50. Giovanna Bologna (she/her) – Lead UX/UI Designer, Virtusa

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“Toxic environments can be extremely bad for the creative souls and I don’t believe in martyrdom; no fancy salary or trendy company is worth your self-respect and your happiness.”

Tell us a little bit about what a typical day looks like for you.

The morning is the best time to work because that’s when my creative juices are flowing! I love to drink my coffee and brainstorm with myself. I am always involved in some extra curriculum activity. If I am not working on a project for a client, I am working on a project for myself or I am learning something new, sometimes not even related to technology at all. I have a lot of interests outside work. I study astrology, I paint, I love to spend time in nature. I love to investigate human behavior so I spend time reading articles on UX design and psychology in general. Exercise is also a big part of my routine. I try to get as much exercise as possible so clear the clutter in my brain.

How do you stay passionate in your career?

I try to stay passionate by getting involved in as many projects as possible. As a consultant, I have worked with a lot of different companies on a lot of different projects. Change keeps me on my toes, forces me to learn new skills and keeps me flexible which is a super important skill to have these days. There is no school like experience and there is no such thing as a bad experience. Everything is valuable. I might have learned more from bad teams and bad projects than actually good ones!

Did you have a traditional path into tech (i.e.: CS/IT degree transitioned into tech job)?

I am a self-taught designer. One day I woke up and decided to teach myself how to use adobe creative suite and how to code. I started with small graphic design jobs, then moved to web design and then finally UX. I don’t necessarily believe that going to school is mandatory to be successful in this field. There is so much material online, all you need is a little motivation. A lot of people ask me, how do I get started? No one will hire me because I don’t have a portfolio. I tell them….make one up! Pick an app that you think is really bad and re-design it. That’s how you get started!

Are there any apps, software, or tools you cannot live without?

Sketch and Sketch plugins. Can’t work without it. I also use Invision, Principle, and UXPin.

It’s common knowledge that women and femmes often face obstacles in the tech industry based on their gender. Have you ever had to deal with this type of experience and if so how did you handle it?

Tech is undeniably a male-dominated industry and as women, it is possible to face obstacles. Toxic environments can be extremely bad for the creative souls and I don’t believe in martyrdom; no fancy salary or trendy company is worth your self-respect and your happiness. The only advice I can give is that if work is making you miserable, get another job or go solo! Don’t be afraid to explore your greatest potential. However I have experienced that sometimes being a woman can sometimes be advantageous amongst a bunch of nerdy men 🙂 After all, aren’t we charming?

What’s your favorite thing about being a part of the #womenintech community?

I like to be part of a rare and brave breed of women.

If applicable, how have you given back to the WIT community?

I haven’t done much yet! I am hoping to give back more in the future.

What is a piece of advice you would give to others wanting to or currently pursuing a career in tech?

Work hard and don’t let setbacks discourage you. Don’t let anyone put you down, keep your head up and be fabulous!

Tell us about a time you felt extremely accomplished in the past year. 

In the past year, I have met some amazing people that have encouraged me to believe in myself and helped me gain confidence in my abilities. I believe that the greatest accomplishment this year was to discover how much I love my job, and through the love for my job, I also discovered self-love.

Favorite quote:

“Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible life they must lead.”

– Charles Bukowski



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