For this blog post, we reached out to different women in the tech space to gain insight on how they initially gained interest in the tech industry, challenges they face and how they work to overcome those challenges. This blog post features Bonnie Grubbs, a current HiringThing employee, who took a leap towards her passion and switched careers. Enjoy!
Prior to becoming a junior software engineer at HiringThing, Bonnie Grubbs was a stay-at-home mom to four children and a certified nursing assistant to one of her children with special needs. Bonnie has a natural gift and passion for problem solving and finding applicable solutions, as she and her husband would work on homework problems and figure things out together while he was in school. Once each of her children reached a reasonable school age, she decided to fuel her passion and pursue a career in the tech industry.
Bonnie’s decision to go back to school and switch her major from chemistry to software engineering ultimately necessitated a career switch. Despite her love for science and technology, she admitted she originally had her doubts.
“Switching careers meant I was not the typical age of a college student,” Bonnie said. “I had doubts about going back to school after taking so much time off and wondered what my experience would be like.”
Bonnie was also unsure of what companies would think about her beginner-level skill set accompanied with the fact that she was no longer in her 20s. She felt that an undue stigma was attached to switching careers or going back to college.
Sweating the small stuff has the potential to get in the way of one’s focus, but Bonnie didn’t let that stop her. In 2018, she graduated from Colorado State University and shortly after was hired by HiringThing in her first engineering role.
“Point being, don’t let your worries get in the way of learning new things and doing something that you enjoy,” Bonnie emphasized.
In her current role, Bonnie works on bug fixes and changes until she can gain more experience to work herself up the ladder.
“Engineering is very different than anything I’ve ever done before,” Bonnie explained. “Everything is new but very exciting.”
One of Bonnie’s biggest challenges has been the steep learning curve involved in a new industry and getting herself up to speed with tools, processes, and more. Because she can’t glean from previous work experience, she doesn’t hesitate to ask as many questions as necessary to help her gain a better understanding. Learning new things and finding solutions to problems is what helps drives her interest and passion.
“I love the problem-solving aspect of the job,” Bonnie said. “Whether you are finding and fixing bugs or adding new features, there are lots of little problems that need to be solved. It’s very rewarding to be able to find solutions.”
In addition to her love for problem solving, Bonnie enjoys her first fully remote role, as she is able to maintain a work/life balance suitable for her.
“I really love not having to worry about a commute and being around my family more,” Bonnie said. “I also enjoy the quiet and solitude, which allows me to have a better focus with my work.”
Growing up, Bonnie experienced little encouragement from others regarding her great interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). However, it only takes one person to make a significant impact on one’s life. For Bonnie, that person was her high school chemistry teacher, Mrs. England.
“She inspired and encouraged me to follow my interests,” Bonnie said.
In turn, Bonnie hopes she can be a role model for someone else. She believes women should have access to opportunities in STEM and encouragement from others in the same way men do. Bonnie wants to live as proof that other girls and women can also be software engineers.
Author: Alisiana Peters
Alisiana is a senior marketing coordinator at HiringThing, an award-winning online recruiting software provider dedicated to changing the way businesses hire talent. Questions? Contact HiringThing Marketing.