Nada Overbeeke is a tech reviewer: “I actually studied to be a dentist”
Many women that end up in tech did not study tech. Often they just start doing tech after finding out about it in other jobs. Nada Overbeeke takes that to the next level: she actually studied to be a dentist but for years she has been reviewing gadgets and other tech.
What is it exactly you do at Techtesters?
Techtesters is all about tech reviews, videos and guides. I mostly focus on everything for our videos from start to finish, so that means testing products, writing scripts, presenting the content, shooting the b-roll and editing / producing the video. I do most of the product photography as well.
Since Techtesters is mostly me and my husband working together and we don’t have any employees, I do end up doing a lot of different little tasks as well. Community interaction, events, and unfortunately sometimes some boring paperwork stuff too.
When did you know you wanted to be working in IT?
I actually studied to be a dentist and never really planned to work in IT at all! I was always a geek though. My father was into tech and I always had a PC at home – from my very first Commodore 64, trough the 286, 386, 486, pentiums and up to the 9th generation intel processors I currently use. I pretty much grew up with them. Gosh, I remember playing games on an old 386 laptop at night hiding under the covers so my parents wouldn’t know. I also loved building, upgrading and fixing my PC’s, but I guess initially, for some reason, I wanted to be a dentist.
Techtesters wasn’t really something I planned on, it just sort of happened one day when we made a couple of reviews for fun and found out people really liked the content we were making. I guess if you get a chance to do what you really love you just take it, even if you planned on something completely different.
Are there many women working in your team?
Well our ‘team’ mostly consists of me and my husband. We do work with a few freelancers but so far they have all been guys. I do have quite a few girl friends that really love phones, gadgets, gaming and so on, but with Techtesters we mostly focus on PC hardware and I think that’s where our tech love gets a bit too hard core for most. It just seems really hard to find many women that are really into pc building and also want to pursue it as a career.
I just checked our YouTube analytics and it shows a 98% male audience. I guess I have to try harder to convince more girls that PC’s are pretty awesome, which they are, just sayin’.
What gadget you tested did you totally fall in love with and which one was the biggest disappointment?
Tough question! Being able to test literally hundreds of products each year makes you pretty hard to impress I guess, and it’s also really easy to love a 3000 euro notebook so I won’t count those really high-end products.
I did end up really loving a few products (with reasonable prices) way more than I expected though. The Asus Zenfone 6 for example, even with the Samsung Galaxy S10+ next to it. It’s really fast, the battery life is great, but I mostly like it for its great selfie cam and portrait mode.
I also really fell in love with the Fitbit Versa Lite smartwatch, which is really cheap but does everything I want from a smartwatch. It lasts most of the week on one battery charge and the design is pretty sleek. Oh, and you can’t separate me from my Amazon Kindle Oasis e-reader!
Real disappointments? As a reviewer you always try to start with products without bias or expectations, and it’s hard to be disappointed if you weren’t expecting something to be amazing from the start. There’ve been a lot of products I personally didn’t really like or care for, but truly bad products are pretty rare these days.
What do you like most about your job?
Making something that I’m really proud of, and then seeing a lot of people being genuinely happy and appreciative of it. Whether they learned something new or I helped them with finding the right product that makes them happy is very rewarding.
For me it’s also a bit different because my husband and I do this completely together, so we have the luxury of doing something that we love, together, every day of the week. It’s a bit cheesy, but it is a really strong motivator and it makes it feel less like a job.
And what is the most tricky part?
Finding time to sleep is without a doubt the hardest thing. The problem with doing what you love is that it’s really hard to take a break sometimes. There is always more that you can do, more content to make, more brand new products to test, etcetera. I know taking breaks is really important, but knowing that doesn’t make it easy to actually take one.
As for the job itself, I think most things just aren’t that hard if you love what you do and are motivated and dedicated to do it.
Was it difficult for you to be taken seriously and to follow your dreams?
Not really. It is sometimes really difficult in terms of the amount of time and effort you have to put in creating videos. I’ve heard a lot of people say they want to make videos (or any kind of serious review) and quit as soon they find out it’s actually a lot of work. But I don’t think it’s difficult to be taken seriously if you are serious about it yourself. In some ways it might even be easier for a woman than for a guy, considering how many guys are already out there talking about tech.
Of course, as any woman on YouTube will tell you, you will get some crappy comments here and there. It is sometimes surprising to see that some people still cannot accept that tech isn’t a guy exclusive thing. But honestly, I just laugh at those incidental comments.
One thing someone commented recently comes to mind: “Wow you seem to really know about tech despite being a woman”. I guess that was meant to be a compliment, but it also a sign that a lot of guys are still really living in the past somewhere. But who knows, maybe we can change their minds over time. But honestly, the vast majority of feedback I get for being a tech-girl is overwhelmingly positive.
What advice would you give a girl that wants to be in IT?
First, I’d say you should, because IT / Tech is great and it clearly needs more women. Second, if you want to go the creator route, don’t forget to take a break sometimes.
Third, working in IT does mean you’ll be working with guys mostly, and from my experience I think the best tip I can give is to really make it very clear what it is you want and what you are thinking. Mixed teams work really well, but guys usually just aren’t that great at figuring out what you want (duh). Best thing is to speak clearly, and make sure you don’t ask two difficult questions at once as they might break.