Our Data Scientist: The thing I love most about IT is the creative part

Women of TempoRead in 5 minutes

This is part of our 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 like technology. It makes life easier, it’s very creative, and always improving.

It’s been too long since we checked up on our Women at Tempo. We are always adding new Tempo talent and the number of women at the office is constantly increasing. A recent addition to Tempo is Thorey Runarsdottir, our Data Scientist, who joined us a few months ago.

When she’s not analyzing complex Tempo data, you can most likely find her outside running, listening to podcasts, or munching on some Subway cookies and peanut butter M&M’s. Evidently not all at the same time. Let’s take a look at Thorey and get to know her a bit better.

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Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is Thorey Runarsdottir and I have the title Data Scientist, here at Tempo. I’m turning 30 years old this year and have been working at Tempo for about two months now.

Previous experience (study and career path) and how you ended up at Tempo?

I graduated with a B.A. in Economics from University of Iceland and with an M.Sc. in Computational Finance from Royal Holloway, University of London in 2015. I have worked at various and different places and always doing similar things; working with data and programming, which are the things I like to do.

I ended up at Tempo through a very nice and professional tech recruiter, so here I am and loving it.

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

I have a lot of interests. But the first thing that pops to mind is listening to various podcasts about people and research. My favourite one at the moment is Freakonomics.  I also love language learning, both in theory and in practice, and running is also at the top of the list.

Sometimes I do cross-stitching and knitting too. Not many people know that I attended one semester at a homemaking school in Iceland where I learned to cook, bake, sew, knit, crochet, and more. Lastly, I like to watch movies and television shows, especially to relax before I go to bed.

What did you want to be when you were younger?

Since I was a teenager, I’ve had many different ideas and desires about my future career. At first I wanted to become a singer and a songwriter and still have a few of the lyrics I wrote during that time. Then the dream of becoming a veterinarian took over as I love animals and had a dog and rabbits for many years. That dream was killed by grown ups describing what the job actually entailed. At 14, I discovered programming but at that point I didn’t realise that people actually had a career in that field. Now I know.

What was your first job?

Paper delivery girl

Why did you want to work in tech?

I like technology. It makes life easier, it’s very creative, and always improving.

Was there a particular event or a moment when you decided to pursue a career in the tech industry?

I think I rediscovered programming at university when I did my degree in Business Administration, and later on switched to Economics. My interests during the program were between computers and numbers and then I knew that my career would probably end in that field.

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Any influencers?

Probably just people who work in the tech field that have given me good advice throughout my journey in IT.

What were your earliest interactions (memories) with technology?

My earliest memory with “modern” technology (excluding VCRs and TVs) is when my parents bought an old computer from my dad’s coworker. It had Windows on it and you had to write “win” in the console to start it. Before that, my mother had a desktop computer where you could write text documents and it had no mouse.

What is your favorite part about working in IT?

The thing I love most about IT is the creative part.

What is an average workday like for you?

Nothing is average for a data scientist.

What is your favorite thing about your career?

I feel that tech workplaces are more human than other ones and more emphasis is put on productivity and making sure that employees are happy at their job. That’s probably because the demand for qualified people surpasses the supply so most employers can’t get away with the “this is just how it has always been” mentality and other fallacies.

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

It differs, depending on the workplace and country. I have both worked at places where I felt a difference between men and women, and in places where people were more aware about their own thinking.

My biggest challenge as a woman in tech is maybe the fact that, on occasions, I have had difficulties convincing people I actually can program or disassemble my computer. 

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

None beyond the skills that would also be required elsewhere.

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

Just do it.

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

University life is a subset of life experience, so life experience ranks university life.

The best part of waking up is?

Being alive for another day.

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Thank you Thorey, for allowing us to take a look into your life in tech. Stay tuned for more from inspiring stories from the women of Tempo!

Read more in our Women of Tempo series here.

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