Meet The Team: Vesna Bilić, Engineering Manager at Photomath
To help mark International Girls in ICT Day, which is marked annually on the fourth Thursday in April, we are proud to introduce the next installment of our new series that celebrates women in tech and highlights the talented women on our team in technical roles. Photomath is committed to doing our part to support more women in tech, and to inspire other companies and industries to follow suit. This next article is from Engineering Manager, Vesna Bilić. Read on to learn more about Vesna’s inspiring career path, and some of the exciting work she and her team are doing at Photomath.
Tell us about yourself and your role at Photomath
I would describe myself as a person who enjoys solving complex organizational problems while creating a respectful environment that empowers people to perform at their best and feel fulfilled. As an Engineering Manager, I am responsible for the business success and professional development and satisfaction of the team members in the Infrastructure and Platform Engineering department.
How / when did you become interested in pursuing tech and engineering?
I have always had a strong interest in STEM fields, so pursuing a career in engineering was a natural choice for me.
What excites you about the work you and your team are doing at Photomath?
My team is focused on ensuring a smooth infrastructure and software experience for both developers and end users. We’re ensuring software quality, deploying and managing infrastructure, monitoring system performance, and mitigating security risks.
The responsibilities are challenging, dynamic and require an agile approach and frequent strategy adjustments, as well as the ability to switch focus and context quickly. The exciting thing about my team’s work is that we strive to remove roadblocks before developers, product managers, and users realize they were there in the first place.
I personally thrive on challenges, building a big picture, visualizing success and leading. I enjoy spending time with professionals and witnessing their growth in a respectful and empowering environment. I value the power of teamwork and appreciate every contribution to results made by my team members. I’m grateful for the positive energy that they bring.
Why do you think there are much fewer women in engineering? And what steps or resources can be initiated to empower & support attracting more women into the field?
My colleagues are teasing me because I hire mostly women, so maybe I should consider outsourcing myself as a hiring manager elsewhere. Joke aside…I was raised not to differentiate between people based on factors they cannot choose, such as gender, religion, nationality etc. I have always felt as capable as any other human, both physically and mentally. I believe we need to empower our kids, youth, and students to feel the same, that their gender has no bearing on their capability. Both women and men can be successful engineers.
You might ask yourself why I tend to employ mostly women since I have no gender preferences. It’s because the women I have hired have been highly prepared for interviews, and I believed those candidates were the best fit for the roles. They demonstrated their intelligence, adaptability, problem-solving skills, effective communication, and ability to visualize success.
I believe that we need to take as many actions as possible to encourage women to take risks, fight their fears, and face challenges, whether they succeed or not, and learn from them. Both outcomes are valuable. We need to show girls how much better the world becomes when diverse perspectives are considered, and how their contributions make a positive and respectful difference in engineering.
Do you have any advice for young women who are just starting their careers in tech & engineering?
Stay positive, believe in yourself, be willing to try and learn, and be patient. Remember that every successful person is more successful today than they were yesterday, and less successful than they will be tomorrow. Success comes from experiences, including learning from failures, confronting interesting or boring tasks, and receiving both positive and negative feedback. Keep in mind that you were employed because someone believed you could make a difference, which is a great start. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and strive to make a positive impact.
What is most gratifying about your work at Photomath?
Being surrounded by smart people who are passionate about Photomath and our users’ satisfaction.
How do you envision the future of learning and how do you think Photomath will be part of that?
To be honest, I don’t know. The world of technology is changing so fast and I’m not really sure what to expect. Photomath has already revolutionized the way students learn math and expanded their comprehension of such a crucial skill for understanding the world that we live in, and I’m sure it will continue to do so by leveraging cutting-edge technologies and learning tools.