Hello! So in case you missed my previous post (which you can read here), it’s Computer Science Education Week from December 7th-13th! So of course, here on the blog, we are going to talk about some really interesting computer science programs and talk TO some really cool people who work in computer science/IT. Take a drink every time I say “computer science”, or don’t, that’s a terrible idea.
Today, I had the pleasure of interviewing Candy here in Guelph. I reached out to Candy after she responded to one of my computer science related tweets and I was like “HEY! Come be awesome on the blog!” And she agreed to come be awesome. Candy answered some questions about her career in computer science/IT and why it’s important for more youth to be getting into these careers. I hope you guys enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed putting it together. Please leave Candy some love in the comments section because I am truly honored she took the time to answer these questions (and so last minute too!).
So without further rambling from me, here is my interview with Candy.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I have a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems. I’ve worked for a global organization for 9 and a half years. I started out in Support and dealing with customers over the phone. Now, I’m still in Support but I’m focused on preventing problems before they begin and on improving the customer experience when they access our Support site.
Most of the time, I’m:
– Putting together code – XML mainly
– Writing and reviewing documentation
– Analyzing raw data, coming up with theories and testing. As part of this, it’s also determining if this theory is worth embarking on a project. If so, I map out the lifecycle and take it to Go Live.
– Handling our social media presence
What made you want to pursue a career in computer science/IT?
I completed high school in the late 90s when computers started to become mainstream – Windows 95 and the Internet becoming readily available to households. At that time I didn’t know what “IT” was. I saw it as a means to an end, really. I just assumed I’d earn my degree and find this mystical “IT” job programming huge lines of code. The reality is much different, as we so often discover.
Did you attend a post-secondary program related to the career you were looking to purse? Were there many girls in the program?
I did – in two different schools and in both places there were not many girls enrolled in the program. This was close to 14 years ago, so I hope the ratio has changed a bit and it’s more equal.
Is there an equal ratio of women to men in computer science/IT? Have you ever been treated differently at work because you are a women?
It’s hard to tell. I would hope the numbers have been steadily increasing over the years!
Not at work, but in social situations. People would hear that I was studying Computer Science and there’d be snide remarks or barely audible chuckles. I’ve been fortunate that in work scenarios since, it hasn’t been an issue.
Why would you encourage youth to consider a career in IT?
To change the world. 🙂
Seriously though, computers are here to stay. Technology as a whole is becoming faster and smaller. Applications are becoming smarter. All of this needs new people, new minds to come up with different ideas and different ways of doing things. I was 13 or 14 before we got a computer at home. These days children know about computers from the time they can sit up. Why not take advantage of the opportunity? Think of an idea that helps spread technology to people that don’t have it, or ways to improve someone’s life.
What advice would you give to someone who is considering a career in IT?
A few things:
- Nurture your curiosity. Don’t be scared if something seems confusing. And, don’t listen to people who say “Coding or <insert topic here> is so difficult.” Any discipline and any post secondary program is going to be difficult, so put that out of your head now.
- Be and sound confident in all communication – speech/emails/documentation. I’m an introvert. It’s difficult to me to speak up in all areas. But, when I do, I work at sounding a) like I know what I’m talking about and b) like I believe in the idea I’m conveying.
- Approach the world with an open mind and look at things from different angles.
What is your favorite part of your job?
The creation part. I enjoy laying the groundwork – be it documentation, test cases, code, that we can build upon to improve our offerings.
Seriously though, how great is she? Thank you so much for being a part of this, Candy! I love having Guelphites on the blog. If you enjoyed this post, give it a like and share on Facebook/Twitter to let more people know that it is Computer Science Education week!
Till next time,