December 6, 2022

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How I Acquired Here: Dominique Clarke got into application engineering via tech local community do the job first

7 min read
Dominique Clarke wasn’t all that interested in tech when she was initially thinking about which career path to get — “far from it, really.”

And still, Clarke is now a application engineer at Elastic, a system for search-powered remedies, even though dwelling and performing remotely in Philadelphia with her husband, Ryan. Her adore for the city began with internships at Campus PhillyGo to Philadelphia and Mt. Airy CDC her enjoy for tech started with Girl Create It and staying concerned with the general Philadelphia tech group.

Now, the University of Pennsylvania alum will get to mix equally by performing for Elastic when living in Fitler Square. Beneath, look at out Campus Philly’s spring 2022 job interview with Clarke on her occupation so far, what it’s like to get the job done in her part, and her suggestions for people pursuing a very similar route.

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Notify us your “Philly story” — what’s your link to the location, and what do you love most about getting a young experienced in Philly?

I’ve constantly had a connection to Philadelphia. Growing up in South Jersey, my parents would get me on day excursions all around the metropolis when I was younger. We’d halt by popular Philly hotspots like Penn’s Landing, South Avenue, the Gallery (now The Style District), and Studying Terminal Market. All the things seemed shiny, mysterious, and enjoyment at that age.

When it came time to pick a college or university, I toured faculties in Boston, New York, and even Atlanta, but when I believed again on my memories of Philly, I realized I experienced a planet-course town with excellent universities right across the bridge. As soon as I mirrored on my fondness for Philly, the determination of where to go for university arrived promptly.

Though in higher education, I’d examine additional Philly neighborhoods, strolling previous historic row houses in Previous City and brownstones in Rittenhouse. I’d try to eat my body weight in cheesesteaks, or pretzels, order late-night chocolate chip cookies, and love stay exhibits and artwork festivals. My time in higher education showed me what everyday living could be like as a doing work skilled in Philadelphia: a balanced life in a metropolis comprehensive of economic and cultural alternatives.

8 a long time after graduating university, each my husband and I get the job done remotely. We can get the job done from anywhere in the world, and I’d nevertheless pick out Philadelphia any working day! It’s rich heritage, assorted culture, lively tech local community, and top rated-notch foods scene make it an perfect spot for a youthful technologist.

Dominique Clarke. (Courtesy photo)

Did you constantly know you needed to pursue a job in the tech space? When did it “click” that a vocation in software program enhancement was for you?

I did not usually know I needed to pursue a job in tech — considerably from it, truly. A sweet aunt of mine in tech tried to influence me to go after a diploma in laptop science, but at the time a career in software program was much from my head. I declined and pursued sociology at the College of Pennsylvania as an alternative.

Although finding out sociology, I also had an curiosity in communications. My internships throughout faculty involved communications roles at a variety of nonprofit corporations, like Campus Philly! Those internships have been my 1st activities managing web sites, and obtaining an inside glimpse into the tricks powering how net webpages are created.

In get to be a lot more efficient in my communications roles, I figured out HTML to make modest changes to world wide web webpages. At the time I had a keep on HTML, CSS came as a purely natural future phase, and then JavaScript. My curiosity snowballed into a enthusiasm for learning software package enhancement and then a determination to switching professions.

I realized that software package engineering was the ideal stability of creativity and composition. On one particular hand, you know you have achieved the undertaking set prior to you if your application “just works”, but on the other hand, there’s a handful of inventive means to get to the similar final result.

Beyond computer software clicking with my personality style, meeting technologists in the course of my time pursuing a tech job sealed the offer for me. I achieved smart, ambitious, funny women of all ages in tech. Currently being all over other technologists was addicting. I felt like I experienced identified my individuals, and dove headfirst into pursuing technologies.

Dominique Clarke. (Courtesy image)

As a senior program engineer at Elastic, you do the job across numerous unique features of tech, but target on “practicing delight-driven growth.” Can you share additional about this method and how it impacts your day-to-working day do the job?

