Software craftswomen: Franziska Sauerwein

Mar 08, 2016 by Madalina Botez in  Software Craft Women In Tech

In celebration of Women’s Day, this March we salute yesterday & today women’s contribution to the development of the technology and IT fields. Follow #famousITwomen to find interesting stories. They might motivate and encourage you to do something out of the ordinary in your career. 

We’ve sat down with Franziska Sauwerwein, software craftswoman. Learn more about her professional journey and lessons learned in the IT field. She will speak at I T.A.K.E Unconference 2016.

#1. What’s your professional story?

Please share with us about your journey in the IT field.

Hey, my name is Franziska Sauerwein and I’m a Software Craftswoman. Puzzles have always amazed me and that’s how I got interested in Computer Science. After completing my degree I worked as a software developer and consultant for three years in Germany. I then moved to London to join Codurance in the summer of 2015.


My passions include Test Driven Development, Refactoring, XP techniques and high quality software development. I’m always trying to improve my skills and share knowledge. As an active member of the European Software Craftsmanship community I love to participate in unconferences and organise code retreats, hackathons, coding dojos as well as tech talks. I aim to use my skills and creativity to develop software that is reliable, easy to adapt and doing what it is supposed to do.


#2. What would be a lesson you’ve learned so far as practitioners in this field?

I learned that software development is much more about people than about sitting alone at a desk in a room and coding in isolation, which is great! I do enjoy coding at a high quality level but people have always fascinated me.

As developers, we have a profound influence on our society and people’s everyday lives. How we write software and what we write has an impact and with great power comes great responsibility. And how people act when developing software has a great influence on how that software turns out. For example, a team that does not have a good team culture or a lacking relationship with the business will most probably have code quality problems that stem from misunderstandings and lack of communication. And sometimes products are developed just from a developer’s perspective without the user’s needs in mind when the teams are too homogenous. This is something that should definitely be changed.


#3. Whom do you admire as a women IT practitioner? Why?

Please share with our audience about great women you think they make a difference in this domain.

There are so many women in IT that I admire. If I had to choose one, I’d point out Rachel Davies, an expert practitioner and coach of eXtreme Programming. If you search online for “Rachel Davies xp” (without quotes) you’ll find a lot of content, including videos of her inspiring talks. Talking to her has given me lots of insights and she keeps on inspiring me.


What women in IT inspire you? Let us know in a comment!
Curious to meet Franziska? Join her @ I T.A.K.E Unconference 2016!

Rebecca Wirfs-Brock | #womenintech interview

Mar 23, 2017

Rebecca Wirfs-Brock is the object design pioneer who invented the set of design practices known as Responsibility-Driven Design (RDD), the first behavioral approach to object design. She is the lead author of two software design books and design columnist for IEEE Software. By accident, she started the x-Driven Design meme (TDD, DDD, BDD…). Although best known for software design, she is has a passion simply expressing complex requirements and effectively communicating software architecture. Rebecca joined #itakeunconf in 2013 as keynote, at the first edition of the unconference.

When sharing more about #womenintech, Rebecca is one of the most important role models ladies in the field mention or look up to. Read on to find her professional story and lessons learned along the way.


#1. What’s your professional story? Why did you choose to develop a career in this domain?


I went to university with no idea what I would major in. I liked both sciences and the humanities. I had a part time job at school grading tests. We’d scan the tests (which were marked in pencil) onto a tape, then take that tape to the computer center. They would run a job to print out students’ test results and grades.

I wanted to learn how that program worked. So for fun, I took my first computing class learning FORTRAN. And I was hooked. Writing programs was not only fun; programs could do something useful. So that is how I discovered programming—by accident. I liked solving problems by programming. I still do.


#2. Share with us an important lesson you’ve learned since you’ve been working in IT

I’ve learned that you won’t know if something is possible unless you try doing it. Sometimes we hold ourselves back because we don’t think we can do what seems like some seemingly impossible task. If you are a part of a team, you can do even more great things than you can on your own.

Being a software engineer at Tektronix (a company that made oscilloscopes and workstations, among other hardware products), I learned that with good team collaboration, the right management support, and the belief in what we were doing, we could do amazing things. I have taken this spirit of collaboration and can-do attitude with me throughout my career.

#3. What piece of advice would you give to the next generation of #womenintech?

Keep learning. The programming languages, tools, libraries, and database technologies you work with 10 years from now will be different from those you use today. There’s always something new to learn. Don’t just limit yourself to learning new programming languages and tools or the latest popular libraries. Take some time to learn things outside of your daily work. For example, I turn to blog by Adrian Colyer, The Morning Paper, I find reading about technology trends and research stretches my brain. And then I get on with my daily work.

Take some time to learn things outside of your daily work. For example, I turn to blog by Adrian Colyer, The Morning Paper. I find reading about technology trends and research stretches my brain. And then I get on with my daily work.

But more importantly, take time to find, study, and learn about well-designed code and systems. Learn what makes one codebase more easily maintained than another, or what makes one easier to understand or test. Read others’ code. There’s a lot you can learn.



At I T.A.K.E Unconference, we aim to move the needle by offering to women in tech access to a fast-learning, practical & inspirational community for their growth. Join the 5th edition, 11-12 May, Bucharest and meet remarkable tech ladies.

Meet Rebeca Wirfs-Brock, Keynote @ I T.A.K.E. Unconference

Apr 23, 2020

Rebecca is an internationally recognized object design pioneer who invented the set of design practices known as Responsibility-Driven Design (RDD). By accident,  she started the x-Driven Design meme. Along the way, she authored two popular object design books that are still in print and was the design columnist for IEEE Software.

What brought her to I T.A.K.E. Unconference in the first place? As she says:
“The conference is focused on code, it’s s not people waving their hands and speaking theory, and this challenged me as a speaker.”

Rebecca is among the Speakers that joined the first-ever edition of I T.A.K.E. Unconference back in 2013. Now, as the event moves into a digital format, with the 8th edition’s theme Craft: Raising the Bar Starts by Challenging Yourself, Rebecca joins us once more, this time with a talk on how to Grow Your Personal Design Heuristics

Her Keynote Session will focus on ways of becoming better software designers, through becoming more aware of our design heuristics and being more intentional about cultivating and refining them. 

What does Rebecca focus on in her work?
She helps teams hone their design and architecture skills, manage and reduce technical debt, refactor code, address architecture risks, and discover their personal design heuristics. In addition to coaching and personal mentoring, she teaches and conducts workshops on software design skills and thinking, distilling design heuristics, and Agile Architecture. 

Lately, Rebecca is pursuing her interest in software patterns and their relationship to design heuristics in general.

Curious to hear one of Rebecca’s latest talks? Join us on the 12th of May at the 8th edition of I T.A.K.E. Unconference.

The week to celebrate #famousITwomen

Mar 09, 2015

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The week to celebrate women in IT kicks off. Let’s bring upfront the stories of #famousITwomen who’ve made breakthrough contributions along the history.

This week savour your coffee with 3 minutes inspirational stories that should be known by anyone in the industry. See how women paved the way to computers and software as we have them today. Here’s the first story.

Follow the upcoming stories on the I T.A.K.E. Unconference blogThey might be motivating and encouraging for you to do something out of the ordinary in your career. Stay tuned, as you may also find a win between and let yourself surprised by the contribution of #famousITwomen.

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