Spotlight: Women of AppDynamics

November 12 2015

With the tech industry growing at its remarkable pace, it justifiably comes with a concentrated talent pool including some of the world’s brightest innovators and game changers. Diversity and inclusion efforts has become, more than ever, a prioritized mission for every technology company. AppDynamics increased our female hires by 40% this year alone. While we’re not yet a company made of equal parts men and women, we’re moving in the right direction. Today, we are kicking off our own series in light of #ILookLikeAnEngineer to celebrate the women of AppDynamics who have broken through the glass ceiling, serving as both architects for modern technology and role models to all young women who will continue to follow their dreams and say yes to STEM education and careers. We’ve rounded up our first three incredibly bold female masterminds of AppDynamics to share their experiences with us.

The Genie: Mindy Pile – Software Engineer1009476_10153077972855291_1102361024_o.jpg

Q: What do you do in your role?

A: I work on code to help develop a portion of our company’s product. Mostly, I add features that have been requested by our customers that help make the product more useful.

Q: What were you doing before you worked at AppDynamics?

A: I was studying Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University.

Q: What is something cool you recently worked on at AppDynamics?

A: Right now, I’m adding a feature that requires me to touch almost every part of the product, from back to front, and it’s giving me a real sense of how the product works. I think it’s really cool that, in the future, I’ll be able to point to this feature and say, “I added this part myself.”

Q: What do you think is the biggest misconception about working in tech?

A: I think the biggest misconception is about the type of people who work in tech. When I tell someone what I do, most people respond with surprise. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard something to the effect of “Wow, you don’t seem like most software engineers.” And while part of that is because I’m a women, I think people think of programmers as these antisocial geeks who can’t handle normal interaction. And while it’s funny to laugh at the stereotype, it is just a stereotype, and not one that applies to most programmers I know.

The Usability Pro: Stephanie Chou – Software Engineer

Q: What do you do in your role?

A: I am a member of the UI team. I create the parts of the product that people see and interact with.

Q: What excites you about working at AppDynamics?

A: [We recently participated in] a hackathon. That was exciting! It was great because our team had a really cool idea to track end user click paths through the UI. It is super useful for Product Managers or Engineers to know what users are doing and if a bug was triggered or an error appears, then we’d know how to replicate it. I also got to learn how to use canvas and create awesome little bubble animations. Our team stayed up at the office until 1 am working on it.

Q: What initially interested you in this field and how did you get here? Explain.

A: I started by getting a degree in Electrical Engineering. One day I was sitting in a class about Green Energy and Power, and I decided to check if was an available domain name. It was! So I pull out my credit card in the middle of class and I bought it. From there, it was a lot of exploration.

Q: What advice do you have for young women who want to pursue a career in tech?

A: Just go for it! You don’t need to have perfect grades. You don’t need to be all prepared and know how to code. You don’t need to have all your confidence and know everything yet. Keep looking for what interests you. Tech is a big world and it overlaps with almost any interest you can think of.


The SoMa Adventurer: Swathi Bhat – Software Engineer

Q: How long have you been with AppDynamics?

A: I’ve only been here a little more than two months but I’ve already shipped multiple features for our products. I was also part of the first Hackathon at AppDynamics. My team worked on building a code search tool that we presented at the open demos. Oh! I’m also going to Grace Hopper Conference this year!

Q: What is a typical day at work like for you?

A: I take the train from South Bay so I catch up on e-mail and work/read on the train. At AppDynamics we organize ourselves into small teams of 6-8 people. We use common tools across the teams for collaboration, bug-tracking and code-reviews. Mornings start with stand-ups, prioritizing tasks, code-reviews etc. My team and I love to venture out and try the various restaurants around SoMa for lunch. Post-lunch the day is usually interspersed with meetings and coding. The environment is friendly and getting pulled into impromptu conversations is a norm since my team sits around me.

Q: What advice do you have for young women who want to pursue a career in tech?

A: The technology industry can be challenging but it has its perks–flexible hours, ability to work from anywhere and the fact that it is very result oriented keeps meritocracy from being subjective. Focus on being the best that you can possibly be at what you do.

Q: What do you think is the biggest misconception about working in tech?

A: I have had a lot of people tell me that when they think of someone working in the technology field they imagine a geek sitting for hours in front of the computer typing away to glory. With my experience so far, I can tell you that the reality is far from it. Computer science is about problem solving, the ability to have a different kind of imagination, to think analytically and so much more.

Nadeen Hui
Nadeen is the Social Media Coordinator at AppDynamics. A San Francisco native and UC Berkeley graduate, she joined the AppDynamics team in June 2015. Offline, catch her reading Science Fiction, exploring the city's hidden gems, and laughing at her own jokes!

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