CB FI 436

Circuit Break Podcast #436

International Women in Engineering Day with Kaylan Smith and Laura Manley

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June 21, 2024, Episode #436

In this special episode celebrating International Women in Engineering Day, hosts Parker Dillmann and Stephen Kraig are joined by Kaylan Smith, Lead Software Developer for Supply Chain and Finance at MacroFab, and Laura Manley, Product Manager for Marketplace & Factory Experience at MacroFab. They discuss their journeys into engineering, challenges faced, and the importance of diversity and inclusion in the field. The episode highlights personal stories, experiences, and insights into how they navigated their careers and the future of women in engineering.

News/Announcements

  • June 23rd is International Women in Engineering Day.
  • Kaylan and Laura share their professional journeys and roles at MacroFab.
  • Discussion on the importance of diversity and inclusion in engineering.

Key Discussion Points

  • Kaylan and Laura’s educational backgrounds and paths to MacroFab.
  • The impact of role models and mentorship in their careers.
  • Challenges faced by women in engineering and how they overcame them.
  • The importance of diversity and inclusion in the engineering sector.
  • The role of product management and the shift from design to management.
  • The differences in work culture and expectations in creative fields vs. engineering fields.
  • The importance of process and validation in engineering work.
  • Experiences with implicit biases and the need for more diverse role models in technology.
  • The significance of having a supportive and inclusive work environment.
  • Future trends and opportunities for women in engineering.
  • Advice for young women aspiring to enter the engineering field.

Relevant Links

  • AnitaB.org: A global organization supporting women in technology.

Community Questions

  • What are your thoughts on the role of diversity and inclusion in engineering?
  • How have role models or mentors influenced your career path?
  • What challenges have you faced in your engineering journey and how did you overcome them?
  • How do you see the future of women in engineering evolving?

MacroFab

This show is brought to you by MacroFab, which provides a platform for electronics manufacturing services (EMS), hardware development, designing and prototyping for individuals, startups, and businesses. Key MacroFab services include PCB (Printed Circuit Board) fabrication, assembly, and testing. Customers can use MacroFab's platform to upload their PCB designs, select components, and specify manufacturing requirements.

We Want to Hear From You!

Subscribe to Circuit Break wherever you get your podcasts! And join our online discussion hub at forum.macrofab.com to keep the conversation going with electrical engineering experts and experimenters! You can also email us at podcast@macrofab.com.

Kaylan Smith, Lead Software Developer for Supply Chain and Finance at MacroFab

Kaylan Smith, Lead Software Developer for Supply Chain and Finance at MacroFab

Laura Manley, Product Manager for Marketplace & Factory Experience at MacroFab

Laura Manley, Product Manager for Marketplace & Factory Experience at MacroFab

About the Hosts

Parker Dillmann
  Parker Dillmann

Parker is an Electrical Engineer with backgrounds in Embedded System Design and Digital Signal Processing. He got his start in 2005 by hacking Nintendo consoles into portable gaming units. The following year he designed and produced an Atari 2600 video mod to allow the Atari to display a crisp, RF fuzz free picture on newer TVs. Over a thousand Atari video mods where produced by Parker from 2006 to 2011 and the mod is still made by other enthusiasts in the Atari community.

In 2006, Parker enrolled at The University of Texas at Austin as a Petroleum Engineer. After realizing electronics was his passion he switched majors in 2007 to Electrical and Computer Engineering. Following his previous background in making the Atari 2600 video mod, Parker decided to take more board layout classes and circuit design classes. Other areas of study include robotics, microcontroller theory and design, FPGA development with VHDL and Verilog, and image and signal processing with DSPs. In 2010, Parker won a Ti sponsored Launchpad programming and design contest that was held by the IEEE CS chapter at the University. Parker graduated with a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering in the Spring of 2012.

In the Summer of 2012, Parker was hired on as an Electrical Engineer at Dynamic Perception to design and prototype new electronic products. Here, Parker learned about full product development cycles and honed his board layout skills. Seeing the difficulties in managing operations and FCC/CE compliance testing, Parker thought there had to be a better way for small electronic companies to get their product out in customer's hands.

Parker also runs the blog, longhornengineer.com, where he posts his personal projects, technical guides, and appnotes about board layout design and components.

Stephen Kraig
  Stephen Kraig

Stephen Kraig is a component engineer working in the aerospace industry. He has applied his electrical engineering knowledge in a variety of contexts previously, including oil and gas, contract manufacturing, audio electronic repair, and synthesizer design. A graduate of Texas A&M, Stephen has lived his adult life in the Houston, TX, and Denver, CO, areas.

Stephen has never said no to a project. From building guitar amps (starting when he was 17) to designing and building his own CNC table to fine-tuning the mineral composition of the water he uses to brew beer, he thrives on testing, experimentation, and problem-solving. Tune into the podcast to learn more about the wacky stuff Stephen gets up to.

