For Luanna, Thoughtworks has been more than an organization to start her technology career as an apprentice. For her, it's become a home: a vibrant community that embraces her for who she is and a company that has given her unique ways to grow in ways she never imagined.
What's your name? Luanna Mirelly
What are you based? Recife, Brazil
When did you join Thoughtworks? 2016
What first sparked your curiosity for technology?
I was born when the internet was really starting to take off. With each passing year, technology evolved more and more quickly, and I began to develop an interest in where and how humans could impact society through tech.
So what initially brought you to Thoughtworks? What was your first role here?
Aside from Thoughtworks being known in the areas of technology and software consulting, what really caught my attention was the culture. Whenever people talked about Thoughtworks, they mentioned inclusion and diversity, which made me more interested in working there.
When I first joined, I was developing the TechOps role while learning about programming and developing applications for internal office needs. At the time, we were exploring which areas would best support the office in dealing with equipment and user support in general. I was learning new features and tools while creating connections with other groups within Thoughtworks.
What is the most memorable experience you've had while working at Thoughtworks?
I’ve had a lot of wonderful experiences here, but one moment that really stands out was becoming product owner for our Latin America workspaces. It was a moment where I was able to look back and realize how much I had evolved during my almost three years with the company. Another memorable experience was participating in one of our ‘Away Days’ in India. It was a great opportunity to learn another culture, see familiar faces, and meet new people while exchanging cultural experiences. It was really incredible.
How have you grown as a technologist in your time here? As a human?
As a technologist, Thoughtworks has shown me that we can be whoever or whatever we want to be; that it doesn't matter from where you come from, who you like, or where you went to school. If we support each other, we can do anything. As a human, it has shown me my privilege and helped me realize how I can help support others in their journeys.
How have you experienced inclusivity at Thoughtworks?
When I first joined, I thought Thoughtworks would be a place where I could truly be myself. Joining Thoughtworks and having interactions with people from other cultures was essential to expanding my knowledge of inclusion. I was able to get to know people from many different communities and truly discover myself as an LGBTQIA+ person. It has been a very important part of my life.
Have you been involved in any social change projects you'd like to talk about?
Yes, when I was an apprentice, Thoughtworks was supporting the largest at-need community in Recife. We had a lot of equipment inside the office that was broken or no longer being used, so we decided to repair and repurpose it. We wanted to create a space for community members who didn’t have access to technology to come do research, activities, or learn more about computing. It’s amazing to know that members of the community now have access to all of these things!
What was the most interesting or challenging thing you have worked on during your time here?
The first big challenge was my transition from young apprentice to a member of the Latin America workspaces team. It was my first job and I didn't know how to deal with the new challenges that came every day; sometimes I was nervous and sometimes I made mistakes, but the most important part was the support that my teammates at Thoughtworks gave to me. They showed me that through support and collaboration, we can learn and do anything. This only reinforced a feeling that I already had of supporting journeys and sharing experiences so that others may evolve. We don't do anything alone: we need each other, always.
So what’s next for you? Where do you want to be a year from now?
Since I recently became a product owner, my goal for next year is to develop in the role and improve my skills further. Many people are already supporting me intensely in this goal and I would also like to be able to help develop the team and other people's journeys at Thoughtworks.
Disclaimer: The statements and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Thoughtworks.