Maria Pantsiou

Junior Software Developer

ARM, a semiconductor and software design company. In simple words: Most of today's devices like smartphones and tablets probably have little things inside them (called "chips") designed by some group of people that work for ARM.

I translate ideas into a language that the computer understands: code. As in most professions, I am asked to solve a problem. Most of the times, that problem is how to make my computer predict the future (like calculate future data) based on data that I know today, through code.

I love working with computers, because of the simplicity of their understanding, and also their power. I always wanted to be a scientist, but later on in my life I realized that computers helped me implement my science with a few lines of code, and I love that. I also love how creative I can be and express myself through the code I write. Sounds odd, but it's an art! Finally, I love that my job is a never ending journey. There are so many different paths to explore and always new things and tools to try in that profession. I never get bored!

As a programmer working in the era of coronavirus I work from home. Every morning, I sit at my desk, have a group video call with my teammates to share the updates on things we have been working on, while we drink our morning coffee. Then I plan my day and then do the most important part of my work: think! I take some time to think and design the solution of the problem that I have been asked to solve. Once I am done with that step, I start writing code. Even though I design my solution, many times I cannot know in advance how I can do some things to finish my task. Sometimes I do not even know how to do them at all!! That’ s why throughout the day I speak to other programmers or use the internet to find out how I can do many of the things that I want to do to finish my work, so I learn something new every day. When I finish my code, I make sure that it works as it should and that other people are able to use it easily!

I always wanted to become a scientist, and especially a physicist. I do not know why, I never had an influence in my family, but I grew up being curious about my surroundings and loving physics. All about it! Cars moving, planets flying, stars falling, fluids boiling, electrons lighting up our bulbs and so on! I made this first dream come true and got a university degree in physics. But after I graduated, I needed to work to make a living. Being a physicist was not the easiest profession in Greece (I was in Greece back then) as there are not many physics labs around, so I turned to an easier solution: I became a maths and physics teacher. In the meantime, as much as I loved physics, I knew I had to learn how technology works for me to keep up with the world. While I was working as a teacher, I found a great master’s degree program, with multiple computer science and programming classes, with a couple of physics classes and even a few applications in music (I was also a musician that time!) and I was blown away from how easy I could do my “science” with computers. Whatever it was – a small calculation to a robot walking! I did not have to have access to big labs and to dangerous physical substances anymore to do what I love; I just needed a computer! As much as loved teaching, after I graduate from my master's I decided to become a programmer and I left my home country, came in the UK, and found my current programming job!

Well, who knows? What I know is that I never dreamed of being successful at what I do. I only wanted to love what I do and do what makes me happy, and that is what I will always go after. I wanted to be a physicist and I did; a programmer and I did; and I loved both. If I want to be something else tomorrow it will not be because it will make me successful, but because it will make me happy. My personal next goal to make that happen is to start a family 😊

I like to play video games and sometimes I like to make my own 3D computer graphics. Before the coronavirus era though, I would spend most of my free time with my friends.

There is no such thing as being ‘too late’.