Exaud Xperts’ Talks: Sofia Sousa
Sofia started her programming journey early just like any other kid and teenager from the 2000’s: with videogames and personalizing really cool looking blogs! College made a nurse out of her but programming took the best of it. In 2020, Sofia decided to help nurses like herself with the power of software development.
Sofia, you have a very interesting professional path! How does a nurse with a specialization in neonatal care decides to move on to software development?
Yeah it sounds completely random and unrelated, to be honest it kinda is, however, it was an old spark 🙂
I’ve always been interested and curious about programming, since I started writing command lines on MS-DOS to load my favourite games when I was about 5 years old, then when I was in high school, the blogs era boom came about and I used to go into the editor and change HTML and CSS – Who didn’t love those tacky sparkly widgets, right?
When I was going to choose what to study in university I was torn between healthcare as I really liked to help people, as well as the physiology in order to understand the human body, and tech, but ended up going to healthcare because tech degrees were very heavy on mathematics and I was not great at it – ironically, ended up on the most math heavy nursing speciality.
I then finished my Nursing degree but always kept doing code challenges now and then over the course of the years. My husband is a software developer so he also inspired me a bit.
The big turnover for me was when in 2015, whilst working in a major neonatal ICU in London I found myself still writing nursing notes on paper and that was when I realized that maybe I could help both patients and healthcare professionals through software development.
Over the years I did code challenges and built small blogs and stuff but it was not until 2020 that I decided to actually switch careers and join a software development program. I now work as a frontend developer within the e-healthcare industry and being able to use my clinical experience in my new career feels awesome 🙂
What is something everyone should know about switching to a career in IT?
That can be rewarding as it is frustrating. Changing careers is on itself challenging, even though, there are skills that are transversal to many careers.
In this case, going into software development, it’s especially challenging because it requires time to learn, patience and a lot of dedication. Often programs won’t compile successfully at the first go and one must be able to just not be frustrated and just keep trying until it does 🙂
You are a Portuguese software developer who worked in London and then, fell in love with Sweden. What was the most challenging part of moving countries and the best one?
Personally, I find fun moving countries and discovering new places and cultures so I would say that’s the best part! Moving to London was exciting and sad at the same time, good nursing jobs were hard to find and I left my parents house to move to another country… so it was a bit tough :p
Moving to Sweden, the most challenging part was learning the language. I knew I needed to speak a good level of Swedish to work in healthcare so that was challenging, as well as the darkness in the winter time!
What tells Sweden’s software development industry apart from other parts of the world?
I have nothing to compare it to because I only worked in tech in Sweden so far, but they’re really big in the gaming industry 🙂
Finally, what’s the best advice you can give someone who wants to start their journey in software development?
Go for it!
Make sure you try it and if it’s something you find interesting just have fun! And remember your life from now on will a lot like this:
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