Sibel Yasar

Last name, first name: Yasar, Sibel
Nationality: German
City, Country: Hamburg, Germany
Course of study, degree: IT Engineering
Graduation year: 2008
Employer, position: DESY German Electron Synchrotron, Research Associate

Ms. Yasar, what was your motivation for choosing the TUHH and this subject?
I lived in Harburg with my parents and three younger siblings. Even when I was at school, I realized that I enjoyed science and that I was good at it. One day I saw a notice for the student computer days at the TU Hamburg and signed up for it. During the summer holidays I then created HTML websites with a TU professor. I enjoyed it so much that I asked the student advisory service afterwards and I liked the fact that after studying computer science I was so broadly positioned that I would be able to work in all sectors. I don't come from an academic family and was the first in the family to study. In addition, the proportion of women was very manageable, but we women all made it.

Was there an unforgettable experience or special memories during your time at the TUHH?
I remember when I passed my first exam: there was a lot of pressure and excitement, I kept hearing that someone had failed and I thought if I didn't pass this exam then I'd quit. But when I passed it, I was motivated to keep going and see it through.

What happened after your studies and what are you doing now?
After that, I was initially in the orientation phase, because during my studies I didn't have any time to think about my future. And then I applied in the traditional way for open positions. At the TU Hamburg I attended a seminar at the Women Competence Center to prepare for the application and then went to the interview at DESY. I was so self-confident after this seminar and clearly formulated my goals, wishes and conditions. And that's how I came to DESY. I initially worked for seven years on the co-development and maintenance of the database for the European XFEL accelerator in Hamburg. After the XFELS went live, I changed departments and acted as the link between the Scientific Computing group and the European Grid Infrastructure (EGI) from 2016-2019. (EGI is an international association that provides solutions for advanced data processing and data analysis in research and innovation.) I have organized workshops worldwide for the scientific dCache Datacloud (developed in 2001 at DESY). I am currently working in technical support for some Atlassian tools. Atlassian is a software provider of software solutions for software developers and management tools. In addition, I was regularly actively involved in the advancement of women and supported severely disabled and equal colleagues as a confidante.

What do you use from your studies for your job?
I was well prepared for my job, both professionally and organizationally, for example in terms of time management, self-discipline and self-organization. That helped me a lot and pushed me forward. English was also important, otherwise I wouldn't have gotten the job. A little more practical relevance would have been good.

What's the greatest thing about your job?
There is a kind of DESY spirit. It's a very collegial atmosphere and I feel part of a community here. There are many aid campaigns, for example on the occasion of the refugee crisis or other things, and the board of directors is also aware that there are other things that we have to take care of in addition to research and work, and I think that's really good. It's difficult to leave once you're here because there's a really great atmosphere here.

What advice would you give to young women starting their careers?
Keep going! Always believe in dreams and goals, don't be deterred and still go your own way. Have the courage, otherwise you'll regret not having tried it later. And failure is part of it. At the beginning of my studies, I was laughed at by two fellow students because I had registered at the TU to study computer science. A woman studying computer engineering? In the third semester I met the two again. Both had dropped out of college and I was still there. This showed me that I should always listen to myself and not to others.

I would like to trade a day with...
... a superheroine who brings child protection worldwide to a satisfactory level in just 24 hours and there is no longer any need for action in this regard.

What would you ask an omniscient researcher from the future?
How long we can still use our resources on earth.

If you were President of the TUHH...
... if I were President of the TUHH, I would allocate a certain part of the budget to promoting women, for example in the form of exchange programs. Overall, I would try to make engineering more attractive for women and especially give women from third world countries the opportunity to study at the TU.