Every work is in provider to others, and software program is no diverse. I want the computer software I create to make the life of anybody it touches a minimal happier, or at the pretty least a tiny less difficult. Software’s not always enjoyable — unless of course you’re creating games or professional medical software, it can be really hard to see how your function sparks joy or impacts lives for the better. Nonetheless, I want my perform on even the most obscure technique to be the greatest excellent. I hope everything I add behind the scenes can trickle down to everyday individuals, like my have teammates, in meaningful means I may never ever see.

What is the most thrilling, or worthwhile, task you’ve experienced the opportunity to work on at Elastic?

There have been numerous various initiatives I have worked on at Elastic. Not long ago, I contributed to Elastic’s Artificial Monitoring product, a browser-primarily based artificial monitoring software to simulate person actions and proactively detect problems on your website. We have started piloting our global managed tests infrastructure and issue and simply click script recorder. In minutes, you can established up artificial monitors from destinations all around the planet, devoid of handling your personal infrastructure. This sort of program is a substantial support to engineers monitoring the overall performance of their website applications. I’m thrilled to be in a position to serve other software package engineers in this way.

Dominique Clarke. (Courtesy photograph)

How did your internship and volunteering experience support you in pinpointing your vocation path?

I stated that working in communications internships exposed me to website progress, but my exceptional experience also led me down a extremely distinct path in the direction of my latest job. I labored for companies that strengthened Philadelphia, including Campus Philly, Visit Philadelphia, Mt. Airy CDC, and Mission Very first Housing. My do the job in the local community-advancement sphere, paired with my appreciate of technologies and volunteer do the job within just the Philadelphia tech neighborhood, led me to Zip Code Wilmington wherever I worked as a community engagement manager.

Zip Code Wilmington is a nonprofit computer software engineering bootcamp aimed at reworking the lives of aspiring technologists even though strengthening the economy of Delaware. It was a ideal combine of both my passions: community enhancement and technological innovation. Throughout my time at Zip Code Wilmington, I observed my pupils transfer from hopeful coders to expert engineers. That’s when I made the decision I needed that tale for myself, and made a decision to changeover from my local community engagement part at Zip Code in pursuit of a whole-time computer software role.

Dominique Clarke. (Courtesy picture)

Philly’s tech local community is potent, and there are typically gatherings, networking opportunities, or skilled businesses to join to remain engaged. How have you constructed group in Philly’s tech room, and what guidance would you give for anyone hoping to do the identical?

Building local community in Philadelphia happens in lots of different methods. In tech, your group commences very first with your workforce at work. I’ve constantly achieved the most intriguing and gifted technologists in my expert roles. Even after switching careers, engineers I met at perform keep on to be component of my tribe. One particular of the engineers I labored with in Dallas, Texas, even came to my marriage!

Past developing interactions at function, Philadelphia is house to many energetic technology meetups. Nevertheless I’ve been fewer included in the Philly tech community owing to brief stints in other states and the pandemic, I initially crafted group in the Philly tech space by becoming a member of ladies in tech meetups. Past just participating, I volunteered and deepened my marriage with the management of these teams. Attending meetups was the emphasize of my week. I strived to be at as numerous events as probable, learning, volunteering and meeting as many men and women as doable.

If you have been to supply Just one piece of assistance to a college or university student or current graduate who is interested in pursuing a occupation in tech, what would it be?

It’s crucial to know that if you are pursuing a vocation in tech with no a laptop or computer science diploma, the street to success can be lengthy and really hard. Which is why I recommend each laptop or computer science graduates and non-pc science graduates to get associated with the Philadelphia tech neighborhood as quickly as achievable.

Specialized.ly is a wonderful useful resource for tech news and data about area functions and meetup teams. Acquiring interactions with Philadelphia technologists can established you up for superior results, even though also creating the route in the direction of achievements a blast. I have had so substantially exciting at JavaScript workshops, females in tech brunches, begin up get-togethers, and conferences. Community has been an outstanding resource of support and serendipity. Chance conferences have turned into volunteer or specialist alternatives. When beginning out in your vocation, do not get rid of coronary heart. Reach out to the broader Philadelphia tech neighborhood for support and corporation alongside the journey.

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