Roxana Jula, Senior Mobile Developer and Director of Augmented Reality
It’s time to meet another member of our team! Meet Roxana, our Senior Mobile Developer and Director of Augmented Reality, who has been a part of Monstarlab for the last five years and plays a pivotal role in our Dubai office.
In this meet the team blog, we’re talking to Roxana about her journey at Monstarlab, her background, her commitment to women in tech, and what Augmented Reality trends will shape the future…
Your five-year work anniversary is coming up soon. Can you take us through your journey at Monstarlab?
Fresh out of my bachelor’s degree, I started looking for a job in mobile development. At that time, I lived in Aarhus, Denmark, and I learned about Nodes by doing a Google search “App udvikling Aarhus” which translates to “App development Aarhus” and that is how I found out about this company. I sent out an application and got a reply from both Steffen and Johnny, who were the Lead Developers and are both still working at Monstarlab now as CTO EMEA and VP of Technology, respectively. After my iOS development internship, I was offered a full-time position.
Throughout the following years, I was part of the development team of over 20 apps and grew my career to where I am now: Senior Mobile Engineer. Three years ago, I exchanged rain for sun when I relocated to the Dubai, UAE office to assist in bringing the company culture into the newly opened office.
In parallel with my day-to-day mobile development career, I grew my expertise in the augmented reality field by doing experiments, writing articles, and speaking at high-profile international conferences. This year I was appointed as Director of Augmented Reality to position Monstarlab as a go-to digital partner for AR experiences.
Looking back at my career path, from iOS Intern to Director of Augmented Reality, I am grateful for the support I have received over the years and look forward to what comes next.
What is your educational background?
From a young age, I was fascinated by technology. When I was 13 years old, I wrote my first computer algorithm, and I immediately fell in love with programming. I went on to follow an Intensive Computer Science and Math high school track and participate in several local and national programming competitions and olympiads.
I moved to Denmark when I turned 18 to pursue a higher education, where I got my double bachelor’s degree in Software and Web Development. My studies helped me build a good programming foundation, but as you might know already, in this field, learning never stops. So I continue to educate myself on new technologies and best practices on a regular basis.
How would you describe Monstarlab’s work environment?
Working for the same company for so many years is a good confirmation that the work environment is excellent. I have a great relationship with my colleagues, and coming to the office is always a pleasure. We have three different coffee machines in our office to make sure everybody’s happy, which says a lot!
Where do you think Augmented Reality is heading, and what trends do you think we will see in 2022?
The global pandemic has definitely boosted digital transformation and augmented reality was brought back into focus alongside other emerging technologies like blockchain, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, etc.
We can see a lot of movement in terms of AR hardware, with many companies investing into and developing AR headsets. It will still take some time to become mainstream, but I am very excited that we will soon see many of those devices in the hands of consumers.
As a mobile developer, I am also looking forward to seeing the advances of ARKit and ARCore this year. Due to the high number of AR-capable smartphones available already, mobile augmented reality still has the greatest advantage for consumer experiences.
Wi-Fi 6, the next generation of Wi-Fi, will be huge for the AR industry. The content needed for AR experiences can take a lot of space, so having faster and better connectivity can unlock new opportunities in this field.
For the past four decades, the gender gap in tech has widened, with only one woman in 5 people working in the industry today. You’ve demonstrated your commitment to closing the gender gap and helping women embrace technology; what initiatives have you been involved in in the UAE?
As an advocate for more women to join the tech field, I try to get involved in as many initiatives as time allows me.
One that is close to my heart is the Women in Tech Dubai community that I am co-leading with four more amazing women. The group has over 800 members on Meetup and has hosted over 80 events in the past two and a half years.
I have also been part of #IamRemarkable, a Google initiative empowering women and other underrepresented groups to celebrate their achievements in the workplace and beyond. As an ambassador for the program, since I moved to UAE, I facilitated one session for the Women in Tech Dubai community and 1 for the weSTEM community from New York University Abu Dhabi.
Last year, as a celebration for International Women’s Day, I hosted a Women in Tech Panel with five women leaders in the region. We covered topics such as mentorship, hiring processes, importer syndrome, empathy in the workplace, and more.