Transcript

Parker Dillmann
Welcome to circuit break from MacroFab, a weekly show about all things engineering, DIY projects, manufacturing industry news and international women in engineering day. We're your hosts electrical engineers Parker Dillmann

Stephen Kraig
and Stephen Kraig.

Parker Dillmann
This is episode 436.

Stephen Kraig
So this week, we have Kalen Smith and Laura Manley on the podcast. Kalen is the lead software developer for supply chain and finance at Macrofab. Laura is the product manager for the marketplace and factory experience at Macrofab.

Parker Dillmann
To the podcast.

Kaylan Smith
Woo hoo. Thank you for having us.

Stephen Kraig
Yeah. Thank you so much.

Parker Dillmann
So before we dive completely into our topic today can you y'all go over y'all's backgrounds a bit? So, actually, Kaylan's been on the podcast before. It was quite a while ago though.

Kaylan Smith
It was episode 91.

Parker Dillmann
Sub 100.

Kaylan Smith
The reason I know that is because you guys were giving do you still give shirts? Should I say that? Because are people gonna be missed? They didn't get a shirt.

Stephen Kraig
We know you haven't given out a shirt

Kaylan Smith
in a long time. Enough. Okay. I got a shirt. And my shirt, it says podcast.

Kaylan Smith
It had the headphones logo in it. It said podcast guest, and then Parker Sharpie ed in the number 91 on the shirt. So and I still have it and I still wear it.

Parker Dillmann
Nice. I wonder we should

Stephen Kraig
do those

Laura Manley
I definitely want that shirt.

Parker Dillmann
I wonder we should do those again.

Stephen Kraig
That that was that was really fun. And and I if I remember right, we actually recorded that episode at the old MacFabb HQ in the engineering department. Yeah. Gosh. That was a while ago.

Stephen Kraig
Yeah. Yeah. It

Kaylan Smith
was fun.

Parker Dillmann
Alright. So Laura since Caitlin was on the episode before. We're gonna have Caitlin go over her background as well, but, Laura, you go first.

Laura Manley
Okay. Yeah. So my background is electrical engineering. I grew up in Tennessee and went to Vanderbilt University. I was interested in engineering because math and science were always my best subjects, and I came from a super nerdy family, and Star Trek was just a nightly thing.

Laura Manley
And all the cool gadgets and everything in the Star Trek series got me interested in wouldn't it be cool to design little gadgets and cool stuff like that? So I know it's a nerdy answer and it's the truth. And so after undergrad, I got recruited into the oil industry and moved down to Texas, and I worked in new product development for almost 9 years designing, testing. I wrote, you know, all the assembly documentation, test instructions, did my own troubleshooting and everything, and that was really fun job. And then the pandemic hit and had a little pivot, started working on my MBA at Rice and got a new job.

Laura Manley
Still doing electrical engineering, but a little bit of a different role. I was at a company that did high performance connectors and seals, and I was the only electrical engineer maybe at the entire company, definitely in my group. And while I was at Rice, they offered a class on product management, and I had actually for a few years been really interested in becoming a product manager and I knew that I didn't completely understand all the ins and outs of really what is a product manager do, so I thought to myself, I've gotta take this class. And after I signed up for the class, they sent out an email announcing who the professor was, and it was Joey Rodriguez, VP of product at MacroFab. And I got so excited because I was like, MacroFab, I know them.

Laura Manley
I used to order my prototypes for for a macro fab, and so I was an early fan girl of the company. I used to I I used to visit and have some tours, and and I remember meeting Chris Church a few times for some tours back

Kaylan Smith
at the old location.

Laura Manley
And I think Joey was equally excited to have someone in his class that knew about Macrofab. And it was a great class, good fundamentals, and then it worked out super well that I took that class because Joey ended up hiring me onto the team. So that's how I got here.

Kaylan Smith
Awesome. So did you ever go to any of the, like, engineering meetups that or maybe

Laura Manley
I was at almost everyone. Really? Yeah. Those electronics monthly meetups. I loved them.

Kaylan Smith
That's awesome.

Laura Manley
Beer and pizza. I miss those. Well Yeah. It was great.

Kaylan Smith
That's the uniting thing for everyone, I think. Beer and pizza.

Stephen Kraig
Not the meetups.

Kaylan Smith
Questionable content on the no. I'm just kidding.

Stephen Kraig
How how long have you been at MacroFab now?

Laura Manley
I have been here for 2 years.

Stephen Kraig
And and what, what what are you doing there?

Laura Manley
Yeah. So I'm the product manager for the marketplace and factory experience team. When I hired on, I was the product manager for the quoting experience team. We've since had a little reorg where that kind of rolled up and split out. And so what I do, we do all of our quality assurance at in Houston.

Laura Manley
And so I work on making that process better and make sure the team has the tools that they need to catch defects and make sure products receive high quality or make sure that our customers receive high quality products. And we also have our marketplace screens and showing factories information about jobs and having, you know, great features and communicating information to them.

