Three Colombian women connected through low code.

Three women, three successful careers, one low-code platform. We sat down with Colombian entrepreneurs, Jacqueline Botero, Elsa Victoria Aristiz Bal, and Elisa Meir Hodges, to learn about their decades-long use of Claris FileMaker and their desire for more companies – and women, in particular – to jump in, be creative, and experience low-code development. Please keep reading and enjoy their stories.

Jacqueline Botero, former systems engineer at Branta Colombia

For the past 15 years, Jacqueline was a systems engineer, in charge of software development, managing a large team, and in the thrust of building rapid and innovative apps. That was then.

In 2021, she made the leap and started her own development company and with that comes a new title – CEO.

“FileMaker has been with me from the start of my career. It’s great low-code software that’s easy to use, yet robust and provides the power to support a range of applications,” shares Jacqueline.

An influencer in her own right, Jacqueline encourages individuals to consider a tech career, using FileMaker as a path to begin custom app development.

“The important thing to remember is you are not alone,” adds Jacqueline. “I’m regularly encouraging developers to be more social, to be part of a community, because that’s how we all learn and grow.”

Elsa Victoria Aristiz Bal, general manager at Microtron

Elsa, an entrepreneur at heart, has operated her own company for 33 years. While she estimates that half of the technology field in Colombia today is comprised of women, but at the start of her career, Elsa was one of the few.

Have you seen the movie Hidden Figures? Elsa can relate to one scene in particular.

“When I was studying to be an electrical engineer, there were six women in the entire program – with no women’s bathroom in sight, requiring us to walk to the Mechanical Engineering department for facilities. But that didn’t deter us. The women in my program were strong students, and we quickly earned the respect of everyone,” shares Elsa.

During a three-year stay in the US while her husband pursued a master’s degree, Elsa continued her studies with computer programming courses. Once back in Colombia, she started her own company in 1992, using a FileMaker database to support operations, and scaling that database nearly three decades, it’s still in use today.

“The FileMaker database gives our employees information at a glance, key insight into operations to drive efficiency,” Elsa continues. “FileMaker has grown with me all of these years and is one of the most important elements in my company’s success.”

Elsa speaks proudly of other women in Colombia who have made a mark in technology, surrounded by other female business owners like herself. She urges others thinking about starting their own company to put fears aside, emphasizing that the reward typically outweighs the risk.

“Don’t be afraid to go out on your own – it’s been a fulfilling experience for me. Being your own boss brings convenience and flexibility but also requires hard work because you are the one in charge. Remember that you are able and capable, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.”

Elisa Meir Hodges, owner of Elisa Mier Hodges Company

Going back nearly 30 years. Elisa was a Macintosh reseller, working with Apple to develop accounting software to enhance enterprise sales in the Colombian market. That’s when Elisa and Elsa crossed paths – Elsa was a customer and their encounter started a long, supportive friendship.

“The ability to easily develop applications was much needed in the Colombian market at the time FileMaker came on the scene. FileMaker was simple to use, making it an easy choice for businesses to adopt,” says Elisa.

As an independent consultant, Elisa supports small and medium businesses (SMBs) with full development and technical support, and FileMaker has been her development tool of choice for years because of its agility, flexibility, and ease in developing custom applications. While Elisa describes herself as a computer science engineer, her work supporting clients’ use cases has broadened her knowledge in ways she never expected.

“I’ve learned about law, taxes, running a restaurant, managing a medical office ... you name it. Fully understanding what my clients’ end users need guides the custom solutions I create with FileMaker. It’s how I deliver the most value.”

Reflecting back on how far the industry has come, Elisa encourages businesses to take advantage of Claris’ global resources, the broad support that wasn’t there when she was getting her start.

“When I began my career, there were no smartphones, no online forums, so we learned through trial and error,” continues Elisa. “Today, there are so many resources for new developers – it’s an ideal time to take advantage of FileMaker and the supportive Claris Community around the world.”

Discover what Claris FileMaker can do for you.

Ready to find out what the low-code excitement is all about? Check out how a low-code platform can produce custom apps developed specifically for any type of business.

Looking for someone to create a custom app for you? There are Claris Partners around the globe who are ready to help. Find a partner near you.