Below is an article originally written by PowerToFly Partner DocuSign, and published on September 17, 2018. Go to DocuSign's page on PowerToFly to see their open positions and learn more.
Our "Women in Tech" blog series places the spotlight on female employees in tech jobs who tell us about why they decided to start a career in software engineering, what they do at DocuSign, who their role models are and more. At DocuSign, we believe in the next generation of female leaders in technology and want to help them get on the right career trajectory. This week we sat down with Bree in Engineering based in Warrenville to learn more about her career.
What is your current role at DocuSign and what do you actually do day-to-day in that role?
I'm a mid-level software engineer at the Warrenville office. My day-to-day generally focuses on code. Most of the time I'm coding a mixture of features and bug fixes. But I also work with my coworkers in a mixture of pair programming, designing features, and reviewing other's code. Another important part of my day is leading board game sessions. Every day at lunch my office plays competitive, team-based board games. It's been a great way for us to bond and backstab, and it's a highlight of the day.
What did your kids or friends and family think you do?
They think I do some magic and hard work to somehow makes a website where you can legally sign documents. Fortunately, it's a lot easier than magic, but still requires some hard work. But even my friends and family see my generous work-life balance and think it can't be too hard.
When did you choose to work in technology and why?
I decided to try out a Computer Science class as a freshman purely as an elective. I loved video games and was decently proficient with computers and phones, so I thought it would be an interesting class. It ended up being my hardest course. My professor taught fast, and I learned cripplingly slow. But I loved how challenging it was. It was bittersweet when I figured out bugs that were my fault, and it was amazing when I finally submitted my last project. I wasn't even a decent programmer by the end of the course, but I made something that worked! At the end of that tough semester, I decided a challenge was good. So I changed my major to Computer Science.
What excites you most about working at DocuSign and why?
My team loves to focus on being the best programmer you can be. We emphasize learning, taking advantage of opportunities, and being the best. Even when I was new and a junior software engineer, my team quickly helped me ramp up and immediately placed me on big projects. Now I'm a different programmer than I thought I would be; I help mentor, and come up with side projects that will help our codebase and team. I go for opportunities I thought I would never receive or even accept. And I love that DocuSign has given me these opportunities.
As a woman in tech, do you have any role models in technology that you look up to? Who are they and why do you look up to them?
I really look up to an old coworker of mine. He taught me that I should be the best team programmer. Others shouldn't have to spend time deciphering my code or fixing hidden bugs in it. Instead, it should be clean, maintainable and extensible. So now, I take professional pride in my code. Every day I analyze my code and try and make it better. It has helped me a lot at work since I can easily accommodate new features, or people can pick up where I've left off.
What advice would you give women who might be considering a career in technology?
Stick with it if you enjoy it, even if it's tough. It was a literal struggle for me to get in the programmer mindset. It took me 2 years before things "clicked," but I'm so happy I persevered.
Interested in pursuing a career in technology and working at DocuSign? Check out our PowerToFly page.