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Melanie’s story

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MELANIE'S STORY

“I am from the Silicon Valley, so I had ample opportunity to jump into a tech career early in life. 

In my twenties, I got an awesome referral to a company that puts leasing online for property management companies. It was a front-end web development position, and despite only having a background of self-taught HTML and CSS, the team took me under their wing.

They were incredibly patient with me as I grew to be a productive Document Design Engineer team member. I learned a mix of XML, Javascript, Java, and even some SQL and very light Ruby. 

During this time, I also decided to go back to college (I already had a B.A. in psychology) and I eventually earned 3 certificates and an A.S. in design and development programs. 

After 4 years, I moved onto a completely remote (work from home) job based out of Canada. This startup-sized company created mobile and web apps for waste management. Their clients were usually municipalities and haulers. I had the title of Product Designer, but I wore many hats. 

After 1.5 years there, I moved onto another web development job at a local financial services corporate office. This is where I am now, and I’ve learned that daily structure is crucial for me, as is getting out of the house. The team I work with is awesome, and they treat us incredibly well there despite the work not being passion-provoking. 

I’m very thankful to be where I am at now, and I get plenty of physical and well as mental freedom to pursue other interests outside of work. Right now my passion project is figuring out how to improve my instagram marketing skills! But here and there I’ll make a small website when I see a need. For example, I made a website recently for sharing Zoom video meeting codes for local support groups that have moved online during the COVID-19 lockdown.

I believe there needs to be more women in tech because we are not being represented in the final technology products that come out. (i.e. The Apple health app never having a feature for tracking menstruation or voice command technologies that consistently respond more accurately to male voices than females.) 

Further, the culture of the engineering teams tends to be very siloed without diversity. So whenever one of us does join a team, we often have to put up with a lot of BS that we wouldn’t have to deal with on a non-tech team.“ – @melartistangent

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