Part 2: Meet Novicell’s Drupal Grand Master, Anita Jensen
Last week, we published part one of a blog post about Anita Jensen, Denmark’s first Drupal Grand Master, which you can read here. In part two we talk with her about what she does in her spare time, and how it is to work as a female developer in Novicell.
What does Anita do outside work?
At Novicell in Aarhus, Anita works with both frontend and backend in the Drupal department for new and existing clients. She is the first Dane with a title of Drupal Grand Master, which means that she has completed all three Drupal 8 Developer Certifications. The title brings Anita into the company of fewer than 250 Drupal 8 Grand Masters worldwide.
Anita has worked for Novicell in Aarhus for over three years. After sitting behind her computer all day, thinking about complex abstract things and using mostly the logical and analytical half of her brain, she likes to use the other half when she gets home.
Anita is currently working on renovating her house in the countryside, putting up drywall and ceilings, and doing a lot of handy work. She also likes all sorts of arts and crafts, like knitting, sewing and drawing.
I have a lot of hobbies, since I like learning new things. After working with ones and zeros all day, I like to work with anything I can see and touch, like gardening or cooking or knitting. One of my hobbies is willow weaving. I love that there is a community around this, and I have found a lot of friends there, but I still feel it is kind of a dorky hobby, says Anita.
How is it to be a female developer?
Back in the 1950s, when computers were invented, most developers were actually female, but over the years it became a male-dominated profession. Anita says that she is starting to see more and more women within the field again.
Anita Jensen encourages all women with interest in technology to try it out. Being a developer, Anita found a position where she can express herself in a way that she couldn’t in other roles.
I think this job fits my personality really well. I feel that I fit in and can be myself here. I also feel I’m really good at it, and that gives me confidence. I discovered coding accidentally, and I’m so thankful I did, because I don’t think I would have ever thought of it myself. I’m sure there are thousands of women out there who don’t know how much they would love coding, and we have to tell them.
Anita believes that what is holding women back has a lot to do with their own presumptions of what developing is, and the picture that they associate with it.
I think a lot of people have these prejudices that coders are socially awkward nerds, and that they are boring and dorky and have no style. But that’s completely not true, says Anita.
I think this is the main reason that there are so few women in coding. Teenage girls often care a lot about what others think of them. If they believe it will make people see them as dorky and awkward, they will never choose to take an education as a developer, and they never get into the profession, says Anita.
She encourages all women to try and change this mindset. They should not be afraid of what others think.
One of the biggest hurdles for women to overcome, is the one in their own head. Many women are afraid that men won’t respect them or take them seriously in a male-dominated profession, but I have never felt that to be true at all. I have never met any male developers who don’t want the opinion of a woman, so you shouldn’t be afraid to voice yours, says Anita.
Overall, Anita Jensen hasn’t experienced any difference in the treatment of male and female developers. She enjoys the community within the field and is motivated to go to work every day.
Working for Novicell?
Anita thinks that the greatest thing about Novicell is culture and the colleagues.
You can get a good salary and perks at most agencies. In Novicell we have a great atmosphere and a community, and that creates a great work environment. It’s the people and not the pay that makes all the difference, says Anita.