Career Paths for Women in Tech: When To Start Your Own Business
Interview with Sarah Berger, Founder of Die Biberei
Sarah Berger has a background in computer science and has spent her career working in IT, security consultancy and developing digital products for companies such as Mercedes Benz. After a successful career path in tech, she realized it was time to start a company of her own to tackle the challenges her clients had been facing.
Starting her own tech company
Together with her husband, she founded “Die Biberei” in January 2021. They offer software development and digital consultancy, helping clients develop digital products such as web applications or smartphone apps.
Experience from a career path in tech
What makes them stand out from the competition is their focus on minimalism and efficiency.“We try to develop software with a minimum amount of programming.”, Sarah explains. “This might sound counterintuitive, but actually, that way we help our clients find a way to develop software faster and with less effort.”
The German word “Die Biberei” can be translated to “The Beavery”.
Living close to the country, Sarah had the chance to watch beavers in their natural environment. This is where she discovered something about their nature that ultimately inspired her to name her company after these industrious animals.
“To me, the beaver stands for changes in a landscape. However, they always make changes in a sustainable way. They don’t destroy the landscape. This is exactly what we want to do. Change the landscape of software development, and also the mindset around it. I want to empower my clients with software skills so that in the long run they can do it themselves.”
From her own work experience, she knows that even as companies are getting more digital, often the effort to develop things is just too high. In her last job, she was never at a loss for new ideas but often found herself lacking the resources to get new products on the market or in some cases to do sufficient test runs.
We talked to Sarah as part of our interview series “Women in Business Stories” which can be found in full on our HHL Youtube Channel. In this interview, we talk about her career path as a woman in tech and why she believes skills in software development are crucial for the jobs of the future.
Watch the full interview with Sarah
Women in Business: Career path in tech
[00:47] You recently launched your own business “Die Biberei”. Tell us about your business and offer!
[02:52] Have you always wanted to start your own business? And what brought about the switch from corporate to entrepreneur?
[07:22] You are particularly passionate about empowering women in tech? Why is that so important to you?
[10:44] What does “Biberei” stand for?
[13:19] What advice would you like to pass on to graduates and young professionals?
[17:57] What helped you listen to your heart and not be side-tracked by other people’s wishes?
What advice do you have for women in business?
#1 Don’t take yourself too seriously.
Don’t be afraid of making mistakes, because you will make them anyway. Don’t worry about being perfect. This will limit you. You put so much energy in being someone else. Instead, take that energy and put it into real projects.
#2 Give yourself more freedom and space to do what you want to do. If you want to launch a podcast or a company, go do it. Of course, this is easy said than done. But often we are too afraid of doing something because we are fearing our “worst-case scenario” in our head.
I challenge you to really visualize that worst-case scenario. What would happen if everything would go wrong? Write it down. But don’t stop there. Now think of 3 to 5 ways you could get out of that worst-case situation. Chances are you can move back out. This exercise can help to demystify the fears we have in our head.
#3 Don’t try to make everyone happy. No matter what you do you will never make everyone happy. So skip that step and just move right into doing what you really want to do.
Don’t worry about being perfect. This will limit you. You put so much energy into being someone else. Instead, take that energy and put it into real projects.
How do you achieve that mindset?
The one thing that helped me was to take some time off and reflect on what I wanted. That way I started to prioritize what was important to me. I also wrote my goals down. And asked myself the hard questions: “Are you currently achieving this? And if not, what needs to change?”.
Other things that helped me were:
- listening to podcasts
- reading a lot
- learning from others
I can only encourage everyone: “Start your journey right away. Sometimes you need to start before you are ready.”
Meet the Women@HHL
Hi, I'm Petra. With my background as an engineer and my many years of experience at HHL, I am your subject matter expert for all inquiries on our study programs and gladly advise you about the different opportunities. I look forward to talking to you about your educational journey.