Women's portraits at Joomla: Rachel Walraven

Women's portraits at Joomla: Rachel Walraven

We celebrate the International Women's day on the 8th March (International women's rights day, in few countries) because it's important to remind that women are equal of men and it's essential to protect and respect their rights every days of the year but...

nowadays, women make up just 24% of the tech workforce, thus more and more women are encouraged to pursue careers in the tech industry. Initiatives such as Girls who Code and conferences such as European Women in Technology support this movement passionately.

And at Joomla, the trend is not much different. Because there is no fatality, we must do things in others ways and being more inclusive. In our community, some women are really amazing and I've decided to introduce you some of them. These women are so inspiring and so motivating. Really. Read their stories, their advices, their thoughts and you'll be convinced.
Because we need really each others, I do hope that these portraits will inspire others women to embrace a career in tech sector and/or to join the Joomla Community.

Meet Rachel!

Rachel Walraven

Rachel Walraven

What’s your name and your role at Joomla?

My name is Rachel Walraven. I’m part of the Joomla Translation Team and just joined the CMS Release Team.

What excites you about your daily work?

I have my own Webdesign company and build custom sites from design to development. I love the fact that every project is different. It never gets boring. You are never done learning. The combination of technology and creativity works well for me as well. The work is very versatile which means that one moment I’m busy with the psychological side of a design and later I’m figuring out a PHP override in a template. I’m not a programmer by the way...

What did you study?

A lot! When I was done with college, I had no idea what I wanted to become, so I settled for the PABO, to become a teacher on a primary school. But soon discovered that I didn’t like to run a classroom. So, I switched to Animal management (almost the same). I liked it very much, especially my internship at London Zoo. In my second year, I realised there were not enough jobs in the field (little late maybe). Eventually I lost interest and dropped out. A few years later, when I had kids that went to day-care, I got the opportunity to start a job there if I’d get my degree within a year. So, I did. So technically I’m a kindergarden teacher.

When did you start to think about pursuing a career in tech?

I’ve always been interested in tech. I got my first computer (Commodore 64) when I was 14 and fell in love immediately. I build my first website in 1996. That was when I realised that this was something I’d like to do for a living.

What challenges are you facing as a woman working in tech?

There are a lot of people (not only men) who assume you know nothing of tech because you are a woman. You must prove what you’re saying is true/correct/the best option instead of them taking you on your word.

What would your advice to women considering pursuing a career in tech be?

Go for it! There is no reason not to. It is a very diverse and interesting field of work. And though it may not seem like it, very creative as well.

Are there any specific Book/Blogs/Apps you enjoy & recommend ?

That is a very good question... I really liked the Dutch book ‘Webdesign’ by Hadwyg Groenendaal.

One of my most used productivity apps is not an app at all but a method: Bullet Journal. It helps me with my productivity a lot.

Who or what inspires you?

There is a lot that can inspire me, nature, people, pictures. There isn’t one thing or person that stands out though.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I love to sing. I’m part of one of the best pop choirs of the Netherlands (we won a prestigious choir contest in the Netherlands, still very proud of that ?), I love photography (also a bit techy) and I used to be a field hockey goalie. Unfortunately, my knees prevent me from playing. Also, and I am a bit embarrassed to say so, I like diamond painting...

3 tips you would give your younger self?

Think big and think in possibilities.

Don’t be afraid to succeed.

No Yes but’s, but Yes and’s.

Learn PHP and JavaScript (sooner).

Daniel Dubois

Daniel Dubois

Passionné par le Web depuis 2007, Daniel défend la veuve et l'orphelin du web en créant des sites respectueux du W3C. Fort d'une expérience de plusieurs années, il partage ses connaissances dans un état d'esprit open source.
Très impliqué dans la communauté Joomla depuis 2014, il est actif au sein de plusieurs projets, conférencier et fondateur du JUG Breizh.