E17 - Andrea Caldera at Akamai Technologies

Maddy Norris
Andrea Caldera

By Maddy Norris & Andrea Caldera

On today’s episode of the Women in Tech spin-off series, we were joined by our host and Principal Network Consultant, Maddy Norris who was accompanied by our guest, Andrea Caldera, a Security Consultant at Akamai Technologies. During this episode, Andrea walks us through her journey in the tech field from where her career began, her time at university to the role she’s in today. She also delves into her experience being a woman in this industry and some of the things she does to encourage more women to join the tech space.

Andrea Caldera is a prime example of someone who stumbled into the tech field and found a passion for it. She graduated from high school at the young age of 16 and had her sights set on a career in journalism. However, after looking through the programs, she realised that being behind the camera was more her forte than being in front of it. This led her down the path of telecommunications, which eventually led her to network.

After graduating as a telecommunications engineer, Andrea landed her first job as a junior network engineer at the same company where her father worked. The job was so interesting to her that she started preparing for her CCNA. After passing the exam, she decided to pursue a master’s degree in telecommunications and networking in the United States.

After completing her degree, Andrea found a job at a multinational telecommunications company as an analyst. She worked her way up the ranks and became a project manager, staying with the company for six years. However, Andrea felt that she needed a new challenge, and there was no more room for growth at her current company. A friend informed her about a position as a security consultant, which she applied for and got. The security field was a new challenge for Andrea, and it allowed her to learn new things every day.

Certs or Degree?

When it comes to the debate of certifications versus degrees, Andrea Caldera has a unique perspective. She believes that both have their place in the tech industry, but for her, certifications were more instrumental in advancing her career.

However, Andrea encourages everyone to pursue a degree. She believes that having a degree provides you with a broader perspective and a well-rounded education. A degree program teaches you critical thinking, problem-solving, and leadership skills, which are essential in any industry, not just tech.

Being a woman in tech…

As a woman in the tech industry, Andrea Caldera recognises the importance of encouraging more women to enter the field. In her current role, there is a 50/50 split between men and women, with even more women in leadership positions. This increase in women in the tech industry, especially in leadership roles, is essential for inspiring and encouraging younger women to pursue careers in tech.

One of the primary reasons why it is important to encourage more women to enter the tech industry is the diversity of perspectives and problem-solving skills they bring. Women bring a different set of experiences and ways of thinking that can lead to more effective problem-solving and innovation. Without women’s voices, the tech industry risks being one-dimensional, failing to address the needs of half the population.

Andrea understands the importance of inspiring the next generation of women in tech, which is why she does a lot of workshops at high schools and universities. She recognises that seeing successful women in leadership positions is crucial to encouraging more young women to pursue tech careers. Andrea’s own director is a female, which further motivates her to encourage more women to enter the tech industry.

To hear the full episode, tune in on the 09/03/2023!