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Women in IT

“I love problem solving and trying to come up with new and creative solutions to technical problems. The field of technology has tons of room for exploration and constant learning!”
Erica's biography

I grew up in a small town, with lots of fresh air, a father who adored all things science and tech, and a mother who encouraged curiosity and creativity as long as it was accompanied by a healthy dose of “toughness”. In 2007 I graduated from Algonquin College with a diploma in graphic design then spent a year at Sheridan College studying illustration before settling back in Ottawa. After a few years working in the interactive media and game development industries, I was tempted by the power of program logic and returned to school once again. I am currently studying in my final year of the Computer Programmer diploma program at Algonquin College while I continue to work and explore the world of game development.

Unity Integrator / Level Designer for Rullingnet Canada (VINCI). The division of Rullingnet Canada that I work for is responsible for developing educational mobile games for the company owned line of Android tablets. We aim to provide child friendly games that are fun and engaging while equally educational and in line with accepted curriculum standards.

My job involves lots of things, but mostly I act as a bridge between the graphics teams and the programmers. Having a good understanding of both visual necessities and logical practicalities allows me to work within the game engine to structure the 3D models and artistic assets produced by the graphics teams in a way that the development team can work with. Together we ensure that assets are constructed in a way that’s useable, performance friendly, and well optimized for mobile platforms.

I love problem solving and trying to come up with new and creative solutions to technical problems. The field of technology has tons of room for exploration and constant learning! I have a tendency to get bored when I don’t have a problem to solve or something new to learn so working in a field that’s constantly moving suites me really well.

I took a bit of a roundabout path into the tech industry. I graduated with a diploma for graphic design, dabbled in illustration, and eventually found myself getting frustrated with the indecisive nature of the design industry. Just when I was beginning to give up, I stumbled into a job that gave me the opportunity to expand my knowledge base and grow in a different direction. From there, I began the slow process of teaching myself the ins and outs of level design and game production, which eventually brought me to where I am today.

Have fun learning! School sometimes takes a lot of the enjoyment out of it, but constant learning really is the best part of the tech industry. If you can get excited about delving into a new project or exploring some new piece of technology then you’re in the right place. Just keep exploring and learning what interests you and let it take you where it does.

Right now I don’t get a lot of time to de-stress. As a full-time student and an unofficial project lead at work, my time is mostly filled with problem solving, planning, rigorous time management and homework. I like keeping busy, it keeps my mind active and awake but every so often I do need a chance to wind down. When I do get a moment to relax, I find the best thing for it is an evening lying on the couch, snuggled up with a big blanket, playing video games with my boyfriend.
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Through outreach and professional development activities, research, partnerships, thought leadership and online initiatives, we work with industry and academia to educate on the value of diversity for innovation, to inspire women to thrive and to celebrate the contributions of women in science and engineering.
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