We chatted with Jane Zhu, who recently spoke on our panel about Stories of Resilience. Jane transitioned to tech about 10 months ago when she decided to pursue her passion for technology and become financially stable to support her two kids. Now she works at ShopKeep as a Junior Software Engineer. See what she has to say about changing careers, being a woman in tech, and handling failure.
How (and when) did you get into your current field or company?
I began pursuing a career in tech about 11 months ago when I applied to Pursuit, a social enterprise that transforms the lives of people from diverse and nontraditional backgrounds by training them to become software developers and helping them launch careers in tech. At the time I applied, I was a stay-at-home mom living in Oklahoma with my two kids. I wanted to pursue my passion for technology and earn a stable income to support my kids. Before I came into Pursuit’s 10-month intensive iOS development program, I had only had a little experience with coding. In just a few months, I had created my own apps. I am super proud of them. With the support and encouragement of Pursuit’s staff, I consistently applied to jobs and eventually received an offer from my current company at ShopKeep. It feels amazing to finally realize my dream of breaking into tech and creating a better life for me and my family!
What does a typical day look like for you?
A typical day for me is dropping off my daughter at daycare, going to work, and heading home. My typical workday consists of working on Jira tickets for my team’s current sprint. Depending on where we are at with the sprint, my day will consist of a standup meeting, sprint planning, sprint review, and/or retro. Every week, I have a one-on-one with my manager. There are more meetings throughout the week to allow us to sync up with the other engineers at Shopkeep’s office in Belfast.
What is your favorite part of the day?
My favorite part of my workday is finishing up a ticket and clicking that “Merge” button on Github! This may not happen everyday as some tickets can take several days to finish. My favorite part of the day outside of work is opening the door to my apartment when I get home and seeing my daughter run toward me for a hug.
What excites you about working in your industry?
The most exciting part about working as a software engineer is the problem-solving aspect. Being able to find the solution is the most satisfying feeling. My company’s mission is to empower small businesses. Being able to contribute a meaningful mission like this makes work motivating and exciting.
What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
One thing I learned at Pursuit that really resonates with me is the importance of “failing forward.” A lot of the job applications I sent out were rejected. But each time after failing an interview, I made sure to find out the reason why I didn’t move onto the next step and improve in that area the next time around.
What is your favorite part of being a woman in your industry?
Being able to change the face of the tech industry is truly empowering, and I hope inspirational for other women trying to break into tech.
What is something that most people don’t know about you?
I named my kids after League of Legends champions Lux and Garen.