| Individuals October 30, 2015

October 30, 2015

Employee Spotlight: Stephanie Shupe, senior software engineer, on women in tech and writing clean code

By Lookout

In this series we’re highlighting some of our awesome employees and the work they do. In their own words, you’ll hear about our employees biggest wins, favorite moments, and reasons for doing what they do. Interested in starting a career at Lookout? Check out our open jobs.
Stephanie Shupe
Stephanie Shupe Senior Software Engineer
Q: Why is what you do important?
A: The most important thing for me is furthering women in technology. That is something I do at work through Lookout’s Diversity Committee and give back to in my personal life as an advisor with Women Who Code. At this past year’s Grace Hopper conference, Sheryl Sandberg noted that while the conference attendance is growing, the actual numbers of women in tech -- percentages within companies, acquisition, and retention -- aren’t changing. We need to get more support from executives and boards in these tech companies to gain traction here. I’m glad that Lookout actually has a Diversity Committee. We have a CEO who supports our initiatives. Many companies aren’t even thinking about how to tackle this. All these women in tech conferences are great, but we need to start acting, and I’m glad that we have. It's going to take every company dedicating effort to make a change.
Q: What is one of your favorite projects you’ve worked on at Lookout?
A: Working on our enterprise product has been one of my favorites. I was originally working on our consumer product, but recently had the opportunity to switch over to work on our enterprise product backend. It has been really cool to see how we use our data and funnel it into new products that help people and companies - both are important. Customers are responding to our work. Though I’m technically a backend engineer, I’ve been trying to learn both frontend and backend. My personal goal is not to be an expert in either one, but rather to understand the full stack. Getting to work on the enterprise product has given me an opportunity to do both and it has really helped me feel like I’m moving and learning.
Q: How has your team helped you or what is one of your favorite memories/anecdotes from the team?
A: One of the biggest skills my team helped me learn was testing. I hadn’t gotten into a habit of code testing when I first came out of my boot camp program years ago. I had done a little bit of it, but my team, and Lookout, really demands that code work as well as possible before it ever gets into quality assurance’s hands. They helped me set up tests, which changed the way I looked at writing my code. Here’s how it works: the product team gives us the expectations for that product or feature. You take those expectations and write them into your test. Effectively your code is going to fail all of those expectations at first, but then one by one you make them pass and can rest at the end knowing that your project works the way you wanted. It’s not a complete failsafe, but it’s a cool method of writing code that I learned solidly from my team. The nice thing is, Lookout’s whole engineering organization uses the same kind of methodology, so if you transfer teams like I did, you can carry your coding practice with you. That’s something I’m really thankful for.
Learn more about what it’s like to work for Lookout on our careers page.

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