December 15, 2009Her job: iPhone app Developer, Technical Consultant , Product Manager, Mobile Application Instructor
Describe what you do in your current work situation?
I develop software applications for video security systems. I also develop IPhone applications on the side.
Why did you choose engineering?
I have always been passionate about technology. When I was 16, I took a programming class at MIT in Boston. Ever since then, I was hooked!
Where did you go to school and what degree(s) do you have?
I went to school at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst for my undergraduate degree. I was the only woman in the programming class! For graduate school, I attended Boston University and received a Master's degree in Computer Science.
What kinds of activities have typically been part of your work?
Currently, my team and I are preparing for an upcoming "software release" which means that we can finally sell the software and put it on the shelf. I am working on software bugs. If there are any problems with the code, for example, it crashes, I investigate the cause of the problem and fix it. I also add new features/enhancements to the application. I put together documentation on the changes I made.
What do you like best about being an engineer?
I love the challenge of creating new applications and seeing the finished product!
Which of your career accomplishments are you proudest of?
With my first engineering job, I was able to put together test software for the missile guidance system for the Trident Missiles. Once I learned one programming language, i was able to learn so many others as well, including the Objective C programming language for IPhone applications!
What challenges have you met and conquered in your pursuit of an engineering career?
There have been struggles in terms of being taken seriously as a woman in this field. However, I have not let anyone discourage me from excelling in this field.
Please tell us a little about your family.
My family was supportive in terms of education but they were not supportive in regards to my passion for engineering. They felt that is was not a woman's job. They feel differently about it now.
What are your short-term (1-2 years) and long-term (10+ years) goals?
My short term goal is to inspire young girls and women to pursue a career in engineering. One of my many long term goals is to inspire and motivate women to live out their passion. I am also an advocate to stop child abuse and domestic violence. I would love to be more involved in these causes. Programming will always be a part of my life. I would love to help non-profits get up to speed in terms of technology. I would love to help them develop a web presence through search engine optimization.
What (or who) had/has the greatest influence on your life choices?
My professors at Boston University were extremely supportive. The chairman of the program inspired me to pursue a Master's degree. I am forever grateful for the support and encouragement I received from each and every one of the faculty members.
What advice would you give to a young woman considering a career in engineering?
Do it! We are underrepresented in this field! If you do not know how to go about doing it, contact me or another female engineer. We will get you on the path to success. Do not let anyone discourage you from taking this path! I had many people telling me that I could not work in this industry because I was a woman. I did not let them get to me! We are capable of doing whatever we want in life!
Describe something about your life outside of work: your hobbies, or perhaps a favorite book.
I love to play the piano and love writing articles on technology. I also am a life coach for women.