Women in ICT

Meet Elinor Axelrod.

Elinor Axelrod

Occupation: Program Manager
Employer: Microsoft
Memorable Quote: “It’s a brain-inspiring and challenging profession.”

What is your current job title and what day-to-day activities does this job entail?
I’ve recently transitioned to being a Program Manager, after working as a Software Engineer for the past 7 years!!! As a Software Engineer my work included translating product requirements into software design and solutions, namely coding. Much of my work is around mobile devices – both smartphones of all types as well as tablets (Microsoft’s).

What is your educational background (if any)?

I studied Computer Science at the Technion Israel Institute of Technology.

What experiences led you to your current position?

I began my career in Intel, working as a developer in the Wireless cards group. I worked there for 4 years and my last role included working closely with our clients and customers, which I loved! Since then, I moved to Microsoft as a developer and now am a Program Manager.

What was the most defining moment of your career?

I pursued being a program manager for a long time; so when I was able to transition from begin a developer to manager, it was a huge career victory for me.

What do you find most rewarding about your job?

Having tangible products I participated in developing, not to mention delivering and shipping. I also enjoy reading encouraging reviews on those shipped products and communicating with the product’s community – it’s really the rewarding part of my job!

What skills are most important for your role?

  1. Trust and effective relationships with my peers and colleagues.
  2. Good communication skills and the ability to communicate complex issues and visions, without relying on management.
  3. Responsibility, honesty and integrity.

There is a common misconception that ICT is boring; can you give us an example why your job is NOT boring.

Every day there are new trends in the market. Trying to make our own trends and thinking of new paths is always exciting. Communicating with people working with our products is fulfilling and overwhelming! Working with smart-phones and top-line technology is inspiring and never boring!

Why do you think girls should learn ICT skills?

Due to the same reason “boys” should. It’s a brain-inspiring and challenging profession. It exposes you the most up-to-date technology, plus you get to work with the most talented and interesting people.

Can you list ‘5’ ICT jobs that you think our readers would love.

  1. Software Development
  2. Hardware Development – building the core of the electronic devices each and every one of us holds
  3. Program Management
  4. User Experience designer – designing the how the user facing product would look and feel
  5. CRM – Customer Relations Management

If our readers wanted to pursue a career like yours, what advice/resources would you recommend to them?

Always remain open-minded – try learning from the more experienced in your team, don’t hesitate to questions and ask whatever you find unclear about. The best way to learn is by asking and querying. People usually love educating others with the knowledge they have gained.

If you could conjure up one quote to inspire young women, what would it be?

“Working in IT means adopting new technology at a pace not found in any other industry.” - Elinor Axelrod