Stephen Kraig
Nice. That sounds like fun.

Parker Dillmann
The marketplace is where our partner networks and factories get their information from.

Laura Manley
So yeah. Exactly.

Parker Dillmann
We don't just have a line in Houston. We have how many

Laura Manley
Your factory's all over.

Parker Dillmann
How many factories now? Like

Kaylan Smith
I think it's 80

Stephen Kraig
something now. The last I heard, it was 30 something, but not not that I think about that a couple years ago.

Parker Dillmann
Yeah. Okay, Caitlin.

Kaylan Smith
Okay.

Parker Dillmann
What's change what's changed in

Stephen Kraig
Sure. 6 years?

Parker Dillmann
7 years?

Kaylan Smith
Yeah. There's been a lot of changes. Man, we have a, software development team at this time that's as large as the company was when I started, basically. Because when I came on in it's almost been 8 years for me. In July, it will be 8 years.

Kaylan Smith
And, of course, you guys were around, but as far as devs, there was just this tiny little handful of us. There was 4 of us. And there was about 20 people at MacroFab in total, and that included, like, people that worked in manufacturing operations. And now there's about 20 developers. So at some point a few years back, we segmented the dev team into domain expertise and bumped people up to lead teams.

Kaylan Smith
So we have the team that I oversee, which oversees all of our supply chain and finance operations and supports them through software, but we also have a team that supports all the customer side stuff and engineering. And then we have Laura's team that does the manufacturing and supports still, like, quoting actual DevOps infrastructure platform team that supports all of us as devs and then just the general infrastructure of the platform. So so I lead a team now, and they're amazing. And, yeah, I mean, all of our inventory management, everything, all of that is proprietary. Like, we've written all that.

Kaylan Smith
We don't use an off the shelf tool, so there's quite a lot to do all the time with regards to managing both everything that's sitting in that warehouse and then just logistically how we move stuff around, how we get things organized and together to go out to we're constantly we're constantly working on it and working on how to make it better and then just supporting all the crazy new stuff that Maccab has been doing over the last 8 years now for me, but longer than that for everybody else, and so there's never a boring day.

Stephen Kraig
And can you tell us how you got started in software development?

Kaylan Smith
So I was working I am not an electrical engineer. I'm the only one of the 4 here that is not. But I actually was working for a long time on teams doing the design side and user experience side on software teams, and I was cutting specs for developers. And I was always a little bit curious and also maybe a little bit frustrated that I couldn't just do it myself. So I went back to school for software engineering, and I came out in of school.

Kaylan Smith
And I've told this story before, but I met Craig at the time that I was doing my code school, and I liked the idea of MacroFab so much. I thought it sounded like a a brilliant idea for a company, and I wanted to know more. Even though I did not know really anything about electrical engineering. I got the idea of the business and I thought that's really smart and I'm really interested. And I knew they had a dev team, so I met up with Craig.

Kaylan Smith
I convinced him to I pulled all the connections I had to, force him to go have, coffee with me and tell me more about MacroFab, and they were hiring exactly one developer back then. And, I applied for it. I did a code challenge and in several interviews and landed the job here. And I've been here since because I really still believe in what we're doing. I think it's really exciting and different, and I see the possibility of the company always.

Kaylan Smith
And I've seen it grow exponentially over the time I've been here as well, which is awesome. And I really like start up life and culture. Direct contribution and I'm not just, like, a cog in the machine, like, 1 developer at a, you know, at a meta or something like that. Like, I there's a lot of code that's out there that's like, man, I directly wrote that and brought that whole thing to life, and I think that's really cool. So that's why I'm still here too.

Stephen Kraig
You know what? So sorry. It just just came to mind. A fun offshoot question. Now now that you've been writing code at MacroFab for 8 or so years, I find myself doing this exact same thing with with my work where I will go look at stuff I did, like, 8 years ago, and I'm just like, oh, god.

Stephen Kraig
Oh, I did that. Like, some of the stuff, like, don't get me wrong, I'm really proud of. But sometimes I look back, I'm like, let me fix that before someone sees it. Cut a situation.

Kaylan Smith
Well, what's even more cool is when someone else is finding that, and that is constantly true of software engineers because we're bringing on new people. There is a, you know, a commit history and a git blame that you can go point to and see, oh, man. It was and you know how many times I pull up a git blame in a week? It's a lot. Because we're always looking at stuff.

Kaylan Smith
And then the the and the best part is when you pull it up and you're like, oh, shit. That was me. Yeah. Yeah. And but you're always I think it creates sort of a culture of, like I like to think it creates a culture of, like, always I think it creates

Stephen Kraig
sort of a

Kaylan Smith
culture of, like I like to think it creates a culture of, like, acceptance of, like, you know, everybody if you had abundant time and you went back and and you look at something you wrote, everyone would probably rewrite it. Right? You'd if you're a good developer, you'd probably look at stuff and go, I know I could do that better knowing what I know now today. But, yeah, people, you know, you find it and you look back and it's okay. But we're all in this sort of shared fate together because we're all gonna see our code age and get touched up by other people, and it's how you, like, kinda deal with that.

