Laura Tlepina: Everything starts with intention
Founder of Target Information Security, information security auditor. IT work experience: 15 years
BACKGROUND: how did you get into IT?
I am a materialist and I made the decision that I would become a programmer as soon as I saw the salary of programmers in the newspaper in the “Vacancies” section. But all my life I hated mathematics, and at the Faculty of Mechanics and Mathematics 15 disciplines were taught, one way or another related to mathematics. The teachers were Soviet-style, but my interest in IT turned out to be stronger. In 2008 I graduated from the university, in 2012 I became a master of technical sciences.
For 3 years I taught programming to students at the construction college in Almaty. Then she went to work as a programmer in a bank. I liked working in the bank because there was a constant spirit of competition in the department, we were always in good shape there, because we wanted to show how smart we were.
In 2019, I created Target Information Security because I already had experience in supporting a project from an idea to high-quality and timely implementation and was ready to become a leader.
What achievement are you most proud of?
I am proud of my projects that my team and I did for the Chamber of Export Organizations, the Accounts Committee. Our job is to help companies pass the information security tests of the state technical service of the National Security Committee.
I am proud that I have never betrayed my principles. I am a believer, and religion helps me in my work.
How do you rate IT in Kazakhstan?
Kazakhstan, in comparison with some developed countries, has more achievements and developments that make life easier for people. But there is not enough information about IT, especially in the Kazakh language. For example, I am an IT person, but I recently learned about the free Alem programming school.
About girls in IT
There are many girls in IT, but few people know about them. For example, one of my friends worked as a radio technologist, got married and had a baby. She did not want to return to the field of radio telecommunications, so she chose a profession that allowed her to work from home. She graduated from the Alem programming school and now works as a junior programmer in a Swedish IT company. She is an example for all those who do not dare to come to IT.
Many people still think that IT is difficult, that this area is exclusively for men. Functional duties and workloads are the same with men. Discrimination is expressed only in the amount of wages: there is still such a stereotype that girls get less, because men are the “breadwinners of the family”, they need to be paid more.
In May 2022, we plan to hold an event dedicated to girls in IT. Now I want to do more volunteering and mentoring, I want to be useful and help people find themselves in IT. I would like to dispel the myth that IT is only about code. I want to prove that every person can find himself in this area.
The hardest part of the job
Dependence on bureaucratic obligations. It is very difficult to achieve results when the success of your work depends not only on you, but also on the work of specialized state bodies.
In any field, it is important to appreciate specialists, in IT this is especially true: programmers are now easily lured away by high salaries. There are very few information security specialists in Kazakhstan, so financial motivation in terms of personnel is extremely important.
The most enjoyable part of the job
Fulfillment of assigned obligations and justification of expectations and trust of customers. Their gratitude, which I receive at the end of the work, is worth all the effort.
Advice to anyone who is afraid to start
Imagine that you have a year left to live. Ask yourself: “How do I want to use this year?”. If you are honest enough with yourself, then your brain will give you bold decisions and ideas. And the courage that arises will attract opportunities from all sides.
Become the first female minister of digital development of the Republic of Kazakhstan and tell the world about the cool IT solutions of Kazakhstanis!