My AE Experience: From Astronomy to Software Development

In this post, we meet Jennifer Tigner, a core member of AE’s development team. Keep reading to learn more about what brought her to AE and what keeps her around!

How long have you been working at AE?

I’ve been with AE since March 2018, when I was hired as an Intermediate Developer.

What inspired you to become a software developer?

After completing my Astronomy degree at UVic, I was on the job hunt constantly.  I did a few amazing co-ops during my program (see the picture below!), but full-time jobs in  Astronomy are quite scarce.

I remember sitting at home one day after another fruitless job search and realizing I was bored with where I was in life. So I decided to join a local club called Ladies Learning Code. I took an HTML workshop and found it really interesting. There were less than 10 members in Victoria’s meetup at the time and it was great to just get out and meet some new people!

This then led me to later take a coding boot camp that I found out about through the club. I, very spontaneously, quit my job, applied, and two months later I was in living Vancouver learning how to code!

jenn at the gemini telescope
Jenn at her co-op at the Gemini South Observatory

What is your favorite part about working at AE?

I love the positive atmosphere when everyone is working together at the office. It is the right amount of fun that really encourages openness and professional growth. Because of this, I love coming into the office every day.

Another cool thing about AE is how much everyone loves music; we always have some great tunes going in the office! Everyone has different tastes and it’s fun and refreshing to have a mix going.

Jenn holding records
Swag from a local record label! 

Describe a typical workday.

My typical workday is to come in a bit early, grab a coffee, and settle into my standing desk. Then I go through Monday, our online project management tool and task list. I check what I’ve scheduled for myself that day and read any new comments or questions from my co-workers. After that, I get started on coding. The rest of my day is mostly spent coding or designing my current project. Depending on the day, other tasks come up, such as meetings (just twice a week – a full team meeting and a developer meeting), code reviews, or even the occasional blog post.

What keeps you motivated at work?

Sometimes my motivation comes from the pure energy and encouragement in the office. Sometimes it comes from my excitement working on a new project: the beginning is always my favorite part! Motivation also comes from seeing a problem or question that I now know the answer to. It reminds me that I am continually learning and improving my skills. Lastly, I get motivated by seeing the product itself in action. It’s rewarding to know that our clients are using AE to create a better experience for their users.

Team icecream run…yummm

What is the coolest project you’ve worked on?

Definitely the total revamp of the AE Connect page on our dashboard. Initially, the page was missing a lot of information, as we personally take our Enterprise clients through it. My goal was to update it so self-service customers could understand and use it without any hand-holding.

This project started with me taking the time to fully understand how AE works. I went through all the steps of setting up AE on a website and then translated that into instructions and an easy-to-follow UI for our new self-serve users. I am really proud of the result and every time I visit the page I get that sense of “wow, I created that!.” It’s a very satisfying feeling.  

What is the top skill you’ve gained?

I think the best overall skill I have honed is how to properly debug code. While I’m still learning all the tricks, this skill has really leveled me up from junior to intermediate. It’s all about the problem-solving, rather than just the “how-to’s”. As a person who is a big fan of logic puzzles and sudoku, debugging code is perfect for me!

xxx

Learn more about Jenn and the rest of the AE Team here.

The AE team

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Odette Jacquet

About Odette Jacquet

I'm AE's jack-of-all-trades marketer! I'm a part of everything from social media to analytics to sales. My passions include videography, the arts, and growing food.