A Look at Women in Tech from Laura Brown of Twentyseven Global

Custom software development firm with headquarters in Kansas City, Denver and Vietnam, Twentyseven Global, is a big supporter of women in tech. The team believes that the tech industry should have no gender bias as long as the person in the role is skilled and innovative. Laura Brown is one of the many women who work at Twentyseven Global and is an advocate for encouraging more women with an interest in the field to enter technology. Laura decided to share some of her experiences with the tech field, along with what she loves about working for Twentyseven Global, on the blog. Here are some thoughts from Laura.

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I got started in tech because I had a desire to express my creativity. Originally that led me to the culinary field. After growing tired of the schedule, I stumbled into a job in tech where I discovered that my co-workers were extremely imaginative. As it turned out, my inner Martha Stewart and MacGyver-like tendencies were a natural fit.

In my first tech-related job, my mentor was a great influence. Her ideas were sometimes unconventional and people reacted predictably. She taught me that if I really believed in an idea, I should see it through. Ultimately, if an idea or thought is truly good, others will eventually recognize it as such.

Since I fell into the tech field, the common knowledge that women were a minority in the field was never a consideration. Instead of viewing my gender as a challenge or an obstacle, I’ve viewed it as an opportunity to provide a unique perspective as I often look at problems and their solutions from a different angle than my male counterparts. I’ve been fortunate to work with some of the best software developers in the industry who’ve affirmed that a different way of problem solving can be helpful in removing impediments and achieving project milestones.

That’s not to say I’m living life with blinders on or that I’m unaware of the gender discrepancies, but I’ve never let it affect my outlook. Regarding particular influences, my primary motivation to continue working in tech derives from my desire to provide for, guide, and inspire my nine year old daughter. I want her to grow up with a level head and with the knowledge that confidence looks better on a woman than any dress she’ll ever wear.

There are so many inspirational women impacting the world of tech, but I am very interested in the work of Marissa Mayer, the current CEO of Yahoo. Aside from being brilliant, she was one of the first employees at Google (notably, the first female employee) and was a key player in developing many of the products that we know and love today: Gmail, Google Maps, Street View, Local Search, etc. She currently has the difficult task of saving Yahoo. I’d like to think she is up for the challenge.

I gravitated toward Twentyseven Global to continue my career in tech because, where software is concerned, there isn’t anything 27 Global doesn’t do. This made it extremely attractive. One month I might be designing a new app for a food delivery service while creating a tool for investment advisors the next. There are always new challenges and opportunities to learn and the idea of becoming a pseudo-expert in a variety of areas was very alluring.

As a company, 27 Global is somewhat agnostic when it comes to different programming languages; however we have a strong foothold in the areas of .net, open source and mobile development. As an individual, I specialize in listening and asking the right questions based on what I’ve heard. I can be fairly aggressive in my approach, but I feel that software is too often built without a full understanding of the user’s story. “Who is the user? What do they want to be able to do and why?” I don’t care if you’re an agile advocate or an adherent to the long-standing waterfall approach.  If you don’t get to the bottom of these questions, then you may build something that looks pretty but doesn’t fully meet your client’s needs.

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