STRV Talk: Anna Shirokova

Anna joined STRV in fall 2010 and has quickly risen to become one of our leading iOS developers. A native of Russia, where she studied theoretical mathematics – (smarty-pants!) – before enrolling at Charles University in Prague for post-graduate work, Anna talks STRV culture and why she’d pass on $1 million.

Anja

You’ve been with STRV for more than four years, why stay?
The main reason is the office environment. I like that no one pressures you, that no one yells at you. I like the kind atmosphere here. I like this job, and I like making apps. In this company, there are many different projects to chose from. I can try different things.

And it’s cool?
Yeah (laughs), it’s cool.

It must be nice working with the same core team for so long.
I am working with good people who I like. They are good professionals. So that is why I stay here, because if this wasn’t the case, I would leave.

What’s it like working in a field where men still largely outnumber women? Do you feel like you need to prove yourself?
I never felt that I needed to prove something, because I am a woman. And I don’t think any decent person will ever want you to prove you can do something because you are a woman. I don’t think some professions are for men and others for women. Everyone does what they are good at. I know how to code, but I don’t know how to sell or design or market an app. And it’s great that there are people who do know how to do those things.

When did you know – really know – that you wanted to be a developer?
When I finished my second year at the university in Russia, I realized I didn’t know what I wanted to do. And then I started to work for an industrial company, helping with website content. I wrote my first app for this company. And I discovered I liked it. It was interesting, and I knew people would use it. And I knew that it would help people. I think that’s when I realized that I wanted to do this for a living.

Your thoughts on 2015 – what’s one thing you’d like to accomplish this year?
One thing? I don’t know. I want to do many things. I want to travel. I am going to visit Istanbul and Paris. I’ll see what comes up this summer.

Last question: Would you jump out of an airplane?
Jump … out of an … with a parachute?

Yup.
No. Never. It would be too scary. What if the parachute doesn’t open? No, no. I love my life.

What about for $1 million?
No, no, no, no.