From Analyst to Leader: Roberta’s Journey to Head of Product Operations

The tech industry is a dynamic landscape, and today, we meet a Roberta Poderytė who’s been at the forefront of its evolution. With a background in software engineering and a passion for leadership, she has carved a remarkable path, culminating in her current role as Head of Product Operations at Hostinger.

The article is prepared in partnership with Hostinger.

Roberta Poderyte, Hostinger, Women In Tech Blog

Can you share your journey into the tech industry and specifically into your current role?

I have gained an Information Systems Software Engineering Master’s degree, and meanwhile, I worked as a business analyst, forming requirements and being a bridge between stakeholders and developers. Leadership roles have always been in my dreams, and I have switched to product ownership of a technical backend service, also being a people manager of a development team. As my knowledge of business expanded, I continued my path in product management, and my scope grew more and more. Now, I am working as a Head of Product Operations where I can combine my diverse experience in technology and business, as well as start-up and corporate experiences. 

What skills are essential for someone starting in IT?

I recommend revisiting your own goals every half a year as there are different paths you may take. And that needs different skills. There is a concept of being a specialist, generalist or T-shaped specialist. To be a good specialist, you have to master one niche skill as much as possible (coding language, database management, etc.). To be a good generalist, you may want to understand marketing, business, people management or else – that might make you a good leader in IT. And for the T-shaped,  you are probably very good at a specific field but also have a good general knowledge of business, which can make you an exceptional person in a company.

In any case, you will probably need to work in a team or with clients, so communication skills are always needed in IT. 

What challenges have you faced as a woman in tech, and how have you overcome them?

In particular, as a woman – none. In my personal path, it was just a huge myth. I have never had even a slight feeling that I did not achieve something because I am a woman. I did not achieve something at that exact moment because, like any other gender person – I lacked some skills. Men were the biggest supporters in my career, and I just honestly want to thank them all. You may face challenges in old-fashioned companies from which I recommend going away from – many modern companies are waiting for you cheerfully and are not evaluating your skillset by gender. 

How do you see the role of women evolving in the tech industry? What changes have you observed during your career?

More and more women are tech leaders, C-level representatives, or software engineers. For me, the biggest change from my school years is that women in tech are so natural for me and people in my surroundings, that I even forget that some time ago, it was more of a miracle.  

What resources or networks have you found invaluable for your professional growth?

Follow people on LinkedIn who are one of the best in your specialization – you will get the freshest info every day about what is happening in the tech world. Read books that are related to both product development and its processes, different practices, and frameworks. Visit your local events – ProductTank is an international event (I visit it in Vilnius) or any other tech events that are free and provide you access to the community (for example, Vilnius Tech Leads). 

What advice could you give to women starting out in IT? Maybe there is an advice that you received that impacted your career?

The only way to make something happen is to do something about it. And usually, you have to work pretty hard! Surround yourself with smart and hungry people, hear them out (and always listen very carefully – people have a lot to say), but then make your own decisions firmly. Normalize that in some cases, you will have to try quite a few times!