Diana Todea pivoted from political philosophy to engineering. Here’s how she broke into tech.

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After completing a degree in political philosophy, Diana Todea pivoted to a role in IT customer service. While it seems like a big leap, it made sense for her. She comes from a family of engineers. 

“Asking questions is a part of who I am,” she says. “I’m an engineer at heart, I like seeing how things are constructed.”

Diana started her tech career in her home country of Romania after she graduated from a postgraduate program in philosophy — she is a published philosopher and poetess and also speaks five different languages. 

“They hired me because I spoke different languages,” she says. “I was really attracted to the technical side and wanted to get more involved in the technical projects.” 

Her first project was in telecom customer service on networking. She then moved on to contract projects in Bulgaria, Scotland, and Romania before ultimately settling in Spain. 

“One of my first projects in Bulgaria was a cloud computing project that really appealed to me,” Diana says. “I knew it would be big in the industry.”

She was on holiday in Barcelona when a friend mentioned a cloud engineer opening at a local company. Diana got the job and has lived in Spain ever since. 

Now, she’s a site reliability engineer (SRE) on the Observability - Platform team at Elastic®.

“I work on the team that tests what the observability team is creating,” Diana says. “We are the first customers to explore new features. We develop the user experience and try to think about customers.” 

Site reliability engineering is a mix of the technical side (DevOps) and keeping the infrastructure up and running, Diana says. 

Despite not having an IT diploma, Diana worked her way up from technical customer service to cloud computing roles, to her current role as a SRE by completing various certifications. 

“If you have an interest in tech you can get practice knowledge and start from zero,” she says.

She’s completed certifications for AWS Cloud Practitioner, AWS SysOps Administrator Associate, Microsoft Azure Administrator Associate, and Elastic Observability Engineer over the past four years. 

Recently, Diana started to share her knowledge through public speaking engagements. What began as internal talks at Elastic evolved into being asked to speak at a conference, she says.

“I like the chance to speak about tech issues not covered in my daily job,” she says. “I come from an academic background and like researching.” 

She presented at the SREday conference in London, UK last year and was accepted to present at three other DevOps conferences in 2024.

“I'm really excited to discover my voice in the tech community,” Diana says. “I saw so many women on stage at the conference and they felt like role models.” 

“I felt a big pull towards engineering. There weren’t many women in the industry 13 years ago, but I like the diversity from different countries and academic levels.” 

Diana’s advice to other women interested injoining the tech industry — and Elastic, specifically — is to have an objective to work towards. 

“Be motivated and inspired by specific tech that you can deep dive on,” she says. 

“Find your long term motivation and set your ideals and objectives. Make sure they align with Elastic’s values
and your personal values. There are a lot of opportunities at Elastic to switch between departments and technologies.” 


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