I'M NOT SUPPOSED TO// Be a Female (Motorcycle Riding) Software Developer
I'm Not Supposed to... is a brand new feature on SoloSeule. We're showcasing interviews with ladies that are going against the grain and doing exactly what society says they shouldn't.
When you hear the roar of a motorcycle next to you on the street, you probably do not expect 5'3'' Catie Cook (@catiecook) to be on it. She's a rad 25-year-old software developer residing in Seattle who can often be caught talking about her love of espresso, her home states of Maine and Colorado, and her 1988 Toyota Pickup. She's also passionate about her job in tech and redefining society's image of who can be a software developer.
Who are you?
I'm Catie! I've always been very fascinated with interacting with people and learning new things-- which has led me down a few 'career' paths including graphic design, floral design, and coffee-slinging before landing in the software development field. Professionally, I enjoy building things that people get to interact with. Outside of work, I love to snowboard, find new places to explore in my current city, drink coffee and read at a local shop, and ride my motorcycle when the weather permits. I'm a pretty hyperactive person so, I'm always looking to go on an adventure or even just take a walk.
What’s your background?
My background is a bit nuts. I used to be a competitive snowboarder, but when I was 17 I ended up hurting myself and had to have years of surgeries on my left knee. After that, I decided to go to school for graphic design because I wanted to stay creative and still have a chance to be involved in the snow industry. I love graphic design and got interested in how people interact and communicate through design. That spiraled into an interest in web development. While I was getting my degree and practicing as a graphic designer, I worked as a barista. One of our customers introduced me to motorcycles, and I quickly filled the gap in my life that was left by snowboarding with a 1970 Honda CL100. It was love at first sight. Ever since then, I've been riding and getting bigger bikes. Now, I've got a Triumph Bonneville T100.
What do you wish more women were doing?
I wish more women were starting and *finishing* web development and software development studies. I truly think the motorcycle world was easier to breach and gain support in. Tech is tough because the things that push out women are so subtle and build over time. I'm only about two years in and, I feel it. I think there needs to be more support internally and externally at places of work - changes are being made and progress is happening, but it's a slow climb. I have faith we will get there. I'd also like to see more women standing up for themselves in the workplace. I've become very aware of little things I've let slide my whole life, and I think we need to be more conscious and stop letting them happen.
What’s a common misconception about you?
That's a great question. I think people may think I know what I am doing all the time. But I'm really just winging it and trying my best.
What’s your favorite city in the world and why?
I don't have a favorite city yet. I love many cities for different reasons and favorite is such a strong word. I love Vancouver because of its culture and proximity to the ocean and nature. I love Denver because most of my friends and family are there. My favorite place is Aspen because that's where I feel like I grew up, and it's where my brother and parents live.
What’s a song you could listen to a thousand times on repeat?
The Head and The Heart - Rivers and Roads. It gives me feels.