Episode Description:

As software engineers we have the skills to make great tools but perhaps an even greater honor is the opportunity to teach and share our skills with others. In this episode we speak to an engineer who does just that, inspires future engineers through her community involvement.

Our guest today is Sierra Acy, a software engineer at HBO Max. She is a huge proponent of and loves helping others learn computer science and giving back to her community. When she volunteers and shares her knowledge, she is constantly reminded of why she loves software engineering.

Her love for community service began while in college at UT Austin organizing Hour of Code events for local schools. She has since spent a great deal of time organizing Disney’s Seattle internship program and is currently a teacher through the TEALSK12 program and a mentor with Mentors in Tech. Not only is Sierra a software engineer she is also a book cover and e-marketing material designer with over 20 published covers. Prior to working at HBO Max, she worked at The Walt Disney Company and Microsoft.

Connect with Sierra

Show notes and helpful resources:

  • First Bytes Summer Camp - engineering camp for high school girls
  • Arduino - Starter kits
  • UT Austin’s Coding in the Classroom and Hour of Code - getting students involved in programming through an hour of code. Minor correction from the show, this program is NOT an after school program as mentioned, it IS an hour per week during class
  • WICS - Women in Computer Science at UT Austin - a shared community that confirmed her sense of belonging in software engineering
  • Disney Professional Internships
  • TEALSK12 - Technology Education and Literacy in Schools program - Apply now to be a mentor
  • MinT - Mentors in Tech
  • Tips for better communication:
    • Set the context
    • Know your audience - are they technical or not?
    • Learn the communication style of those you are engaging with
    • Practice practice practice
  • Building authentic relationships
    • Bring your whole self and your personality to work
    • Be humans outside of work - engage with your coworkers through things like coffee chats
  • Sierra is currently reading: Technically Wrong by Sara Wachter-Boettcher
  • Learn Python, learn Rust
  • Pound Fit
  • Tech using to solve everyday problems - Fantastical
  • Grace Hopper Celebration

Building something cool or solving interesting problems? Want to be on this show? Send me an email at jointhepodcast@unfilteredbuild.com

Podcast produced by Unfiltered Build - dream.design.develop.