Tempo Timesheets Product Manager: There’s never a dull moment and I face new challenges every day

This is part of a new initiative featuring the women of Tempo, where we tell their stories and learn more about the paths that have led them to where they are now, and to see what they think about the future of tech — and for women in tech, generally.

I don’t think women need different skills than men. Women often have different strengths than men that are actually very useful when working in technology. The most important skills for both men and women to have are communications skills, i.e. to be able to work with other people, and to be a team player.

Next on our list of women of Tempo is Kristín Hreinsdóttir, a true veteran in the software development community in Iceland. Today, Kristín works as a Product manager for the Tempo Timesheets team. When Kristín is not climbing the highest hills of Iceland, working out, or spending time with her family, you’ll find her leading the Tempo Timesheets team in their development processes at our Tempo headquarters here in Reykjavík, Iceland.

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Kristín was one of the first team members to join the Tempo team in 2008 and with a B.Sc. degree in Computer Science and almost 20 years of experience in software development, it’s fair to say that she’s been an integral part of the successful growth that Tempo has experienced in recent years. Lets take a closer look at Kristín and learn what she’s all about.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself? 

My name is Kristín Hreinsdóttir and I’m 38 years old. I’ve got a significant other and 3 kids aged 12, 9 and 7. My job title at Tempo is Product Manager for Tempo Timesheets.

Previous experience and how you ended up at Tempo?

I got my B.Sc. degree in Computer Science from the University of Iceland in 1999 and started working for TM Software (at that time named TölvuMyndir) in 1998. Worked as a programmer within TM Software for different projects until I joined the Tempo project in 2008. At the time Tempo only had 1 full time programmer and 1 part time. I joined to replace the full time programmer since he was leaving the company to focus on his studies.

What are your interests and what do you do for fun?

I really like hiking and climbing and working out, lifting weights. Working out makes me fit and helps to clear a mind that would else be thinking about work 24/7.

I also like reading books, meeting my friends, travelling, planting trees and watching them grow.

Gliffy og Kristín á Eyjafjallajökli.

Kristín on top of the renowned Eyjafjallajökull which erupted in 2010, causing disruption to air travel across Europe

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Kristín hiking Miðfellstindur in Iceland

What did you want to be when you were younger?

A teacher, farmer, and actress.

What was your first job?

Pulling weeds and planting trees for the city of Reykjavík.

Why did you want to work in tech? Was there a particular event or a moment when you decided to pursue a career in the tech industry? Any influencers?

I took a class in high school that involved creating the first web page for the school. That was very interesting and fun. So I signed up for computer science knowing nothing about programming whatsoever. I remember being scared when I saw all those stereotypical nerds in the classroom and instantly feeling I was in the wrong place — what was I thinking signing up for this? The gender ratio was 90/10. When I graduated 3 years later, the gender ratio was closer to 60/40. Go girls!

What were your earliest interactions (memories) with technology?

My earliest memories are from a Binatone TV Master computer at my grandparents. I remember fun and special moments playing Pong on that computer.

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What is your favorite part about working in IT?

The diversity and challenges – the world keeps changing and you have to stay on top of things.

What is an average work day like for you?

I can’t really say I have an average work day. I usually come to work somewhere between 8:30 and 9. Enjoy the first coffee of the day scanning through email and the schedule for the day.  As a product owner, I spend a lot of time refining the team backlog.  We get a lot of feedback and feature requests from our customers, and I go over the feedback, talk to customers, designers and other stakeholders and figure out which features the Timesheets team will work on for the next few sprints.

What is your favorite thing about your career?

New challenges every day. Never a dull moment. You wake up thinking you know how the plan looks like but then you end up being busy with something totally different.

Being so close to the customers and providing them with a tool that they use everyday is so rewarding you wake up each day excited about your work and what you are planning next for the product.  Getting good feedback from customers makes my day.

Overall, how do you think things are for women working in tech right now?

My feeling is things are quite good. Things have changed a lot since I started my career.  

What has been your biggest challenge as a woman in tech?

It’s called self-confidence and overcoming obstacles I’ve created in my mind :)

What is your biggest success up until now, career-wise?

Being part of Tempos success.

Aside from technical skills, what other skills do you feel are important to have if a woman is interested in working in technology?

I don’t think women need different skills than men. Women often have different strengths than men that are actually very useful when working in technology. The most important skills for both men and women to have are communications skills, i.e. to be able to work with other people, and to be a team player.

What advice would you give to others interested in pursuing a career in tech?

Just give it a go :) If you don’t like it…do something else. Life is short — do something you like.

How do you see the future of women in tech?

Bright.

Who is your hero?

The real Jack Reacher —  from the book.

University or life experience, which do you feel best prepares you for life?

Life experience.

Where’s Waldo?

Lost in translation.

The best part of waking up is?

Coffee.

 

We thank Kristín (twitter: @zstinah) sincerely for her time. Stay tuned for more!

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Bjarki
Bjarki is the product marketing manager for Tempo Planner and Iceland's number one pineapple enthusiast. He loves playing soccer, training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and listening to old school 70's funk.

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