Ensuring high quality work for our customers could not be possible without our dev team members. To get a better idea of what computer developing and coding is like for women we asked our most profound females who excel in development, questions based on what it's like to be a woman who codes. Our female leaders in our dev team include Kerri Sweeney, Cathy Cam, Erin McLaughlin, and Danielle Devlin who are driven, talented women who have launched their careers based on coding.
Kerri Sweeney’s Role
Kerri is the .NET Tech Lead. She is responsible for the technical aspects of the projects built with .NET CMS frameworks which includes writing tech specs, coding, dev-ops, managing the technical infrastructure, and much more.
Cathy Cam’s Role
Cathy is currently a front-end developer who's in charge of building the look and feel of websites. Cathy converts data to a graphical interface so that users can view and interact with the features. She plays a significant role in Boston Digital’s dev team and exceeds every expectation. Her creativity and passion for tech is shown through her cutting-edge work.
Erin McLaughlin’s Role
Erin is a back-end developer. She provides the user with data and saves any data they return. This can be something as simple as saving a form submission and returning a successful thank you page, or something more complex like geolocation. Erin not only is passionate about her role at Boston Digital but how females are getting more involved in the tech industry.
Danielle Devlin’s Role
As a senior front-end developer Danielle’s main responsibility is coding websites and managing the front-end team at Boston Digital. As a front-end developer Danielle strives for code that's clean, efficient, follows web standards, and supports responsive design. Danielle is a crucial contribution to the Boston Digital dev team. Her hard work and dedication is a prime example of why the tech industry flourishes when women are contributing.
How did you get into tech?
Danielle: “Many years ago when I was in college I took a coding course and built my first website. I’ve been hooked ever since!”
Cathy: “I used to like this one anime show when I was 12 and wanted to make a “fan page” about it one day so I had to research on how to make a website and then from then on found it very fun/interesting.”
Erin: “I’ve always been into tech. When I was very very *very* little, I would play “games” on my brother’s apple IIc. Super fun games that let me build things and make the computer “talk” to me! Yeah, turns out the “game” I was playing was actually an “Intro to BASIC” course teaching me a programming language. So it feels like I’ve always been building computer programs of one type or another.”
Kerri: “I was always interested in technology and although my first job out of college (athletic department in a university) wasn’t meant to be technical, I turned it into a technical job by automating every manual process I could. Inventory, compiling stats, and creating a website for our department to post schedules and rosters…the rest is history.”
What is your favorite thing about working in Tech/Dev?
Danielle: “I love that every day is different with a new challenge of some sort. I enjoy getting to collaborate with the other team members from Strategy to UX to Creative. It never gets old seeing wireframes come to life.”
Cathy: “If you have any idea for an application or website, you can make that project come true.”
Erin: “I like making things. All of my hobbies involve taking a bunch of raw parts and turning them into something. If you give me two sticks and some string I will end up with a sock for you. Building a website is just, taking the design and turning it into a functioning piece of code.”
Kerri: “I think my favorite thing about working in tech is a tie between using technology to make people’s lives easier and the constant learning. There is always something new to dig into and it is never boring.”
What's one piece of advice you'd give to a younger female looking to pursue a career in tech?
Danielle: “There are so many ways you can grow in tech, try different things and see what best suits you.”
Cathy: “YouTube is the best university out there for any kind of tutorial you want to learn from.”
Erin: “Honestly? Grow a thick skin. It’s the year of our lord 2021 and we should be past this, but people are still going to say dumb things to you and be rude and make you feel small. I lucked into an awesome team, but that’s not guaranteed for everyone, unfortunately.”
Kerri: “Find some mentors – folks that can help guide you and direct you. It doesn’t have to be anything formal. If there is someone you respect and seems to be doing the things you’re interested in doing or learning more about, ask questions and simply observe how he/she does it. Don’t think for a minute that being a woman is a hindrance to having a successful career in technology. It is a great career path!”
How do you think we can get more women interested in tech?
Danielle: “More visibility around the tech roles out there today.”
Cathy: “Maybe if there were some programs at universities inviting female students to receive some sort of extra credit for joining some tech program?”
Erin: “Not to get too deep, but I don’t think the problem is getting women interested in tech, the problem is keeping them. If you look at the 2020 Women in Tech report from the NCWIT (1), the number of women earning CIS bachelor degrees has been on the rise since 2010. In fact, the rate of increase for women getting CIS degrees has outpaced the growth in men getting them. So whatever is being done right now to get women interested in tech is being done right. A higher percentage of women are getting interested every year.
What's driving women away from tech?
- Workplace experience
- Lack of access to roles that allow meaningful contributions
- Lack of advancement opportunities
I am super lucky to work in a place where the people I work with are not like that.”
Kerri: “Introduce more girls to all the different paths that can lead to a career in technology. Help to bust the myths that girls aren’t as strong in math and engineering or aren’t cut out for it. We’re already doing a much better job of this and I think girls are showing much more of an interest in technology careers.”
What is your best work success story?
Danielle: “With 20 years of experience I have a lot of success stories, but finding my way into this role and loving what I do for a living is the best success story of all.”
Cathy: “I Got an award once for creating one of my former company’s main website, it was fun making it too!”
Erin: “All of my work success stories probably center around taking huge amounts of data from other websites and migrating them into a site we’re building. It’s a lot of fun, for real, and I enjoy doing it. And, luckily, I get to do it a lot!”
Kerri: “For me the best success stories are happy clients and the collaboration and teamwork that go into any successful project. One of my favorites though was learning that the first .NET application I built was still being used 17 years later…that is a pretty good ROI!”
Without innovative ideas, and customized design plans from our incredible dev team there would be little to no technological strategy. Boston Digital applauds Danielle, Cathy, Erin, and Kerri for all their everlasting work along with our dev team.