Maria Mikhaylova

Zisson´s new front-end developer: Maria Mikhaylova

We are so proud of our colleagues and wanted to interview our new full-time front-end developer about what it’s like to work in Zisson, changing career paths, and breaking down stereotypes.

1. What do you do at Zisson?

I am a front-end developer at Zisson. As a front-end developer, I’m building the GUI of Zisson’s call center solution. Pretty exciting job, I should say!

2. What did you do before you started in Zisson? 

I finished my bachelor’s degree in Applied computer science last year. It took me a bit of time to finally find something that I could call my profession. I’ve always inclined towards math and was very fascinated by computers as a child, but somehow studying IT was not even remotely an option for quite a long time for me. So, before taking my degree in IT at Oslo Metropolitan University (OsloMet), I got a specialist degree in International relations from Russian State University for the Humanities and a master’s degree in Human Rights from the University of Oslo. While at OsloMet, I had a chance to work on research regarding privacy laws. I have been a project leader for a student group promoting IT studies at schools, and my last occupation was a lecturer for Introduction to IT for engineers at the Faculty of Technology, Art and Design (TKD).

3. How did you get the job?

Oh, I was really very lucky. I was on my last year of IT bachelor, searching for a job where I could do some coding. I had jobs within IT before, including working as tech support at OsloMet, but nothing, where I could realize my potential as a developer. At that time, I became active on LinkedIn, and it seems like it worked very well! After a few weeks, I was invited for an interview for a position as a summer intern at Zisson. I was so thrilled! And I wanted to start right away. It was quite lucky that I just finished a course in C# and Angular, and that Thomas and Robert believed in my abilities and decided to invite me to start earlier, so I had my first day at Zisson already in March.

4. What do you think it’s like to work at Zisson?

I really like people at Zisson. We have such an amazing and welcoming environment here. I like that the structure is quite flat, and it seems like my voice matters here. I’m fortunate to work at a company that truly values its employees and puts them first. It is also quite exciting to see Zisson being in such an active growth and feel like I am a part of this amazing journey of Zisson becoming an international player. There are many new challenges and many amazing adventures ahead! In addition, I have to mention how proud I am of Zisson and its charity work and efforts to become sustainable. Not every company at this stage does as much as Zisson! 

5. What kind of projects are you working on now?

As per today, I am working on the development of the GUI for some pretty cool new features, which will be introduced to our call center solution. I’m striving to produce reliable, efficient, and reusable code. Quality of the code many times defines the quality of the product, and I want to match the high standard that we have here at Zisson.

6. What´s it like being a woman working in a male-dominated area?

That is an interesting question. I think my background plays quite a big role. If you are a woman in Russia working in a technical area, you would be constantly reminded of your gender, of what, in the opinion of some people, women can or cannot do. So many women grow up not ever considering studying anything even remotely technical, many times exactly because of this outdated stereotype; that there are male and female professions, and that IT, physics, chemistry, etc. are for boys.

Norway is far ahead of Russia in this sense, but even here, we can see that women comprise just under 25% of all students taking degrees in IT. I am delighted to be working on breaking down this stereotype. The more women there are in the branch, the more welcoming it will become for the younger generation of females, the more girls will be open to the possibility of making their carriers within IT.

Maria Mikhaylova in a meeting
Maria Mikhaylova in a meeting