She-TO Boost: Emily

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For this weeks edition of the She-TO Boost Blog series, we are giving you an inside look at Emily— CTO Boost’s Data Engineer. Emily is a quiet but deadly force in our company’s tech room, and is a subject matter expert on almost everything data related. Whether she’s working away on a technical presentation for a conference, or building out a recommendation engine, everything that Emily works on is completed with the highest degree of accuracy. When Emily isn’t running the tech room, she’s sharing her delicious treats and rose tea from China with the team, or leading a quick, mid-day stretching session.

What inspired you to get into tech?

My major in University was Electrical Engineering. When I was doing my co-op as a manufacturing engineer, I found out that I especially liked to set up programming in Excel to limit the amount of manual work and ease production line managers’ work. Once I went back to school to complete my last year, I decided to take a lot of programming courses. One of them was to do hardware programming on FPGA chips. It had lots of labs, homework, and projects. At the end, when I saw that a picture could be zipped in the chip and then unzipped on the computer just like the original one, I knew that all my efforts were worth it. Just like how I enjoy strategic games and room escape, I like to solve tech puzzles. 

If there was a such thing as a “typical day” in tech, what would it look like for you?

I start my day off with a bit of reading on GO train, and then complain about how slow GO is. Then, I get my morning coffee on the way to the office.  

When I sit in the office, I try to bury myself in coding until Salim (our co-op student) comes to talk to me and ends up being teased on his education/love life.   

Is this your first experience working in tech?

No, it isn’t. Before this, I worked as a Developer in an American bank to support trading and sales.

What direction do you think the tech industry should go in?

I think that a lot of people are worried that tech might replace humans and replace human’s work. I expressed the same worry to my ex-manager before. What he said impacted me a lot. He said that tech would replace some human jobs, but it can free some people from day-to-day tedious and repetitive work. As a result, more people can do creative jobs. 

I hope that tech can be used to help people and give people options to free them from tedious work. I love my iRobot SO MUCH! 

If you were an app, which one would you be?

Yelp – so that I know all the good restaurants.

What do you think women bring to tech?

Why did we have more men in tech than women? I, luckily, have been working on female dominated teams. I don’t find one gender to be superior over another. We should keep bringing good people into tech based on their abilities and interests. 

If you had a time machine, where and when would you go?

I want to travel back to my childhood. Cicadas filled the air with their singing, an ice pop could make my day in summer time, and I could be watching Doraemon using his time machine.