Leigha Mitchell: Software Engineer

canada2067 | Educators |

Leigha Mitchell: Software Engineer, Hubba

What motivates you in your career?

Software engineering is a great fit for me because I can never get bored. There are always challenges, problems to solve and new things to learn. I like using my brain to come up with solutions and make things happen, and the fact that someone pays me for that is crazy. I don’t have to waste time with paperwork, and I get to understand and build the technology that is such a big part of our lives. Being an introvert makes having the ability to work from home, or sit with headphones on and get stuff done, really comforting as well.

Describe what you do at work.

I write code, mostly JavaScript. Beyond that my team and I also plan what the code needs to do, how it works, how to keep it from breaking other code and figure out what needs to be tested. There is a lot of planning and thinking that goes into even seemingly simple features before you ever write a line of code.

Usually I break things. We all break things, but then I work to figure out why and how to fix them. It’s a whole lot of failing, but it is always worth it when everything works in the end. I work with a team of about seven people and it’s great to be surrounded by super smart people who are always willing to help.

Being on a back-end development team I work mostly on the features people won’t see. But that’s why it’s important. Sending emails, dealing with databases, search, maintenance and improvements are part of what I work on day to day.

Describe your career path to this career.

I had no idea what I wanted to do in high school. Most of the time it felt like I was just stumbling along until I finally found my footing in a career I actually enjoy. I tried university and it wasn’t for me. Well it was kind of for me but I didn’t want to spend a tonne of money while I was still figuring out what I wanted to do. So after working in restaurants for years, I took a job as an Educational Coordinator for unionized electricians for three years at the age of 19. It was as boring as it sounds. I decided to leave and find a place more suited for my personality and ideas. I ended up at a start-up doing technical support. I knew that’s where I wanted to stay, but not what I wanted to keep doing. So I left again, and took a coding boot camp for two months and landed my dream job.

How does your job affect people’s lives?

As a software engineer at Hubba, the code I write helps small businesses get their start and be discovered. People who have invested their lives into something they believe in can make connections that help them take the next step with their business.

What advice or encouragement would you give others seeking a similar career?

Start now. Even if it’s just dabbling and even if it’s just to find out that you don’t really like it.

What activities do you like to do outside of work?

I do a whole lot of volunteering and generally avoid physical activities. I often volunteer to teach people to code, and have a student I mentor one-on-one. Anything involving animals or music takes priority when it comes to my free time.

I was born/grew up in: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
I now live in: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

This article originally appeared on Explorecuriocity.org/canada2067 and can be found here.