I was born/grew up in: I was born in and grew up in Prince Albert, SK.
I now live in: Ottawa, ON.
I completed my training/education at: I completed a BSc in Computer Science, specializing in Software Engineering, at the University os Saskatchewan.
What I do at work
I manage a team of 12 developers, analysts, and User Experience experts at Statistics Canada. My main role is to act as a bridge between the clients and the developers. I do this by:
- answering questions about what a business would need from the developers;
- arranging development work and support issues; and
- explaining business requirements of the clients to the User Experience (UX) experts.
If I've done my job right, my clients are confident that their needs will be met and my development team can focus on clear, well-defined tasks.
Learning STEM skills teaches you how to pick things up quickly. I need to understand what my clients do, in order to properly anticipate and understand their needs and concerns. I use my writing, statistics, and software development skills every day. Compute science taught me how to break a problem into manageable, testable pieces and then organize the development of these pieces into a workable plan that can be split amongst a number of other people. I speak English, French, and Chinese every day at work!
My career path is
I knew I wanted to work in software development since I was 12 or 13, but my path to get here has taken a number of twists and turns. I had to stop university after two years for financial reasons and it took me 4-5 years to be able to come back. In the meantime, I did technical support for a major Internet Service Provider (ISP) and worked in Montreal at a computer store. I also built porta-potties for a papal visit in Toronto and taught English and French in China. I also was a telephone, internet, and television installer for SaskTel in Saskatoon!
I finished my degree while working full-time, and had a very difficult time finding a job. This was because I had no time to take career-relevant summer/coop jobs or volunteer experience. Instead of giving up, I took a temporary technical support position within the government in Montreal, with hopes of applying to software development jobs from the inside. I made it to Ottawa less than a year later, and am now even managing a team!
I am motivated by
I get very excited when I've just understood a new problem and have a solution to suggest. I love getting together with my team and brainstorming possible solutions. I also enjoy experimenting with new technologies, and finding ways to integrate them into our current processes.
How I affect peoples’ lives
I get to come to work every day, do good work, and help my team to do good work too! It's a little cheesy, but I'm very proud to be working for Canada in a scientific capacity and providing value for all of us. We provide crucial information to Canadians that they use to make important decisions.
Outside of work I
I play a LOT of video games, and have built my own arcade cabinet for my man-cave. I also enjoy co-operative, story-driven board games that I can play with my friends.
My advice to others
Choosing a path is always better than not making a decision as you can always adapt if things change!
I am indigenous
I am a member of the Kaministikominahiko-skak Cree Nation.