In the run-up to national women’s equality day Women’s Day on the 8th March 2018, we are paying homage to 7 women who have made a name for themselves in the world of technology. We are honouring women leaders in technology, who are quietly making a difference in their field. In this series, the women in tech industry personally share their experiences and challenges whilst also giving us a glimpse into the lessons that they have learnt along the way. In her own words, Lina Wassong shares her story.
My career path started off when I took some design classes while living in LA, California. After moving to Hamburg, Germany I studied clothing engineering which is the bridge between fashion design and clothing manufacturing. I started working with electronics and code after living in San Fransisco for a while. I never planned on working in the creative industry but the creative aspect of technology that fascinated me and it wasn’t long after that I began designing interactive pieces.
The next few years I was busy. I wrote three books about electronics and programming, gave multiple creative technology workshops and learned all about laser cutting and 3D printing. Working in a niche field that combined fashion and technology I realised that people were interested in my designs I decided to work in this specific field.
Today I have a studio located in the heart of Berlin, and I also lecture interface design at the University of Applied Science Potsdam. With technology evolving so fast, I have encountered the kind of challenges that have made me realise that so long as I have a good basic knowledge of the electronics or software, I could always collaborate with a specialist with advanced technical knowledge should I need to do so. When it comes to collaborating, I live by the philosophy that as long as someone is enjoying their work and getting their stuff done, I’m pleased to work with them.
When it comes to being a woman in the field of technology, although I am a minority, I am delighted to see the #WomenInTech movement grow in strength. I believe that women working in technology are just as qualified to work in tech as men and I look forward to women being taken more seriously in technology. The funny thing is, back in the 60s there were more female than male computer scientists.Diversity is essential.
Whenever I speak to women looking to break into the field of technology, I always tell them if you’re passionate about what you’re doing, you should go to conferences and meetups and connect with people. That is very important. Don’t be afraid, don’t be shy and ask as many questions as necessary. Build a good knowledge of the specific field you want to get into and make sure that you keep up to date.
I have been lucky enough to work on various projects. Some better than others of course. However, I know that I don’t want to work in the traditional fashion industry, so I learned more about fashion and technology. A lot of the knowledge I have today, I learned on my own. With digital manufacturing machines, like the laser cutter and 3D printer, becoming more and more accessible I have found that through digital manufacturing you can create
almost anything on a very professional scale. It is a space that has so much potential.