Why 3 Colorado techies pursued careers in engineering — and why they're happy they did

by April Bohnert
June 10, 2019

Every tech engineer has a story about the path that led them there — whether it was the encouragement of a relative or teacher, a lifelong love for tinkering and problem-solving, or something else entirely. 

We asked three local techies about the moments that inspired them to pursue careers in software engineering and what they love most about their jobs today.

 

Gusto engineering team Colorado tech
Photo via gusto.

Gusto’s software takes the chaos out of payroll, benefits and HR by automating and simplifying everyday tasks. Software Engineer Casey Rollins explained how she’s grown to love the “art” of software engineering and how she shares that passion with her team.

 

What got you interested in a career in engineering?

I never thought I would become a software engineer. While I was always interested in math and science growing up, I remember dreading my first computer science class. But the class turned out to be the reason I am a software engineer today.

The professor made the material accessible and enjoyable, and he demystified the magic behind computer science and programming concepts. I learned that programming is just problem-solving, and code is part of the toolkit. I was hooked then.

 

As I have grown in my career, I have learned that software engineering is as much of an art as it is a science.” 

What are some of your favorite day-to-day aspects of your role?

I love having philosophical conversations with my co-workers about ideal software design. As I have grown in my career, I have learned that software engineering is as much of an art as it is a science. I enjoy exercising the “art” muscle and am continuously blown away by how much I learn every day. At Gusto, I am surrounded by incredible engineers who are passionate about sharing what they know and have learned a great deal from them.

 

Alteryx engineering team Colorado tech
Photo via Alteryx. 

Alteryx’s end-to-end data analytics platform streamlines the process of finding and understanding the information at a business’s disposal, enabling users to break down data barriers and deliver actionable insights more quickly. Team Lead Kirsten Cerruti told us about the teacher who inspired her career and what she loves most about her current role.

 

What got you interested in engineering?

My computer science professor, Nancy LaTourette, helped ignite my passion for engineering. Her in-depth knowledge of computers and her previous work as an engineer inspired me to pursue a career in software. Once I started learning C++, I became fascinated with using code as a means to solve real-world problems. This ultimately led me to become a full-stack engineer and then team lead at Alteryx!

 

Once I started learning C++, I became fascinated with using code as a means to solve real-world problems.” 

What are some of your favorite day-to-day aspects of your role?

As an engineer, I enjoyed integrating new technologies into existing ecosystems and learning new languages. It’s incredibly rewarding to design something that’s never been done before!

As a team lead, I very much enjoy helping others be successful. Enabling them to produce unique solutions and quality code is what drives me!

 

PlayerLync engineering team Colorado tech
Photo via Playerlync.

PlayerLync brings modern learning software to the mobile workforce, helping businesses of all stripes train, retain and communicate with their team members — wherever they are. Following a family tradition of creativity, Web Developer Kevin Wilmot knew he wanted a career that allowed him to flex his problem-solving muscles in a tangible way — and he found just that at PlayerLync.

 

What got you interested in a career in engineering?

My grandfather is a tremendous source of inspiration for me. He had a very entrepreneurial spirit and spent some time in his younger years as an inventor. His work ethic, inquisitive nature and tenacity for problem-solving motivated me to seek out a career that allowed me to be creative and involved in shaping solutions to issues that people face. I pursued a career in engineering because I love to innovate and am able to form answers to people's needs.

 

I pursued a career in engineering because I love to innovate and am able to form answers to people's needs.”

What are some of your favorite day-to-day aspects of your role?

Learning new technology, developing customer-centric software and working among a team of incredibly talented and intelligent people — these are a few of my favorite things. My role requires and encourages constant growth. Daily, I am able to reflect on the issues our customers are facing and how our team can address them.

 

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