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Meet Nikoline from Cryptomathic

Nikoline Vinkel, 31 years old

Software Developer at Cryptomathic

Master's degree in Computer Science from Aarhus University, 2012


Already at the entrance to Cryptomathic on Jægergårdsgade in central Aarhus, it becomes evident that the security level is extremely high. Everything is hermetically sealed, and only guests with an appointment have access. Fortunately, Nikoline Vinkel lets us in to talk about her job and her education as a computer scientist.

Nikoline, originally from Grenaa, Denmark, graduated with a master's degree in computer science at the end of 2012 and has been working as a software developer at Cryptomathic since 2013. Nikoline works on developing advanced and secure software solutions for banks and international credit card bureaus. This is an area where Danish companies, including Cryptomathic, are at the forefront globally.

- Today, I am extremely privileged, and for me, the professional aspect has always been crucial. For example, today I finally solved a problem that we've been struggling with for a long time. I made something work after digging into the problem for a long time. I spent a lot of time testing all imaginable solutions, and today it succeeded. I had simply forgotten to write "+4" in one place.

Nikoline Vinkel believes that more women should be interested in computer science because "women make a big difference in the industry. We think differently, and I experience it, for example, when I'm standing in for my project manager here at Cryptomathic. It's clear that I'm good at creating an overview, I focus on the big picture, and I definitely think it would be good if more women succeed in entering the field. After all, we're half of the population, and it should also influence our profession and our industry."

Why Computer Science?

- I chose to study Computer Science to learn more and because of the high academic level and the very skilled people who are all passionate about their field. I didn't know anything about the subject before one day my mother, when I was finishing high school, told me that she had read that Google was in need of computer scientists. I thought that sounded interesting, and I already knew that I wanted to work in the scientific field and preferably something with mathematics. Later that same year, I did a school internship at the Department of Computer Science, and that's when I was truly convinced that it was right for me.

Nikoline considered applying to the music conservatory or studying mathematics, but she dropped both ideas when she realized they would lead to a job as a high school teacher, which she didn't want.

- I was the only woman in my class in computer science. After the first week, I was joined by a Thai woman, but she disappeared after a few weeks. I remember that in my class, we had a cheer that went: We are the geeks from DAT 1, and we have the girl, that's cool. There have been a few more women in the study program since then, which is good.

A knitting geek

Nikoline Vinkel sees herself as a geek.

- Yes, I'm a geek. I know things, I'm skilled, and I help create solutions that don't exist and that make a big difference. I also knit, which is also a bit geeky, and I'm part of a knitting club with four other computer scientists and one physicist. It's good to have some estrogen around occasionally, and so far, we've been knitting together for eight years. My boyfriend is also a geek. He's interested in music and has a great passion for music gear.

Nikoline is sure that she has always been passionate and focused. Her classmates in high school wrote in her graduation cap, "Nikoline becomes a computer nerd." And that wasn't entirely wrong.

- I've been involved in organizing IT Camp for Girls because it takes something special to engage women in IT. I want to emphasize that women perform just as well as men, some would even say better. The most positive thing about studying computer science is that after graduation, we have free choice in all industries. Lego, B&O, medicine, finance, windmills, all industries need computer scientists, and IT plays a crucial role in all companies today. Anything is possible. Everyone needs to use IT at a high level, and for me, it was important that I was absolutely sure to get an exciting job with good pay and good working conditions.

Nikoline highlights the great professional satisfaction of understanding a problem, getting into a process, and creating the necessary solution.

- It's amazing to be part of creating something that doesn't exist, she says with a broad smile.