Anna Fiofilova

Anna Fiofilova

Sr. Software Engineer
REA Group
location_on Australia

Member since 4 years


Anna Fiofilova

Specialises In (based on submitted proposals)
culture women-in-it future-of-work

I was born in the USSR, a country that doesn't exist any more. After it fell apart, I grew up in Ukraine, close to the Russian border.


I was reasonably good at mathematics and had learned basic programming at school, so in 2002 I enrolled at my local University to study "Computer Systems and Networks".


I started my career in IT after finishing my second year in Uni; I got my first real, paid job in 2005 while studying my bachelor's degree. My boss didn't want to hire me at first because of my knowledge gaps and general lack of experience, but he was tired of guys swearing all day, so he chose to hire the office's first female to change their behavior.


I stayed in the University for two more years to get my masters degree while working full time. I was changing jobs roughly every two years, to accrue knowledge and to stay up to date with the latest shiny tech. In all those jobs, even at big companies, I never worked with more then two other female developers.


I moved in Melbourne in 2012 (just before the Higgs boson was discovered) and was lucky enough to join ThoughWorks. At ThoughtWorks I found out about gender diversity, what 'agile' really means, and had the chance to meet many smart people. Working at ThoughtWorks was a big shift for me in terms of working environment and culture.


Unfortunately, I was not quick enough to adapt. Lack of crucial feedback made me think that I was doing ok, but it wasn't good enough for ThoughtWorks. So after 6 months they asked me to leave. Luckily for me, I was working at REA as a consultant when this happened, and my project manager invited me to apply for a job at there. After 10 months as a contractor, I was hired as a permanent employee.


Now I am an Australian citizen and proud to be part of its diverse culture. Over the course of my career, I have faced many challenges related to my gender including bullying, discrimination and ignorance. These are some of my experiences.