"My voice and opinion are worth taking seriously..."
Meet Adrienne Tacke!
Adrienne is a software engineer from Las Vegas, Nevada. She has been working in the industry for the past 8 years and a soon-to-be author of a book that teaches kids how to code! Adrienne truly believes that knowledge is power, she is constantly promoting this by sharing her knowledge, tips, tricks and ideas with her followers!
Adrienne shares ton of awesome knowledge via her blog.
Being a follower myself, Adrienne was someone I was super excited to interview and feature on our blog! What I love most about Adrienne is her confidence and expertise in the field. She is constantly breaking the stereotypes of women in tech!
Adrienne! You are badass role model for ALL aspiring software engineers!
If you are a new developer or simply wanting to learn more, I highly recommend you follow Adrienne. She truly knows her stuff!
An Interview with Adrienne Tacke
Can you share a little bit about who you are, your passions, and aspirations?
Kumusta! I'm Adrienne, a Filipina who defected from the "natural" path of nursing and became a software engineer instead. I've been a pretty good one for the last 8 years and have been constantly learning as much as I can. I enjoy engaging in activities that promote teaching software development, piquing the interest of young women and girls to learn how to code, and serving as a (hopefully) badass role model for all aspiring software engineers! My latest achievement is writing a book that teaches kids how to code! It will be published soon and I can't wait to share it!
Can you share with us what it is that you do and what a typical day for you is like? I am currently a software engineer for a cloud-based platform on a team of 5. My typical day consists of:
Settling in with my coworkers in the morning
Checking our sprint board to remind myself of my tasks
Have the CEO pull me in for a quick UX meeting
Daily stand up (agile ftw!)
Code Code Code
Break for lunch with my husband
Come back to some new production issue that conveniently occurred while I was at lunch
Swarm around the issue with my team
Find a solution
Celebrate with a shake break and dance break with my team
End the day with some good vibes.
That's the happy path, of course. :D Did you always know development was what you wanted to do? How did you decide to go into this field? I did not know development was something I wanted to do. In fact, it wasn't a serious career choice for me until I was enrolled as a completely different major in college! I first got introduced to it as a potential career when I got accepted into an internship program at UNLV's software development department. From there, I got my first taste of problem solving, figuring out how to optimize tasks and processes, and really learn the basics of code. I started with VB.net and was tasked with integrating some Google Admin SDKs into our api. It was overwhelming and fascinating at the same time. From that moment on, I was hooked! In your opinion, what is the most common misconception people have about the tech industry today? Lately, it's the misconception that software development is a relatively easy field to break into. Specifically, it's the false promise that you can take a few online courses here or there or attend a coding bootcamp and that you're set. That after such steps, you should be able to make big bucks or believe you're an expert in a certain language. This is not true. To be successful in this field, you need to constantly keep up with new information, be willing to push yourself out of your comfort zone a lot, and be a curious person. To put this in perspective, I took the "happy path" of graduating with a degree with a technical specification and have held software development roles for my entire career and STILL have to keep up with new technologies and constantly challenge my current knowledge and expand it. Only by doing this do I reap the benefits of success and stay on top of my game! So, stay curious and you'll do just fine in this field!
What are some challenges you faced specifically as a woman in this industry? What biases or challenges have you had to overcome? Can you say you have successfully overcome them?
Many things, but it all came down to one main theme: Not being taken seriously.
From the clothes I wore to the solutions I offered to the salary I asked for, nothing about me was taken seriously, especially when I was just starting out. When I looked at the root of how to solve this problem, it always pointed to the same thing: having deep technical knowledge.
Why? Because if I know how to properly use git and can also teach your other developers how to use it, it won't matter that I wear dresses and high heels. Or, if I could argue intelligently about why one solution was better over another, people would realize that my voice and opinion are worth taking seriously. And if I can properly articulate the knowledge I have, demonstrate the curiosity that fuels me in this career and do it while displaying my technical prowess during the most aggressive technical interviews, then you can be damn sure that the salary I'm asking for is a fair one. So far, aligning myself with goals and opportunities to further my knowledge has served me well and I can confidently say that this is how I overcome all of the struggles of being a woman in software development.
What advice would you give women looking to become a software engineer/developer?
Knowledge is power!
At the end of the day, it doesn't matter what you look like, what language you learn to code in, what OS you prefer, or what type of application you are working on. What will matter is how well you know your subject and how well you can show others that you are an expert in your field. This shouldn't be an intimidating fact, but a completely attainable goal to strive for.
What message would you like to give to all aspiring females in the tech industry? You belong here. You are more than capable of developing deep technical knowledge. Your achievements matter.
Wear the heels. ;)
Follow Adrienne on Instagram @adreinne.tacke
or visit her website https://www.adrienne.io/