In this series, we talk with some of the passionate, high-performance team members who are co-creating the Energy Transition Platform: the leading global marketplace for Distributed Energy Systems (DES).
Balay Aydemir is a Frontend Engineer creating our marketplace platform. She spoke with us previously on overcoming the challenges women face in the tech industry.
Meet Balay Aydemir
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am originally from Turkey—was born and raised there until I was six years old when my family immigrated to the United States. The rest of my childhood, schooling, and college years were spent in Orlando, FL. My parents had a significant impact on my life from a very young age—I saw them leave behind everything they knew and loved in order to ensure a brighter future for me. To this day I am still extremely thankful for them and I plan to give back to them as much as I can.
Growing up I was an avid horseback rider. I spent pretty much all of my time at the barn and created some of my best memories there as well. I still ride from time to time now but my main hobbies currently are lifting weights and cooking. Fun facts: I am fluent in 2 languages: English and Turkish. My husband and I have the same birthday (same day, same year) AND we are both Turkish.
What a cool coincidence!
How did you get into this field?
I took a somewhat non-traditional route into tech. After majoring in hospitality management in college, I spent one year in the corporate event management industry then another four years in recruitment. While I was working in recruitment I had the chance to recruit for technical positions—this is what introduced me to the world of software development. I was intrigued but I didn’t make the career change right away. It took a lot of thought and consideration, but eventually I decided that I needed to attend a software development boot camp in order to break into this industry. I enrolled in an immersive 6-month engineering program and was able to land an unpaid internship upon graduation. During that internship I was still on the job search and was able to get connected with VECKTA, and the rest is history!
What motivates me the most is knowing that the work I do has a legitimate impact on the quality and direction of our product. I have something of a chip on my shoulder because of my “non traditional” background, but I view this as a strength because it gives me a unique perspective on things and also is a huge motivator for me to be successful.
What are you currently working on at VECKTA?
Given that we are such an early stage startup, I feel that I am really getting the opportunity to work on some of everything. This gives me a chance to not only identify the trajectory in which I want to take my career, but also gives me the opportunity to make a significant difference in the overall success of the team, company, and product.
What are the most important skills to have as a developer?
I believe that the most important attributes to have in this field are curiosity and tenacity. Curiosity refers to the innate need to understand things and a hunger for knowledge. Tenacity refers to the qualities of determination and resolve. Couple these two together and you have someone who will be able to tackle any problem they are faced with. It’s not always about what you immediately know but it is about what you are willing to do to find out.
What advice would you give to someone pursuing a career like yours?
One word: try. If I had not been willing to try I wouldn’t be where I am today—and believe me, I could have come up with a million reasons why I shouldn’t try.
What is the biggest challenge this industry is facing, and how is VECKTA overcoming it?
Currently there is no real end-to-end solution that can facilitate the design, financing, procurement, and deployment of DES solutions. These steps are all disjointed and handled by a multitude of different stakeholders. This laborious process needs to be simplified. That is the problem that VECKTA is solving. We are paving the way for a distributed energy future by providing a platform that will make this process seamless.
Which VECKTA value resonates most strongly with you and how do you live that out?
Challenge limits! I am constantly challenging my limits—we can take my radical career change as an example of this. I want to show the younger generation of women that there is no specific “formula” for success in this industry—you don’t need to fit the traditional profile to excel. As long as you are willing to try, anything is possible.
A great outlook to have, especially for someone on the cutting edge of the Energy Transition. Thanks, Balay!
We’re excited to have Balay developing the world’s leading marketplace for complete microgrids and other Distributed Energy Systems! If you want to work with Balay and the rest of our team of innovators co-creating a more sustainable and profitable energy future, check out our current career opportunities.