Kaylan Smith
But sometimes there's really fun stuff, and I've found some really interesting decisions, comments, you name it. Stuff that I thought was long gone, then you find it still being used as a code path. I it just it's awesome.

Stephen Kraig
That's fun. Well well, actually, one one quick question for for Laura. You mentioned that you you'd be at the beginning of your career, you were doing design work. I think you said for for 9 years. Right?

Stephen Kraig
And now with your MBA and working at MacAfee, you're moving on to, product development or product management. What I've noticed with specifically classic double e degrees, there sort of comes a fork in your career where you can continue on with just like the classic design work or you can kinda move into management whether that be product or people or whatever. I'm curious is that something do do you kinda long for the classic design work or do you before you see yourself just let's go full product going forward?

Laura Manley
Oh, no regrets. I'm very happy. Really loved doing design work, and engineering is super fun. I don't regret any of the time that I spent doing that, but I also don't miss it. I love I love the faster pace of being at a smaller company and that we are so nimble.

Laura Manley
And our projects are often measured in weeks, not years. And that's very rewarding to be able to see quick turnarounds that we found a problem and we implemented a solution and to really be able to iterate on that and see it get better and better so quickly.

Stephen Kraig
I've found that there are just some, especially electrical engineers, who really love to just dig their heels in and become the subject matter expert, like, the person you have to go to and they wanna just show up, sit at their desk every day and do that. And there's no problem with that. That's actually a really helpful thing. But, certainly, there's plenty of people who are like, I can't be the I can't be the single focus person. You know?

Kaylan Smith
Yeah. The world needs both types for sure.

Laura Manley
Yeah. I I love product management because I get to be so involved in the you know the decision making and in talking with the stakeholders and figuring out what really is the problem, make sure we're fixing the right problem, as much fun as being that individual contributor is I I think it's really exciting to be so in the thick of it every day. And I definitely feel like I make a big impact on, you know, the team and and on the company. And I used to not have a lot of meetings because it was very much sit at your desk and design the circuit and or, you know, sit in the lab and troubleshoot something for a few days and do your testing. And now my meeting my my calendar is full of meetings and it's funny how my perspective has changed and maybe that's just something that's come with experience and age.

Laura Manley
But, I actually love the meetings now. And hearing people's, top issues is a highlight of my day because I feel very empowered when I know what's going wrong so we can fix it.

Stephen Kraig
Okay. Yeah. You sound like a people manager. Just in just in the way you're describing it. It it comes with a completely different form of stress.

Stephen Kraig
Right? Like, as a designer in in so many ways, you you know, you look at your requirement sheet and you're just stressing. Am I hitting these targets? Can I prove that I'm hitting these targets? If someone walks up to me, can I show them how I'm hitting these targets?

Stephen Kraig
And it's an entirely different form of stress when you have to manage people and, like, are are these people doing what they need to do? Is this how it's is everything being executed properly? It's I've dabbled a little bit in it myself, and it's just I don't know. It's a whole different beast.

Laura Manley
Yeah. It's a different level of detail. You know, design work is very much in the weeds, all the tiniest details and living and breathing it. I do feel like product management is still detail oriented, but it's not that same level. And it's kind of cool to have a team of sovereign developers that is more the ones living in the weeds, and I get to look at more of the the UI and what's the user experience gonna look like.

Parker Dillmann
What is that like getting those kind of requirements so you mentioned a top issues meeting I guess how how do you determine what product needs to work on? Like, what do the developers need to be working on for those couple weeks?

Kaylan Smith
Oh, yes. The the way that we

Laura Manley
prioritize the problems. There's a few criteria that we use. One criteria is how many people does it affect. So if there's a really cool feature that exactly one person is ever gonna touch, see, or use, it's harder to prioritize that over something that's gonna affect an entire team or even multiple teams. We look at the value versus effort as a really big thing.

Laura Manley
So if there's some low hanging fruit of really valuable things that we can churn out quickly, that's gonna have a big impact. So we'll try to do those, you know, at a higher prioritization level.

Kaylan Smith
That's the short of it. I just like that we have product managers finally because as a dev and as a technical lead, I love figuring out how to fix it, but I don't want to figure out the priority list. I just want someone to tell me what to do, and then I will go and do it. But I the in a way, I think figuring out the prioritization of things is the hardest part because you have to you're gonna disappoint somebody.

Laura Manley
Yes. That's, I think, the hardest part of the job.

Kaylan Smith
Yeah.

