Definitely the variety is the taste. In this sense, what do you think you value most in your profession?
What I value most is exactly that: having the ability to use all my knowledge and skills in different areas, from marketing to finance and strategy and see how everything is connected because in the end everything talks to each other. I almost see companies a bit like living organisms, which means, all its parts, all the organs have to be healthy and communicate with one another well to be able to produce a super efficient result. That is what I most appreciate.
Also, recently I had the opportunity to travel and I understood that the diversity of languages and cultures is also something that I really appreciate in my profession as an international business administrator. I find it incredible to be able to connect and do business with partners from different parts of the world, but also to be able to open the door of innovation here in Trincosas. I love that.
In this field, in which we are talking about different facets of your working life, how have you seen the participation of other professionals?
Well, as of now, since 2021, I have seen that there is much more participation of powerful and super smart women in the field of technology. For example, I think that in the financial industry there is also a need to open the way to tech women, to software engineers, to developers, because they may have prejudices or resistance to change. But I see that since about two years ago many more women have been entering this field.
Because we can now do many things remotely, which is precisely based on technology, we have also been able to study much more, to learn more things. Women are characterized by being quite curious, logical and intuitive and I feel that this is extremely valuable in technology. Sometimes there are things in the development that we miss, and you don't look at it again and you finally understand that it is intuitive.
Obviously, everything is based on knowledge, but I think that these capabilities of women have been very much linked to this new era of development—to do things much more intuitively. For example, when it comes to artificial intelligence, design issues, creation of logos, marketing, etc. And I feel that women’s presence in the tech industry is becoming very strong, it has been very strong for some time now, and that is something that makes me very happy.
Excellent, I think it's incredible. And can you tell us, what is your inspiration to continue venturing into this IT field?
Can it be both personally and professionally? The world of software development is something really interesting, it's something I want to know more about. Well, personally, mainly because I didn't understand it. Before entering the world of technology I didn't understand it very well, including how to do things properly.
My mother is a telecommunications engineer, so I have been exposed to technology since I was a child, but more to hardware, cables, networks, etc. At the beginning, we arrived in a new city and she also arrived there with a new profession. So, about 10 years ago, arriving in a new city with a profession in technology and being a woman... Well, there were many of her colleagues, all men, who did not understand very well what she was doing there, but they began to show a lot of respect over time. And I would say that she is one of my greatest inspirations to venture into the IT field as well. And so, curiosity and having that early exposure to technology have been my greatest inspiration.
The inspiration of the predecessors, I think it's excellent. In this sense, what would you like to say to the new generations that would inspire them to venture into this new field of technologies?
I would tell them not to be afraid. Sometimes there are going to be many people who do not agree with you or do not understand you. With all the power we have to create new things, to create innovative things, it’s important not to be afraid but to be curious, do a lot of research and also be very confident in everything we are. That is what I would tell them.
Excellent! Laura, thank you so much for joining us today and for everything you have shared with us!
Thank you very much for the invitation!