Ash Schaefer, a Software Developer at Computronix, recently took some time to tell us about how she first became interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), what technologies she finds the most interesting and even gives some advice to others who may be interested in a STEM career path. Here’s Ash, in her own words….
1 | What did you want to be when you were 10 years old?
2 | What was your favorite subject in school?
Math and English
3 | When did you first become interested in technology?
I have always liked technology and learning about how technology works, but it was between my HTML course and robotics course in high school that cemented my passion for working with it.
4 | What is your favorite tech/tool to use or work with?
My Huion drawing tablet.
5 | What is the coolest advancement in technology that you have seen?
Blockchain technology; it’s a breakthrough in cyber security that is focused on protecting data.
6 | Why do you like working in this industry?
I fell in love with programming because anything is possible, and there are multiple ways to do it. When asked “Can you do this?” the answer is “Yes!”. Code is versatile and omnipotent in what it can achieve.
7 | What is your role at CX and how do you make a difference?
I am a Developer 2, and I make a difference because of the things I build. The work that I do directly enhances the business of our clients. The application of the software we build at CX makes the jobs of our clients – and their customers – easier. Delivering great, quality software and contributing to successful projects changes the whole game for our clients. I make a difference by focusing on quality and project health in the code that I write. I make a difference by designing innovative solutions to a business need.
8 | What do you imagine this industry will be like in 10 years?
I expect that tech will have spread to even more applications. I fully anticipate an armada of self-driving cars to flood the market. I hope that integration of technology in our bodies is a household idea – from augmented reality contact lenses to prosthetics. We’ll have technology that can read our genetic footprint – no more passwords!
9 | How do you stay up to date with all of the different tools and advancements taking place?
Jim’s AGM Tech Rant [Jim den Otter, CTO at Computronix gives a speech on new technology at the Computronix Annual General Meetings (AGM)] is always eye-opening. I also follow the articles posted to other science blogs.
10 | What’s your favorite tech that’s out right now? (VR, AI, Google home, etc)
Honestly, I don’t like ANY of the personal assistants. I think they’re too invasive for a minor convenience. Virtual Reality is very exciting to me.
11 | What advice would you give to young girls who are interested in STEM? What about to those who are not?
STEM belongs to everyone; liking tech does not make you any less of a girl. Technology is everywhere. Control the tech, control the world! If you’re interested in STEM – stick with it! There is always a lot to learn, and the learning never stops. If you’re not into STEM, there’s nothing wrong with that either. I think Tech is awesome and cool and love learning how the seeming magic ways our electronics work is possible. I think it’s important to have a base understanding of and respect for technology. I’m not saying you must be an expert, but an understanding that these devices we use are more than magic – they’re actually very complex little machines that can also be deceptively simple – will be a source of wonder for you in the future . I think it’s fun to explore, and amazing to see what can be made with the application of STEM. But society needs people who are passionate about different things, there are a number of areas to apply your unique talents, interests, and skills. If STEM doesn’t fall into those for you, that’s a-okay!