International Women's Day: Payworks women in tech
Feb 29, 2020Culture
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We might be a bit biased, but we believe some of the most innovative women in tech today can be found under Payworks’ roof.
At our head office in Winnipeg, our Development Team is constantly striving to create, build and enhance our suite of world-class workforce management solutions, all of which is made possible by our Product Managers, Business Analysts, Quality Assurance Analysts, UX/UI Designers, and Systems Developers. They work together to deliver best-in-class products and solutions to more than 20,000 businesses across Canada.
Like many industries, this field has not always been known to include a significant number of women. But as the years and decades have passed, that percentage is starting to increase. More and more women are not only choosing science and technology careers; they’re thriving in them. That's why we wanted to take a moment this International Women’s Day to celebrate our own women in tech - because we think they rock! These are some of the people working behind-the-scenes to ensure Canadians are paid accurately and on time, every time.
Meet Payworks’ Product Managers
Our Product Managers’ job is to build a holistic understanding of our customers and their workforce management needs. They lead our organization when it comes to understanding the current payroll and human resources marketplace, and they assess our suite of solutions to ensure they're meeting the needs of more than 20,000 businesses across the country.
Lori Watson is a Payworks Product Analyst. She first started her career as a software developer and has now progressed into the Product Management side of the field. She shared how she found her love for helping people and the reward in knowing the positive affect her work has on our customers.
"I’d been a part of software product teams in the past, but it wasn't until I was on a smaller team launching a brand new product that I realized Product Management was for me," Lori explained. "I find there is more interaction with the end user on this side, and I really enjoy testing concepts and learning from them. It's been a great experience so far and has opened my eyes to how I’d like to build future products. When I started my career as a software developer, I had no idea it would morph to where it is today. You can start on one path and end up somewhere different. Hopefully, it's somewhere that's a perfect fit for you."
Meet Payworks' Business Analysts
Business Analysts (BAs) work with Product Managers to understand the criteria for building a new product, adding features and functionality to existing product, or integrating two existing products so they can work seamlessly together. The BAs brainstorm and conceptualize a solution for the desired outcome of the project, and articulate those needs to the Development Team's Systems Developers. They facilitate the conversations between the Product Managers and the Developers, using an iterative approach.
"Several years ago I was a Quality Assurance Analyst and on one particular project, I was working closely with one of the BAs," explained Jennifer Foot about when she first considered being a BA as a career path. "I trained her on the two software systems we were integrating and she commented on how much easier her job would be since the current state was so well documents and understood. Afterwards, she encouraged me to consider BA as the next evolution of my career. I'm still grateful to her for her encouragement and support."
Jennifer's advice to other women pursuing their own career paths is to not be afraid to try something new.
"Often we find the largest rewards when we step outside of our comfort zone," she said.
Meet Payworks' Systems Developers
Systems Developers, also called software developers, develop and implement the actual solutions themselves. They’re the ones working very much behind-the-scenes, coding all of the functionality and features used daily by our clients within every single one of our products.
Nicole Hryciw is a Payworks Systems Developer who first started programming when she was in high school.
"Though it's quite technical, it can also be creative, and that's what I like about it," she said.
She also has valuable insights to share with other women pursing development and technology in their own career paths.
"Try not to compare yourself to anyone else," she said. "Everyone learns programming languages in different ways and at different paces. If you can't figure out something, just ask. It's good to try to solve things on your own at first - remember the Internet is your friend sometimes. But after a certain amount of time, asking for help can be beneficial and ultimately it can help you learn."
Adrienne Pind found her love of computer science while she was pursuing a math degree in university. She explained that she had to take a computer science course as a prerequisite and she walked into the class not knowing what computer science even was.
"I quickly realized it was about solving puzzles and logic problems, which was also what I liked most about math," she said. "I ended up liking the class so much that I switched degrees."
As a Payworks Systems Developer, what Adrienne likes most about her job is the ongoing opportunity for learning. Her advice for women pursuing a career in development is that there's room in the industry for everyone.
"Keep doing what you like and be yourself," she said.
Meet Payworks' Quality Assurance Analysts
They're called QAs around our office, but within other organizations their job can go by a different title, like software quality analysts. What QAs do on the daily is apply everyday practices to products to ensure they're functioning as anticipated. It's their responsibility to understand all of the behaviours of our online solutions and know if the functionality of our programs meets the needs of our clients. The core function of their role is in their name: quality.
"I chose to become a QA because it gives me the opportunity to explore, analyze, and understand how systems work end to end," said Payworks Quality Assurance Analyst Geeta Hegde. "It's an interesting and challenging job. You constantly have to look at a product from a different angle and from different perspectives, while always keeping in mind the user's expectations."
Geeta explained that being a QA requires critical thinking and an eye for detail. She loves her job because she always feels like she's contributing to the betterment of our solutions.
"Each day is an opportunity and I wish all women pursuing development as a career all of the success in everything they do," said Geeta. "Happy International Women's Day to all of the incredible women out there!"
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