Empowered women in tech: The 6th annual Female Week at Cheesecake Labs
Helena Maes Marques | Apr 28, 2023
Have you ever walked into a party and felt like the most popular person in the room — where everyone’s like, “Hey man, great to see you!” or “I’m so glad you could make it”?
Now imagine having that feeling every morning when you switch on your computer to log in to work. That’s what my first few months in the Cheesecake Labs team have been like. And, for my first full-time job in mobile development, I couldn’t be more psyched to be part of this culture.
After I graduated in 2020, I went into my first internship within the world of mobile development. The job itself was great — I realized that I loved building products that users have front-end experiences with, such as screens and interfaces.
But there was something about the culture there that didn’t sit right with me and — having not been a full-time employee before — I wasn’t sure if that was just how work was “meant to be”.
My focus was to be a great developer and to work with other, great mobile development teams. So I started spending my evenings researching the right opportunities for me.
Where could I work that allowed me to stay at the forefront of technology? Which companies would have clients in the sectors I found most exciting? And, crucially, who were the teams that made me want to challenge myself and continuously improve?
My search for the perfect workplace started broad. I trawled through Google, Glassdoor, and LinkedIn for value-driven companies with strong, user-centric mobile development capabilities.
It was on my LinkedIn that the CKL logo first appeared (probably as a result of my search history — thanks SEO!). Then I also noticed a Facebook post they’d put out about recruiting new engineers. I took a look at the website and thought, “Woah. This is where I want to be”.
It was clear to me that the culture, goals, and values of the business really aligned with my own. The portfolio and case studies showed international clients — the kind I wanted to work with.
When you meet me, you’ll quickly learn that I can be quite determined. So I made it my mission to become part of the Cheesecake Labs team. We have a saying in Brazil, “Eu corri para o abraço”, meaning “I ran to embrace it”. And I looked for every opportunity to call myself a Caker.
From my very first day, the reception here at Cheesecake Labs has been incredible. The initial weeks were spent being introduced to everyone. Whenever someone’s name comes up in relation to a workflow, process, or client account, you get an intro.
It’s strange to be entering the world of work from my bedroom, but CKL does a great job of making all of us feel connected even if we’re spread right across the World.
Today, I’m working on an IoT project, which is an amazing opportunity. IoT is such a disruptive space and I’m learning so much as we go. I’m surrounded by people who know a lot about their individual specialisms — I just hope some of their intelligence rubs off on me!
One of the most impressive things I’ve realized about how Cakers work is the process they have (or “we have”, I should say — I’m still getting used to saying that!). You can really feel like there’s a reason for every process and a way of doing things correctly to deliver delightful digital experiences. It just flows. And that’s no mean feat when we’re juggling clients, speaking over WiFi calls, and having catch-ups interrupted by excitable dogs (we love that really, though).
Of course, I’m feeling pushed. This is my first job and it’s at a company that Clutch considers Top 10 in the world for mobile development. That’s pressure! But it’s good pressure, really. It’s “Okay, let’s impress the client” pressure. I’m not in my comfort zone at all most of the time, but I know I’ve got support.
The culture here is all about empowering us to do our very best work. We need to feel comfortable with the technology and feel comfortable to create results. Right from the get-go I was involved in client meetings and was encouraged by my Project Manager to share my suggestions.
I’ve been made to feel like I can create a real contribution to the future of mobile development as part of the Cheesecake Labs team. And I’ve got my eye on helping CKL become a world leader for Flutter development. Bold, considering I’ve only been here a few months? Sure. But certainly very possible with the rest of the Cakers by my side.
They say that “If I saw further, it was because I was on the shoulders of giants”. But if I was to put a CKL spin on that saying, it would be: “If I became a better person, it was because I was surrounded by Cakers and, more than that, surrounded by friends”
Your first job can be a dream role. Try not to settle for anything else.
I wake up in the morning excited to start work — and that’s a great feeling to start your career with.
If you aren’t there just yet, though, don’t worry. Do your homework, study technologies, study architectures. You can learn about other solutions already on the market and upskill yourself professionally by taking online courses.
And, most importantly, surround yourself with people who can make you a better person and encourage a mutual exchange of knowledge. My CKL ‘Buddy’, Diego, is the first person I go to with any difficulties I face and my Project Manager Fifo is a lifeline as well. Having people you trust to talk ideas through with is super important when you’re trying to change the world with technology!
It might sound lofty, but that’s how I explain what we’re doing at Cheesecake Labs. We develop tech that changes the world in a delightful, accessible way for all users.
Do you want to join the party too?