Software Tester within the Railway sector.
“I am Simona, I studied Computer Engineering and then I obtained a master’s degree of Automation Engineering. I started working at ALTEN in May 2019. Currently, I am working in software verification and validation activities within the railway sector (Unit Test, Module Test, Component Test) at Rome offices.”
Question: What project are you working on now and what role do you play in it?
Answer: I am currently working as a Software Tester for an important customer within the railway sector. We use specific tools to check the correct functioning of the developed code and the fulfilment of the different requirements. We also detect problems or errors and proceed to do their documentation, reporting, and correction. The instructions of individual software are stipulated by creating specific test cases which, by setting specific input values, confirm (or not) the accuracy of the expected output values. Moreover, we check that all parts of the code are covered thank to the several tests made. Along with the rest of our colleagues, we alternated the testing activities in several sub-activities, which could change depending on the level of abstraction, the program language’ used and some specifications and tools. In my first months at ALTEN, I worked on Unit Test, Module Test and Component Test activities.
Q: What would you highlight the most about your work?
A: The project I’m working in involves the collaboration and support of many other colleagues, not only from Rome offices but also from other ALTEN Italy offices, such as Bologna and Naples. From the first day, the work environment was unbeatable, very dynamic. Above all, the working atmosphere is very cohesive, we all give our contribution and listen to each other. What I like the most about my job is that it allows me to learn and acquire new skills every day. I can achieve this by interacting with great professionals and approaching various activities from different points of view.
My short-term goal is to be able to broaden my personal and professional experience as far as possible. Working at ALTEN have meant finding a very diverse company, where I have the opportunity to apply my knowledge and acquire new ones.
Q: How did your interest in engineering come about?
A: Since I was very young, I was interested in scientific things. I was very lucky to get good training in this field during my time as a student, which allowed me to develop more interest in this sector. Consequently, it became a hobby for me and not an “obligation”. In addition, at the high school, I joined several scientific contests that stimulated, even more, my desire to learn.
Q: How do you remember your university years?
A: When I started studying at the university, I first combined my two passions: mathematics and computer science, thanks to the Computer Engineering degree. Later, I wanted to learn more about control and robotics, so I studied another master’s degree in Automation Engineering. Even though my college years ended less than a year ago, I am sure I will always remember it as the best time of my life, where I studied my passion and I managed to achieve important goals.
Q: Do you think that the figure of the Engineer is still mainly associated with men or is this trend changing?
A: The engineering world is still mainly occupied by men and, in this, the numbers are clear, you can see from the university stage. However, as a woman Engineer, I can see that this trend is slowly changing. Although still in the minority, more and more woman are choosing to become an Engineer and enter into this world, and I hope it continues like this for a long time.
Q: Have you found difficulties or obstacles because you are a woman?
A: Fortunately, the fact that I am a woman Engineer has not added any difficulty to me, neither during my university period nor in this new work stage. Moreover, the fact that I often work with colleagues of the opposite gender is enriching. I see it as a way of interacting with a slightly different mental approach, which serves to complete us and not to limit us. In my opinion, the role of women in engineering should not be different from the same role men do, because the contribution and input that a person gives in their work go far beyond gender, so limiting certain tasks only to men or only to women would mean going backwards rather than forwards.
Q: What do you think is the value that ALTEN brings to the project you are working on?
A: The project in which I work involves many consultants. ALTEN, for years, has been able to provide through its service’s high quality and satisfaction. I mean, on one hand, ALTEN allows its clients to continue their expansion and positioning in the national and international territory and, on the other hand, guarantees the safety and quality of the products.
Q: Why should a woman choose ALTEN?
A: I think that in ALTEN the level of parity between men and women is more than satisfactory. Moreover, the number of women working for the company does not only cover the figure of the consultant but also staff and senior positions. As an employee, I would recommend ALTEN to other colleagues of my own field. I think because it is a company that is aware of my needs and provides anyone with the opportunity to grow and work constantly in a dynamic and stimulating environment. As a woman Engineer, I can say that, regardless of gender, professionals increase always goes hand in hand with human growth.
Thank you, Simona, for telling us your story. Read more stories like hers, on our section of Women at ALTEN.