Female software developers are a rare breed, in particular in the automotive industry. Is this changing?
Luzie: We hope so, but our experience doesn’t really give us reason for optimism. At the beginning of our studies there were a lot of women but at the end there were only three of us left. In my master’s program I’m often the only woman in the lecture.
What made you stick with it?
Luzie: With me it’s probably my family background; my father also works in the business. And we had these cool gadgets at home and that grabbed my interest even as a kid. At school, I opted for computer science as my honors class and that got the ball rolling. After graduating from high school, I sent applications for several majors, Business Administration among them, but in the end I landed on Business IT. And in my first semester I realized how much fun it was. And I also have to confess that I’m interested in nice cars and technology (laughter).
Vera: In my family they’re all business majors and so at the beginning I was leaning towards majoring in business as well. My decision in favor of Business IT came from the fact that I didn’t want to just study Business Administration, but was looking for a combination with something else. Initially, I thought about mathematics but after talking with friends I considered Business IT. I like the combo because IT was booming and still is.
What is it exactly you do?
Vera: OK, Put simply: We develop car apps for Audi. Easy to understand examples would be the weather report, news service or point-of-interest searches that, for instance, can recommend suitable hotels with high ratings in Yelp.
Luzie: We work on the front-end. That’s everything the user can finally see in their car. We have an armada of targets that simulate the HMIs – meaning the respective “human machine interfaces” in the car. In so-called smoke-tests we then look at the individual applications and check if they function the way they are supposed to.