Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Utah Women Tech Council

I recently attended the 8th Annual Utah Women Tech Council Awards luncheon. It was inspiring on many levels. One level of inspiration was to highlight some of the amazing women in tech that I work with. I asked a manager from one of our software development teams to share a few details that I could post here . . . 

Vicky was born in Russia, but her family moved to America when she was two years old.  She grew up in New York and lived there until two years ago, when she moved to the Silicon Slopes with her husband and two daughters. Vicky graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of Alameda and had a successful 17-year career as a software developer. She's been part of building platforms for a wide variety of systems in the financial and regulatory services, healthcare, e-commerce, manufacturing, education, and telecommunications industries. She has been responsible for developing and maintaining software in $500 million application portfolios. She is a proven technology leader.  On the personal front, she loves to travel. She also enjoys skiing, boating, camping and cooking food from around the world. 

Commenting on her team, Vicky says, "My entire team is new to EMC. None of us have been here for more than six months.  Everyone has been doing great things to get us running smoothly, but the biggest surprise has been Breana.  She joined the team in July as an Associate Developer, but didn’t have any prior experience in Java, our primary coding language.  In fact, she had never been exposed to the vast majority of technologies we are using.  Breana was asked to start working on a coding exercise that I have seen used in the past: a fairly simple address book application.  

This let her get some good practice in what we do while not using live projects for training.  The rest of the team got involved too, with our Business Analyst providing user stories while the Senior Developers helped Breana understand how to take advantage of her previous coding experience to quickly become a strong, contributing member of the team. We recently finished our fourth sprint for this project. So far she has developed a database to store contact information, an application for adding and retrieving contacts, and a web-based GUI so that even non-technical people can use her project. I’ve been really impressed with the way she has taken a basic knowledge of one programming language and turned it into a solid foundation for future success."

I can't wait for the awards luncheon that recognizes Vicky or Breanna or both of them for their contributions to technology here in Utah! I will be proud to claim them as friends and colleagues. I am glad to work in an environment that fosters diversity, inclusion and equal opportunity for all. Our Women's Leadership Forum is just one of several employee circles that facilitates these opportunities. 

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