As a society we tend to focus on titles and roles, and we forget that behind each title there is a person who has a story to tell. And truly every person’s story is unique.
In honor of International Women's day, we interview inspiring women from the community on the story of how they got into Tech, and where they are today.
In this post, I interview Stacy Cashmore, who is based in the Netherlands.
I’m Stacy Cashmore, Software Architect at Omniplan.nl in the Netherlands. For the last 14 years I’ve worked in the consumer finance industry, creating websites that allow customers to organise their financial products, insurances and to close mortgages. And software that helps advisors give the best advice to their customers.
Working in these teams has allowed me to combine three things that excite me about the working in the tech world. I get to play with new technology: I continuously learn new technologies and ways of using those technologies, with the rest of my team, to create something spectacular. I also get to help the team evolve whilst we do this - carrying out different experiments to improve the ways that we work together. And, most importantly, I also get to improve the world a little whilst doing it!
Who were/are your biggest supporters in your career?
For the last year I’ve had the honour of sharing what I’ve learnt with my team at various meetups and conferences. Thanks to encouragement from the awesome Jessica Engstrom, I wrote a story based on the mistakes we made when automating our testing and then traveled to Stockholm to deliver it to a room full of people for the first time. Scary! But also: amazing!
When did you first become interested in technology and what sparked this interest?
I’ve been interested in technology since I first saw a family friends Atari 2600 back in the early 80’s. When we got our first computer at home a couple of years later – an Atari 800XL – I spent hours writing programs that drew shapes and colours on the screen. I was hooked!
Describe your way towards your first job in tech; how did you land your current job?
After leaving school, I went to university to study information technology. Over the following 4 years I studied various aspects of tech. Not only in software development areas, but also in data communications and microprocessor architectures. And, most importantly for me, spending a year in industry where I could practice my craft and gain that crucial experience. That sandwich year was probably the most important and useful part of the course. Not only did I get to work as a software developer, but when I finished my course the company took me on full time. I was a professional developer!
Fast forward a couple of decades and at the start of February this year I started a new challenge at Omniplan as Software Architect. Here I have the challenge of helping shape the way that our teams are going to be producing software in the coming years, by sparing with the other architect in the company, and also helping the teams shape the way they produce software by helping them experiment with their ways of working.
What do you do in your free time?
When not working, or spending time on writing new stories to share, I spend my time geeking out to Doctor Who, or building modular Lego building with my family.
What advice will you give to women and girls who dream about a career in tech?
Want to get into tech? The best advice I can give would be to try lots of free tutorials to see which (technology) stack speaks to you most and then build a pet project, use your new skills to solve a problem for yourself. Something that is going to help you stay interested. Even during the periods of frustration that will happen 😊