Ariana Hlavaty

Software Engineer and Technical Lead, IBM

Born in Venezuela, Ariana graduated as a Computer Engineer at Simon Bolivar University in 2012. She came to Cambridge to study English for 6 months and started working in IBM through the graduate program 4 years ago. She recently became the technical leader of a development team of 8 members.

Ariana says: “My career hasn’t come without challenges. One I believe I’ve majorly overcome, was that I’ve always considered myself shy. Earlier in my career, I realised that if I didn’t speak up I wouldn’t get very far. Thankfully because of my drive and by being a very opinionated person, at the beginning of last year, I talked with my manager and his manager and I started to get my wishes for a career progression be heard. Today I’m a technical leader.
A challenge I keep facing every day at work is keeping my confidence up. I’ve worked for a few startups before I joined IBM in a graduate position but I was the sixth graduate joining the Cambridge Lab while everyone else in the office has worked there for 4 or more years. I still feel that in my current role I’m treated as a graduate or like I don’t have enough experience to make the correct decisions.
On the other hand, in my personal life, I face the challenge of having a husband that is also a software engineer. While it is great to have someone to talk to that can understand the technicalities of your problems at work, our career paths have taken us different ways and some jealousy can be part of our lives. We have always supported each other but we can’t help ourselves to want some of the things the other one has achieved.”