Laura Manley
And we have to be a little ruthless sometimes in how we prioritize, and people will come to me with feature requests for stuff that is awesome. And I, like, I love this idea. We should totally do it. However, we have to fix this other thing first and, you know, we have this other project on horizon. And so, you know, prioritizing it is like, oh, realistically, we're not gonna get to that feature for a few months.

Parker Dillmann
I did product a little bit and yeah. I that it's just not for me. It's I can't it's really hard for me to prioritize

Stephen Kraig
stuff. I do think it's funny how we have a bit of a split here. May maybe not funny, but but interesting that we have very detail oriented and I'm pointing to my screen here, but detail oriented and and a little bit more, like, customer or, people wrangling what's the

Laura Manley
business, kind of looking at, like, what's the ROI and, you know, what'll help our bottom line.

Stephen Kraig
Right. Which is I've found both are absolutely critical to have. Like, as a younger engineer, I was like, just give me my requirements and I will go knock them out. You'll get something beautiful. And and that fails really quickly if there's not somebody guiding that.

Stephen Kraig
Right?

Parker Dillmann
Mhmm.

Laura Manley
Yeah. I remember being the engineer that, you know, is handed a project to work on and, you know, didn't know why this was the project we were doing and, you know, wasn't involved in any of that type of decision making. So it's really cool to be on the other side of the table where I'm the one deciding which project we're gonna do next.

Stephen Kraig
Well, it sounds like you really like it.

Laura Manley
I love it.

Stephen Kraig
Well, you wanna get into some of the topics? I we we've kind of been going going on background here for a bit. But, you know, today, we are talking about International Women in Engineering Day. And so there was a few questions, that we've already kind of gone over because we've we've talked about your backgrounds and kinda what got you into engineering or or technology. But I'm curious if there was any challenges along the way, for you in in education or in finding a job or or anything like that?

Kaylan Smith
I wanted to hear Laura's answer because I was saying before this that I have to imagine I have to imagine Laura was probably in the minority as a woman doing electrical engineering, but maybe I'm incorrect, so in your education experience.

Laura Manley
I'm trying to think back to how many women were studying electrical engineering at Vanderbilt when I was there. It was definitely single digits for sure. Percentage of the program, we were probably less than 20%.

Parker Dillmann
I would say that's that checks off from when I was in school. I think it was less than 15%.

Stephen Kraig
I I was looking at some statistics before this episode, and, you know, engineering is is a very male dominant degree. And electrical engineering is, like, the lowest of of them all. Like, biomedical and and mechanical seems to have the the the highest ratio, whereas electrical is just dead bottom.

Laura Manley
Yeah. That was true at my school. I remember noticing that. I was like, oh, all the women are doing biomedical engineering, and then the second most was mechanical at the time. Mhmm.

Parker Dillmann
The when I graduated, there was 9 other electrical engineers that graduated with me, and there was 0 women that graduated in that class.

Kaylan Smith
And UT is a big school.

Parker Dillmann
Yeah. The electrical engineering, it's just there's just not a lot of, in general, people in that degree path to begin with. I think I think electrical engineering undergrads at Austin was, like, 400 something total.

Stephen Kraig
Which is funny because back then your school was number 17 in the nation for double e. So it's it's pretty high up there. Yeah.

Kaylan Smith
Well, so how many were A and M then with you, Craig?

Stephen Kraig
I started with 11 100. I started with 1100 students. I graduated with 70, and I can count on one hand how many women were in any of my classes. And how many I graduated with, with? Not even sure.

Stephen Kraig
I mean, it was almost a running joke, where it's like, wait. Where are all the women in terms of, like we nobody understood why. Why is it that way? Is it just traditional? Is it competitive in a in a in a strange way?

Stephen Kraig
Are there challenges to it? And and, obviously, I don't have the the background to, answer those questions. So I'm I'm curious if if you have any insight on that.

Laura Manley
Oh, I'm sure there's a lot of reasons for it. I think it's around middle school that it starts to become less cool to be like the smart girl, and so that probably has a drop off. And I hope that interest and, you know, programs to promote STEM have countered that in more recent years, but I remember that being the case when back when I was in middle school.

Kaylan Smith
Yeah. I remember that too. And for me, I have a brother and it's just the 2 of us. And my parents, you know, always believed, really, both of us were very intelligent and could do the things we wanted to do. But for whatever reason, I think they always held in their minds that I was more of the creative artist, and that sort of was the direction that they praised and pushed me.

Kaylan Smith
And to this day, they always felt like my brother had a quote, unquote math engineering mind. And then the, like, ironic thing is that I work as a software engineer, and my brother, works in a creative field. He does he works for a company that does, like, installations, like, for museums and things. Like like, he did a they've just been doing a huge contract for the science museum here, and he got to build, like, a 70 foot megalodon shark. I mean so his work is, like, arguably way more cool and way more fun and, like, way more impressive, but I don't my parents still look back.

