I credit my career as a software developer to my parents, who were programmers themselves. When I was growing up, girls were often encouraged to pursue careers in education, law and medicine, while toys and hobbies related to technology were marketed to boys. Thanks to my parents, I was exposed to computing at a young age when they gave me a computer on my eighth birthday. In my schooling, they encouraged my interest in mathematics and science right up until I graduated from Concordia University in 2013 with a degree in software engineering. I think it’s important that everyone is exposed to technology early and, if they show interest, that they’re encouraged to pursue it.
I start my days as a software developer for Vigilant with a commute on the train, when I check our internal communication channel and listen to “The Daily” podcast. From there, I’ll head into team meetings where I catch up on my teammates’ projects and the technologies they’re using – that’s really important as a test developer. Here at Vigilant, collaboration is a must. I’m not solely responsible for the work we produce. Everything is a team effort and we’re continuously developing our skills and work processes, something that makes me proud. The rest of my day is full of development and code review, with some time taken out to mentor our interns.
As a software developer, I believe in applying the Socratic paradox to all of my projects - the only thing I know is that I know nothing. To be a good software developer, you must not be afraid to break things. To be a good test developer, you must like breaking things. It’s important to approach each project openly, with a willingness to learn – and a willingness to fail.
When I’m asked for advice on becoming a developer, my answer is always to follow your passion for engineering – life is more fulfilling when you’re doing what you love. It’s true that the field is more heavily male right now, but as more girls are exposed to technology and encouraged to pursue it, things will become more balanced and I’m looking forward to seeing the change.