From software engineering to inspiring the next generation of women in tech — meet Ave Tarend

December 20, 2021

Life at Bolt

Ave Tarend is a Software Engineer in the Commerce Team at Bolt. She’s also passionate about inspiring women and girls in IT, is married with three children, and has won Mrs Estonia 2021! 

How did she get started in IT? What does she think about the role of women in tech? And how does she balance family and work responsibilities?

Let’s hear Ave’s story!

Getting started in IT

Ave’s introduction to IT came after graduating from high school. As a strong mathematics student, she applied to the Informatics programme at Tallinn University of Technology on a bit of a whim — and without knowing much about what the course might involve. 

At first, the course was challenging — so much so that Ave wanted to leave after the first year. But she persisted and went on to graduate with a masters degree in Informatics (cum laude). 

“I stayed and soon found that I had chosen the best study programme ever! I cannot even imagine myself working in a different field today,” she says.

Following university, Ave worked in various roles (Software Engineer, QA Engineer, Java Developer) at companies including Microsoft, Skype, and Swedbank, before joining Bolt over 2 years ago. 

Promoting women in tech

Ave has led workshops, talked at Tech Sisters events, and worked with Tallinn University of  Technology — all to get women excited about technology. 

“There shouldn’t still be stereotypes surrounding women and IT. Jobs in the IT field require an engineer-like mindset, logical and analytical thinking, and a passion to learn. The IT field needs more women and more diverse groups of people. 

Diverse teams have different viewpoints and energy, which then translates into greater innovation and better results,” she says.

Ave believes that it starts with school — where it should be mandatory for all children to learn basic programming and robotics. 

And here are Ave’s top 5 tips for those women thinking about a tech career:

  • Start with something, and new doors will open up for you. Don’t waste your time, or time will waste you!
  • Get out of your comfort zone, because this is where success happens.
  • Be crazy with your ideas. The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.
  • Find opportunities, not excuses.
  • But remember that in between goals is a thing called life that has to be lived and enjoyed!

A day in the life at Bolt

The Commerce Team deals with how customers pay for Bolt services and how partners (drivers, couriers, and restaurants) get paid. This includes supporting different payment methods, managing partner balances and payouts, invoicing, fiscalization, and risk management. 

“We make sure that millions of our customers across the world can pay for Bolt services conveniently and safely,” she says.

As a Software Engineer, Ave is responsible for fiscalization functionality and ensuring that the company complies with different tax frameworks across countries. 

And talking of different countries, the Commerce Team features colleagues from Colombia, Panama, Belarus, Mexico, Pakistan, India, Russia, Ukraine, Ecuador, North Macedonia and Uzbekistan to name a few!

A typical workday mainly consists of programming and dealing with any issues that occur in the live environment. 

There are also planning, grooming, and retrospective meetings, as well as regular daily meetings. In the Commerce Team, engineers, product owners, and operations work as one — sharing responsibilities and making decisions together.

A green, growth mindset

For Ave, the main benefits of working at Bolt are getting to code with TypeScript and Node.js, Bolt’s green mindset (reducing CO₂ emissions and finding greener ways to move around our cities), and personal growth opportunities. 

And more generally, it’s the growth mindset and rate of expansion that Ave sees as the key differentiator between Bolt and other technology companies.

At Bolt, we’re focused on real-world impact by making urban mobility fast, safe, and sustainable — something Ave values at Bolt. 

“Our work affects how people move around every day. We’re changing people’s transportation habits, offering them alternative greener options for short, medium, and long journeys,” she says.

Balancing family and work

A colleague once told Ave that her superpower is the ability to juggle more tasks in a day than the average human being! After all, as well as responsibilities at Bolt, Ave and her husband have three children to look after.

Although she admits that it can be tricky, Ave and her husband manage to get everything done while finding time for other activities such as spa visits, city breaks, cycling, and spending time in nature. 

Working in the technology field also means that Ave can work flexibly when needed, which helps a lot!

“Coca Cola’s former CEO said that life is like a game in which we’re juggling five balls in the air — work, family, health, friends, and spirit. ‘Work’ is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls — family, health, friends and spirit — are made of glass. So we need to strive for balance in life.”

Ave’s hidden talents

When it comes to hobbies, Ave has recently started taking part in beauty pageants.

“Participating in pageants is so much fun as an engineer and mother of three. Contestants usually represent something that they’re improving in the world. In my case, this is to encourage, educate, and inspire women and girls in IT,” Ave says.

Ave is also an avid runner and dancer who’s been dancing Latin for more than 15 years. Her favourite dances include rumba, reggaeton, bachata and cha-cha-cha. And this stage experience from dancing was particularly useful when it came to beginning pageants. 

And if there are any extra minutes left in the day, you’ll find Ave finishing up a motivational or inspirational book. 

Accelerate your career with Bolt

Inspired by Ave’s story? Want to join a fast-growth company that has a direct impact on how people move globally? 

If, so we’d love to hear from you — see our open vacancies today!


Recent posts