Kaylan Smith
We my brother and I both went to Rice, and it's a great school, and my parents have in their mind that my brother took quote unquote high level math courses, which is not true. We took the same math classes. We both did well. But I there was always, like, for me, I think growing up was not something that was in my family to see that a woman was achieving these things or could go into these fields. It just seemed like, I don't wanna say not on the table, but it seemed like I don't wanna say not on the table, but it wasn't it was not discussed like some option I had.

Kaylan Smith
It was, well, you're creative and, you know, you're really smart and see where that goes, but, like, it it was never discussed that it could have been engineering. And I couldn't I love what I do now too. Like, Laura, I love where I'm at. I feel like it's the right thing for me and how my brain works, but it took me getting there later as an adult, like, after college, like, to find that. But there are so many factors.

Kaylan Smith
I do hope that, and software engineering, likewise, is a really obviously smaller subset of women, and I do hope that that's changing. And I think a part of why I like what I do so much is because I hope that I'm showing other women that that they can do it and anybody can and that time, I was the only woman time, I was the only woman here on the dev side, and then we finally now have other women, other female software engineers. We actually have a intern this summer who's a woman, and it's she's getting to see now several of us in action, and it it's all achievable. It's just but, yeah, there's probably many reasons why it's less and I think we're figuring all of that stuff out and hopefully just showing what's possible.

Laura Manley
I do think it helps to have a role model. And, yeah, I think you're an awesome role model, Caelin, and it's cool to have people join and have you as an example to to see doing it and living it. Hearing you talk about your parents and and your family made me wonder if that had an impact on me. My mom was a physician and, you know, now retired and my dad was a stay at home dad and that was not as common growing up. And so I never doubted that I would have a career, and I knew I didn't wanna do medicine like my mom.

Laura Manley
But, yeah, that that probably had an impact on me feeling more empowered to go a little bit against the grain and do something even though it's more male dominated.

Stephen Kraig
In some of the data that I found, it showed that the female participation in engineering in the 19 in 1980, I think, was around 5%. And now it's a little over 16%. So, yeah, sure, it tripled, but it's still 16%.

Laura Manley
Slow progress.

Stephen Kraig
Right. So I'm curious if it sounds like you're hinting that maybe it's predominantly cultural. It's just classically cultural to just not assume that, a woman would choose engineering. Right? I'm curious if that is your thought or if there's other factors that involve the decision.

Kaylan Smith
I don't know that it is totally cultural. I because I also know that in I look at being a woman, but I also look at, like, anybody that's not white. That's also very true of at least of at least, like, comp sci world and software engineering, and some of that I think is access to a computer growing up and that you can have early exposure to, like, you know, a computer at your house where you could, like, have practiced some rudimentary code, and that's just true. We see, like, cult like, we see across different people of different backgrounds, and that's also, like, an area that software engineering still has to make more strides in. It's not just men and women diversity, but, like, all, like, people of color and everything.

Kaylan Smith
So I am the community lead for a group that's called anita b dot org, and they're a global organization that represents, like, women technologists, just people of color, and trying to facilitate networks for them to make inroads in their careers, go higher up in their careers because we also see, like, there's a lot of women that get started in software engineering, but they don't stay and trying to figure out why that is. There's very few at the top and there's very few, like, female CTOs, for example. So, yeah, there's probably a lot of complexity to it.

Stephen Kraig
What do you think there would be to change if there was anything? Or is it a matter of just encouragement and changing people's perceptions?

Kaylan Smith
I think it's I think it's encouragement in changing people's perceptions. I think there's just got to be more role models in the industry too because you just have to see it to know that you can do it. There's I mean, there's also just I think everybody has their own experience, and I've been fortunate here at MacFab that I've always felt like my challenges were given to me equally, you know, and everyone else no matter what we looked like or our backgrounds were. But I know that's not true for everyone else. And so that's probably why there's an International Women in Engineering Day.

Kaylan Smith
There's probably not an International Men in Engineering Day. I don't I don't know. I'd be curious to know what you think too, Laura.

Laura Manley
I'm so curious how the percentage of women in engineering compares in the United States versus other countries. I would wager it's not quite as stark, which makes me think it probably is cultural.

Parker Dillmann
I I think

Kaylan Smith
I've Oh, sorry. Go ahead. Go ahead.

Laura Manley
I was gonna say I've heard hiring managers talk about how more men than women there are in engineering, and that's a big problem for them is, you know, you you can't just manifest a person out of thin air because you would like to hire equally. Schools aren't churning out equal numbers. So until we have women majoring in engineering at equal rates, you know, we're not gonna see it in the workplace.

Parker Dillmann
Yeah. I would say I would agree a little bit on the maybe on the cultural thing. Seeing that you as you grow up and you're trying to figure out what you're gonna do for the rest of your life seeing what is possible helps out a lot And so if you grow up with, you know, someone that you know that is an engineer, I think that helps push you that way. Because it's interesting, Lori, as you said you were good at math. I was terrible at math and so became an engineer.

