Women in IT: Meet Marina Kraeva

Marina is talking about how she finds her current job after all those years and if there is anything in common between coding and making pastries.


Introduce yourself.

My name is Marina Kraeva, 29.


Tell us how you started working at Astea.

A professor of mine invited me to do an internship at Astea in 2011. At the time, I was in my second year in college and had no clear view about my future. I had no experience, but I was eager to learn and face some new challenges. Astea definitely met all of my expectations.


Looking back, how do you find your current job at Astea?

I am really glad that I ended up at the right place, where I can constantly grow and gain knowledge in different areas. I have participated in many and various projects – from e-books, to music trend prediction algorithms, healthcare, and insurance. What turned out to be the most challenging, and at the same time most satisfying aspect of my job, was not programming itself, but getting to acquire some in-depth knowledge of each new project’s area.


What is your favorite technology?

When you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail. And when you have a favorite technology, you try to use it in every possible way. My goal is to have more tools at my disposal than only a hammer.


What inspires you?

Nontrivial problems – issues with no obvious solution that require a more specific analysis.


Coding is…

The easiest part of our job.


Tell us a joke about program developers.

My favorite programmers’ joke is “Be careful! Thread and String mean the same thing to non-programmers!”


What do you like to do in your spare time?

I like to do many things in my spare time. Each semester I teach a practical programming class at the Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”. I also like to go swing dancing in the evening. I am also an amateur pastry-chef and I often surprise my colleagues with some delicious treats.


Is there something in common between programming and preparing pastries?

When I make pastries, I tend to act like a programmer with no experience – by trial and error, until I get it right. As a teacher, I try to show my students a more algorithmic approach as opposed to guesswork. I suppose that professional pastry-chefs would also be shocked if they saw me in the kitchen ☺


What would be your advice to the newcomers at Astea?

Be proactive. Do not hesitate to ask for help, but also to help others. That is the easiest way to build a team.