Women in Tech: Climbing the Ladder

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Women in Tech: Climbing the Ladder

We open 2021 with BE ________ {What You Want}, an ongoing series of stories that not only feature the accomplishments of Oklahoma women in technology but also inspire us. A trailblazer in technology and community volunteer, we feature our Clevyr Team Lead (more like family at this point) Amber Hayes — personifying the inclusion of Clevyr and the projects that define us. In sharing these stories, we are sharing our story. What will you BE? 

Amber Hayes is a Professional Nerd | Senior Software Developer at Clevyr, writing code since 2010. She is now leading the charge for a massive software project with complexities around every corner, and she is dominating.

What She Does: Amber leads a team of developers on a daily adventure through a web application of complicated compliance workflows designed for a Clevyr client.

“How did you get started in development?”

Oklahoma became my home in late 2008. After having a couple of random unfulfilling "temp" jobs, I decided to pursue a degree. I have always been a computer nerd at heart and enrolled at a local community college with a major in Cyber Security. But with my first programming course, I knew I found my next career path and promptly updated my major to focus on Computer Programming.

Programming allows me to embrace my creative side when working with user interfaces and design and provides continuing challenges and learning experiences when working with the backend.

Amber Hayes, Senior Software Engineer

"How did you land your first job?"

I knew graduation was coming up, and I needed to find a job. At the time, I was still new to town and didn’t know a whole lot of the dev shops in the Oklahoma City area, so I decided to reach out to a local tech recruiter. Recruiters have access to a large network of tech professionals with job opportunities that may not be listed or provided elsewhere.

"What advice would you give someone interested in the tech field? " 

The fundamentals of coding and building beautiful user interfaces are important, but I’d recommend focussing on communication and networking skills, too. When I first decided on a Computer Science degree, I thought it would cut out most of the people and that I’d mostly be working with my computer; I was totally wrong. I use my soft skills every day to help keep my team in line and focused, communicate with clients and project managers, and more. I would also advise you to reach out and find a mentor. Find someone who is either working in the type of software they want to write or someone familiar with the tech world.

"How do you navigate working in a male-dominated field?"

I do my best to look past gender and embrace our common love for tech. I’ve been fortunate to have worked with respectful, professional individuals, both managers and devs, that recognize my skills and talents and look past gender differences.

Amber Hayes, Senior Software Engineer

"What organizations are you involved in?"

I’ve been involved with SheCodesOKC, an all female-identifying coding group sponsored by Techlahoma. I’ve also volunteered at several meetups and weekend hack-a-thons working with young developers. I’ve done mentoring work with the Ctrl+Shift Code School which was really rewarding, both personally and professionally. It is a coding academy to empower survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking.

“What makes you motivated to get up in the morning?”

I love being part of this incredible team — we create solutions that make a difference for others around the world. Hearing the client’s excitement when we release a new feature is so rewarding.

“What’s your favorite framework and/or coding language?”

Ruby on Rails holds a special place in my heart because Ruby was the first language I learned outside of college. I had been exposed to Java, Objective-C, .Net, and other frameworks/languages in school but had never explored Ruby until I landed my first programming job. The syntax is elegant, it's an open-source language, the icon is cool, I mean, who doesn’t love rubies and diamonds? I like it so much I’ve got a Ruby tattoo!

Amber Hayes, Senior Software Engineer

“Tell us about what you’re working on at Clevyr!”

I’ve been at Clevyr for over 5 years now. During this time, I’ve been working with the MEAN stack, developing web applications for one of Clevyr’s main clients. Within this web application, there are complicated workflows and complex user interfaces to implement and maintain. I started on the project as a junior developer and, with perseverance and hard work, have worked my way up to leading a team of developers. It’s been quite the adventure.

BE involved! 
BE innovative! 
BE adventurous!
Or just BE

Clevyr builds cutting edge, scalable technology software solutions including artificial intelligence for IT operations, digital twinning, predictive analytics, and cognitive computing - plus much more! Check us out at clevyr.com or drop us a line at hello@clevyr.com.

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