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Carolina Pinzon

 

A Conversation with Carolina

What is your current job? Please list the title and briefly describe what it involves

I’m currently a full stack developer at Loblaw Digital, but really I focus almost entirely on front end development. What does a full stack developer do? We implement features both on the server and client side of a website.Primarily, my job requires me to design, implement and maintain the browser side code for Loblaw’s eCommerce websites! I have a direct hand in the way things look and feel when you shop on our websites. It’s a great mix of engineering and design.

What made you want to pursue a career in engineering?

I was really lucky growing up. My parents are both computer engineers so I was introduced to the field from an early age. They were very encouraging in my education, and I was able to explore all kinds of different subjects in school without any prejudice that STEM courses were for boys. I naturally gravitated towards computer science, physics and math, I enjoyed them so much I even took calculus courses in advance!I also always loved puzzles, I often played with legos and video games when I was little. Being able to visualize something in your head and actually have the technical knowledge to make it come to life is extraordinary, it still blows me away every time I can make something cool or difficult work.

What’s your favourite part of your job?

I love how experimental my job is. I feel like a little kid who gets to play with really cool and complex legos every day! And they pay me for it!Front-end/web development is still growing and changing extremely rapidly, and there’s so many tools and frameworks out there to build whatever you want. The possibilities seem endless!I also really like how there’s an artistic side to this type of development as well. If I do my job well, we end up with a really beautiful website that our users can navigate with ease. I find that incredibly rewarding.

How do you celebrate National Engineering Month?

Talking about it! I am fortunate to be surrounded both at work and in my personal life with extraordinary engineers from vastly different backgrounds, that inspire me and help me nurture my career path. We engage in thought-provoking discussions about challenging the status quo, being frank about how our disciplines and the how nature of our work is evolving and could improve.I think these introspective conversations are very important because they lead to self-awareness of our responsibilities as engineers.

What advice do you have for young women who hope to pursue a career in your field?

Don’t give up! There were times in the early years of my career when the people who were supposed to be my mentors were not encouraging of my goals to be a software engineer because I was different than you’d expect the average developer to be. Keep fighting for your goals, because it’s worth the fight.Also, be patient with yourself! It took time to find what really suited me in the realm of my engineering discipline, since there’s so much breadth and depth to cover. Follow your instincts and think with your gut, it’ll lead you to where you want to be.Lastly, keep learning! This career isn’t static, it keeps evolving and changing at a really hight rate, and to keep up with it you have stay on top or at least aware of what’s going on out there, what new technologies are coming out every day.

Carolina’s BiographyI’m a software developer working for Canada’s biggest retailer. I am part of a small but mighty team that builds Loblaw’s eCommerce websites.I was born in Caracas, Venezuela, and moved to Toronto in my teens. I went to Queen’s University where I pursued a degree in Computer Engineering with a professional internship at BlackBerry. I did a short stint in technical consulting and am now specializing in front-end web development.I’m a musician as well, and have been playing music since I was very little. I’m currently in a heavy metal band with one of my closest friends, another Queen’s engineer. I love travelling, binge-watching Netflix and hanging out with my cat.I also have a chronic auto-immune illness, rheumatoid arthritis. While it’s been tough to live with this condition for the better part of the last decade, I’ve been able to pursue my goals and flourish in my chosen field.

 

Nous travaillons avec l'industrie et le milieu universitaire pour éduquer sur la valeur de la diversité pour l'innovation, inspirer les femmes à prospérer et célébrer les contributions des femmes en sciences et en génie.
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