Parker Dillmann
So it was not because I was good at math. I decided to become an engineer.

Laura Manley
What's the I don't use math that

Kaylan Smith
much now. What did you why did you decide then?

Parker Dillmann
My my my dad was an engineer, and I liked building things.

Kaylan Smith
Yeah.

Parker Dillmann
And so and my dad was like, well, if you can pass the math classes, that's all that matters. And so I was able to pass them. I didn't do well, but I passed them. So,

Kaylan Smith
So when and why did you decide, Greg?

Stephen Kraig
You know, it's funny because we were we the same kind of question came up in last week's podcast, and I made a joke that is only partially a joke. But I literally, one of the deciding factors was the fact that I didn't have to write as an engineer because I detested writing in in in grade school. And and I was like, hey. In engineering, you don't have to do that. I mean, I was similar to Parker.

Stephen Kraig
I was interested in building things, but it was like, okay. I don't love math, but I'm good at it. And so I was, like, great. Like, this is the thing that I can do, which is funny because my current job, I actually do very little math and I do a lot of writing and I do a lot of communication. So it's just things change.

Kaylan Smith
Yeah.

Parker Dillmann
It's I think it really building more, like, in that that's a good number. You know, it's tripled over that's 50 years now

Laura Manley
like 40

Parker Dillmann
or is it 40 e right see why I said math good

Stephen Kraig
at math

Parker Dillmann
and so I wonder if it will hit, like, a point where it'll start accelerating faster because now there's more people like y'all out in the world that people can look up to and see that, yes, it's possible. I you can go do this.

Laura Manley
Hit a tipping point.

Stephen Kraig
It's interesting because the data is mostly linear. It's like a straight line. So I guess if you just predict it further out, you could figure out when you get to, I don't know, whatever target number you're looking for.

Kaylan Smith
Yeah. I hope so.

Parker Dillmann
So that actually is a good question. Was there any role models that y'all had growing up that pushed y'all to technology and engineering?

Kaylan Smith
We're silent because we're both making a face that's, like, racking our brain, actually.

Stephen Kraig
Well, okay. Think about that real quick. It's funny because we asked this exact same question last week, and and it was a a group of of 4 men. And what was interesting is there was everyone was, like, we had to rack our brains on on a a similar thing. And and I think it's funny because in in this particular field, there's not as many, like, classical, shall we say, like, heroes or role models Mhmm.

Stephen Kraig
As there are in, like, many other fields politics or or whatever. So it's a lot harder. You have to you have to think pretty hard about, like, oh, who's who's the person that really drove me? I think in a lot of ways with technology and engineering, we're all kinda lone wolves where it's like, I drive myself. Right?

Stephen Kraig
I mean, I'm not saying don't be your own role model. That's that's a terrible idea.

Laura Manley
So I have an older brother, and he majored in engineering. And I think, you know, if I put myself back, Laura, in high school, I don't think I had heard of engineering at that point in time. And so when he's not an electrical engineer, but him choosing to major in a type of engineering opened my eyes to, oh, what is this thing? Oh, okay. Well, maybe I should consider this too.

Laura Manley
And so that's a type of role model. So I'll say my brother.

Kaylan Smith
I think for me, it was kind of the lone wolf thing because I didn't have that in my family. My dad was a firefighter, and, so that's pretty far away from any type of technology engineering career, and my mom was predominantly at home with us but had a lot of random jobs, none of which were really technology, and I didn't when I was when I was interested in learning to become a software engineer and learning how to write code. It was not driven by that I knew that there was fewer women in the field. It was driven by my own curiosity to know more and challenge myself further and be able to build this skill set of something that I really wanted to achieve personally. It was only later when I got into the, like, education system and learning and then, of course, applying for jobs in the workforce and networking with other developers that I learned that I was a minority.

Kaylan Smith
And then it really, like, double down extra serious because I wanted, like, double down extra serious because I wanted people to take me seriously in what I was trying to achieve. So I think that's sort of my answer. I learned later, though, after I got the job here that when I was little, my mom had one of her, like, random jobs was she did do drafting for an electrical engineer. She did the hand drafting, and that was all done on paper, like, with a t square, and, like, she was super precise, and that was one of her jobs that she actually can read these things, but she did not I didn't know that until late. Like, that was something that was going on when I was really little, and it wasn't like a career that she had, but kind of a fun tie in.

Stephen Kraig
It's really fun.

Parker Dillmann
So was there any like actually like specific challenges like were so came like when you came into the field and you realized that, was there any roadblocks that you had to bust through or anything like that? Or or, like, how was your time at Macrofab so far too?

Kaylan Smith
Well, you want me to talk shit about people? I am I'm kidding. Because, actually, I think it's been great for me here. I was really lucky to land where I did here at MacFab because I got to work with engineers that were all they I mean, incredibly smart guys who had so much more experience than I did, and I got to learn from all of them, and they're all very different in their like to think that I got to, like, fast forward my education on the job quite a bit because I had all of them, and I still do. I still talk to some of the devs that have been here and then since left, but they were amazing mentors to me.

