Some of the largest and most impressive adtech companies in the world have innovative technology at the heart of their offering, which is underpinned by highly skilled engineers who create the complex code that is the blueprint for digital advertising. 

Sophisticated adtech vendors offer AI and machine learning, which drives some of the most advanced online advertising campaigns and reaches consumers across the entire open internet ecosystem. In June 2021, Engineering UK reported that women make up 14.5% of all engineers in the UK, which represents a 25.7% increase in women in engineering occupations (compared to 4.6% in the overall workforce) since 2016. 

International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) is an international awareness campaign held annually on 23 June that calls on women to shape the world. To celebrate #WomenInEngineeringDay, we talked with a few of our female engineers in the Quantcast London office who are a part of the revolution of women taking up engineering as a career.

Bilge Ince, Machine Learning Engineer

Can you share your journey into your current engineering role?

My STEM journey starts with my bachelor’s degree. When I graduated from high school, I decided to study computer engineering. I wanted to be a computer engineer because I liked maths and wanted to be an engineer. When I was a student at BSc, I discovered that I enjoyed programming and soon found out that the scientific part of computer science was fun, too. Software development was fun for me, but I built a mobile application for sight-disable people using text-to-speech, and that was when I decided to focus on computer modelling and machine learning. I continued my education by getting my master’s degree in computer science, and right after that, I started my PhD in computer science after graduating with a BSc. I enjoy almost all areas of computer science, but I concentrated on research and artificial intelligence during my higher education period. Last September, I started as a Machine Learning Engineer (MLE) at Quantcast. I’m very excited about my role here because I can do research and development for AI. 

What is your biggest achievement so far in your role?

I believe that any engineering role requires continuous learning. Therefore, one could say that contributing to the product is their biggest achievement, butfor me, it’s about being motivated to continuously learn new things while sustaining productivity. Apart from that, in my first couple of months, I’ve been involved in a test and I presented the outcomes to our engineering team. I had no prior experience in the advertising area, and presenting to the people who are working on the core was challenging for me. The presentation went well, so I consider that as my biggest achievement. 

Do you have any advice for women who are interested in careers in engineering?

You’ll be fine as long as you learn from your failures, because this is not rocket science. There are tons of tutorials, papers, videos, and people with knowledge to help you, and every single person is failing; what matters is learning so that the same thing doesn’t happen the next time. If you think you might enjoy learning, developing, and solving problems as a career, this is a safe space for you. 

What’s the best perk about being an engineer?

Many people are bored with their job over time because it doesn’t change; however, you can always switch between paths, roles, and industries in engineering. So I believe that the ability to take on different paths and roles is the best perk of being an engineer.

Qingshan Zhang Quote V1

Qingshan Zhang, Senior Software Engineer

Can you share your journey into your current engineering role?

My initial academic background was in artificial intelligence. After doing a project in Natural Language Processing for a year, I felt that in order to pursue the computer science area further, it was essential to build up my engineering muscle, so I started my career as a software engineer.

What is your biggest achievement so far in your role?

I drove the project integrating Rich Media Advertisement sources into the Quantcast ecosystem, which enabled and opened more inventories and brought new revenues to the business.

Do you have any other advice for other women who are interested in careers in engineering?

Engineering is no different from any other careers people choose, so do not be afraid of a career in engineering because of the tendency to think this is a male-preferred career. There are plenty of examples that show that females do as well as as male engineers. The fact that there are fewer female engineers in the industry is only because there are fewer females who choose this path, not because they are less qualified or talented.

My advice to women who are interested in engineering is to just be brave and be curious. One thing that makes this career more fun is that you keep learning new technologies and there is always something interesting and exciting to explore. You are never bored, unless you decide not to learn new things.

What’s the best perk about being an engineer?

