Tajda Bogovič is a doctoral student of computer science and informatics at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Maribor, Slovenia. She has led programming courses there and received a Faculty Contribution Award in 2019. Her recent endeavours have also led to her becoming Chair of IEEE WiE Slovenia. IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) is the world’s largest technical professional organisation dedicated to technological advancement; IEEE WiE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers – Women in Engineering) is a global network of IEEE members and volunteers dedicated to promoting women engineers and scientists worldwide. Tajda’s aim is to further its mission in Slovenia. Her career path, however, has led her to MESI, where she aims to use computer science for medical discoveries.
What inspires you about computer science that you have studied it all the way to the doctoral level?
Computer science is so much more than writing programs or apps. Behind every machine, gadget, appliance or even car, there are numerous algorithms and technological solutions that make computer science a vital part of our lives. It is also an important tool for scientific discoveries, including medical ones.
Mathematics has always been my passion, and computer science enables me to apply it in various ways. No two projects are the same, and this is what makes it so interesting to study. My current studies are in artificial intelligence – a field that is only just developing, but its applications are truly diverse and show amazing potential.
Congratulations on becoming the Chair of IEEE WiE Slovenia. Are organisations like this a sign that women are becoming more represented and established in the tech academic field?
Unfortunately, women still represent a small minority in the world of technology. Not many decide on technical studies/careers and I consider this a huge waste of potential. However, their numbers are slowly growing, and I strongly believe that the situation will change in the years to come.
The opportunity to be president of IEEE WiE Slovenia is a great honour and privilege for me. This position allows me to promote and inspire women to opt for studies or careers in technical fields. WiE IEEE connects about 20,000 members globally and has numerous subsections, including a medical one. The aim of IEEE WiE is to recruit and retain women in technical disciplines; their networking activities include workshops, conferences and many other events worldwide.
MESI actually has quite a few female software developers. What inspired you to join the company?
I have always been interested in computer science and medicine, and MESI is a company that combines the best of both worlds. I came to the company with previous backend work experience, but here, I could apply it in the field of medicine. Other positives were a friendly work environment and a young, very talented team.
It seems that teaching is an important part of your life. You have led quite a few academic workshops and courses, and received a Faculty Contribution Award in 2019. How do you share your knowledge and experience professionally here at MESI?
As a person who enjoys sharing knowledge, I have had the opportunity to work with various stakeholders throughout my student years. Both teaching students and working for different companies on industrial projects are challenging yet rewarding processes; they enabled me to develop various organisational skills, which I can now use at MESI.
Additionally, having gained both soft and hard skills means that I can work efficiently with my coworkers at MESI as well as with international clients or partners. I am convinced that working for MESI will further strengthen my skills and expertise.
What kind of professional goals are you following at MESI? What aspects of your work do you enjoy the most?
I am currently working at MESI as a .NET developer, which enables me to improve my programming skills and to work in an international environment. In the future, I would also like to focus on machine learning, which overlaps with my study and research focus.
An individual is not only fulfilled by their work, but also by the environment they work in. What makes you happy to come back to MESI every day?
I definitely agree with your statement that the work environment is very important. We spend most of our time at work and it is essential that the company we work for is the place we like returning to. If I was to point out just one thing I like at MESI, it would be my co-workers. I strongly believe that a relaxed atmosphere helps solve problems better and more efficiently. MESI is a company with well-set goals and challenges that will help me grow personally as well as professionally.