The fun part is being able to leverage your technical skills in your daily life and applying it to interesting stuff. For example, you could write a script that runs overnight which could automatically purchase a hot ticket to an event which normally sells out quickly, or you could find job opportunities that are hidden in the script on Zoopla’s website, etc.

Angel Ting Quote V1

Angel Ting, Data Engineer

Can you share your journey into your current engineering role?

My journey was less conventional than other engineers. I studied International Studies for my undergraduate studies, and started my career as an events manager, managing trade shows, in a data solutions tech company. Through this role, I worked on projects to quantify results from our marketing investments, and started learning different aspects about the data field. The potential for growth within the data analytics field is promising, and I started taking classes to grow my technical skills. My experience in marketing and my skill set in data analysis landed me a data analyst role at Quantcast. During my four-year tenure in Quantcast, I have had the opportunity to work even closer with the engineering teams and learn about what they do in their roles. When there was an opportunity to transition into a data engineering role, I jumped at the opportunity, as I saw that as a natural progression to take up more challenges and grow my career on an engineering track.

What is your biggest achievement so far in your role?

When I first joined the company, my team used to pull reports and analysis manually. Our internal customers would log a ticket to our system, and then waitfor at least 24 hours for us to respond to their requests. During my second year, we started working on building an internal application that allows end users to pull their own data, thus reducing the wait time and automating the process. This has been one of my favourite projects that I’ve worked on, not only from the impact it brings, but it also became the springboard for me to transition into an engineering role. 

Do you have advice for other women interested in careers in engineering?

Take it one step at a time. I was and am still anxious that there are so many things that I don’t know and I need to learn, and not having a formal STEM background makes my impostor syndrome even worse. Recognize that it is okay to ask questions, and that it is okay that you have a steep learning curve. Learning is a marathon process, and controlling your own running pace is the key. Talk to your manager and other members on your team, and lean on them to get as much support as you canas part of your career growth.

What is the best perk about being an engineer?

I am constantly learning new things and that motivation never stops. The knowledge that you attain can be applied differently depending on the projects or domains that you are in. There are always new methods that I can apply on the same project to optimise efficiency or to reduce cost. Another perk is that I get to apply my creativity while maintaining a logical framework to my day-to-day job.

Rohini Kulkarni Quote V1

Rohini Kulkarni, Senior Software Engineer

Can you share your journey into your current engineering role?

I remember being fascinated with programming during coding classes at high school, and in a couple of years, I developed a strong interest in computer systems. While at university, pursuing computer engineering was a simple choice. During those four years, I explored different career paths and leaned towards some of them in particular; those inclinations guided my early professional software engineering career. My first role was with a ten member startup because I just wanted to work in a small team on the things that interested me. That was a rewarding experience. The good thing is that the software developers community has grown so large in the last few years, there are a lot of areas for growth. So while I still pursue my interests, my focus on comprehensive growth has driven me to my current role. 

What is your biggest achievement so far in your role?

One important issue that we identified was scaling a software product because it took time to start up. I helped to reduce that start up time by close to half. It boosted the system’s scalability but also reduced infrastructure costs as well.

Do you have any advice for other women interested in careers in engineering?

Engineering is a massive field, filled with a myriad of opportunities. You can go on to pursue anything that you want to; there is no place for biases. You have to choose yourself versus any social pressure. It is important to take the time you need to identify your area of interest because that helps you to navigate every situation. I’ve worked in early stage start-ups and sadly been the only female engineer before more joined. It’s something you can’t help but notice. My interest in my work and role greatly eased me into the team. 

What’s the best perk about being an engineer?

You have the choice to apply your skills to hobby projects or to bring your great ideas to life. Another benefit to being an engineer is that you rarely have to travel for business. But, you still get plenty of time for personal travel.

Learn more

For more information on engineering careers at Quantcast, click here. To get a glimpse into life as an engineer at Quantcast, check out this blog post. You can also read our employee spotlight on a senior engineering manager as well as three engineers who took unique career pathways to their current roles.