Kaylan Smith
I think that the most I have been very lucky in that my experiences mostly have been, I think, people subconsciously kinda assuming you may not know as much or I was listening to a a talk that was given by a senior engineer software engineer for Adobe, this amazing woman, and she was discussing that for a number of just implicit bias reasons that, if, for her example was, like, if a white guy just shows up, but he's had, like, a decade of law experience, but he shows up in software development. People will, like, assume he just knows things, and he knows what he's talking about. But for all the rest of us, the non white guys, like, we kinda have to everyone holds that in met along the way or comments that have been said and not necessarily here, but just, like, out, you know, networking and meeting other people. You hear little things like that and or you hear or you see how people interact with, like, other, like, different types of people, and you can tell that there's, like, this, like, kinda built in say that, I sort of chuckled because I was like, I I know that exact feeling.

Stephen Kraig
Yeah. I think the I think also Texas being in the South has a little bit of the the the good old boys club, mentality, especially when it comes in oil and gas and and sales oriented, environments. I've I've certainly seen that before and and and by the time that I got out of college and was in industry, I noticed that was really kind of only with the older crowd that, it was experiencing. But I've I've certainly been in that presence before where it's like, well, that seems kind of odd. Right?

Laura Manley
I totally relate to everything Caitlin said that's so on the nose. My own personal experience was actually that the older guys maybe see me more like a daughter and would defer to me and say, well, Laura, what do you think? And I was really impressed, you know, day 1 out of college and, you know, 1st day on the job. And, well, what do you think? Like, I just got here.

Laura Manley
I don't actually know anything yet. And being really impressed at how much space they gave me in in respect to to speak up. And it was actually the younger guys and the guys my age that were more likely to think that I didn't know what I was talking about. And when I was more mid career, you know, having that experience of having to kind of prove it.

Parker Dillmann
Yeah. That's actually interesting to bring you up having to prove it because that's one thing in engineering is everything's gotta be kind of backed by data. You can't say something because I find that I haven't moved over to marketing where people will just say stuff, and I'm like, can you show me the data on that? And they go and I want I wonder if if that helps out a lot in engineering for that because I mean, I know I know Kayla was talking about, like, you know, if a a white dude shows up and everyone just trusts him. I wonder if that's just actually slightly less than actually, like, hard engineering, like, electrical engineering, that kind of stuff versus software development.

Laura Manley
That they'd probably realize pretty quickly that this guy doesn't actually know. Yes. Doesn't have the expertise they hoped

Kaylan Smith
he did.

Stephen Kraig
One of the things my boss likes to say is prove it a lot. And it doesn't matter who you are or what you look like. If you can prove it, great. If you can't prove it, it's a little more tough. Right?

Kaylan Smith
Isn't that, like, so I I think it's so interesting too, the difference though between creative fields and and more technical fields because I've worked in both now, and I remember coming in to MacroFab, and I had strong feelings about things that were going on with our user experience, and I would bring them up, and I'm bringing them up to church, who at the time was our head honcho, and I would say to him, like, this is this is not right, and I can, you know, I'm just telling you it's not, and we should do it this other way. And he would be like, why? And I'd be like, because it's because this is the way that it is, man. And it's so it's like, you know, and he wanted, like, hard data or numbers, and it was like I and it actually taught me, you know, that actually, well, if you do wanna go back something, you can probably find statistics that back something to argue your point, but but you it's helpful. And it's as devs where we always start with anything too.

Kaylan Smith
It's like, okay. Well, did you actually look? You know? Or, like, you can't just you can't creative fields still, and this is something about why I do love working in software engineering as well, is that when I worked in creative fields, I felt as though people's decisions to arrive to the solution, which may have been a design or something, was always shrouded in mystery. And it was very much like a secret sauce type of world.

Kaylan Smith
It was like, I'm gonna come up with this thing, you're gonna see the end result and it's fucking brilliant. But, like, I am not going to tell you how I got there because that's my own proprietary magic sauce in my brain. Whereas it's it when I went into software engineering, I was just, like, amazed at how I mean, it is an open source community for the most part, and I thought, how cool is it that everyone just puts the way they thought about something out there to the world? And, like, you know, the the history is there to see their thoughts, you know, they're open to comments, they're open to other people, maybe even potentially contributing with them. And that, like, drives technology.

Kaylan Smith
That type of mindset drives technology. And I think it's really neat. But I still like, so what Parker was saying with marketing being, like, we know we should do this. It's, like, well, why do you know it? You know?

Kaylan Smith
And we wanna ask as engineers, like, why do you know that? What is that behind what's behind that? What's driving that? Can you explain that? Can you break that down?

Kaylan Smith
You get really good at that in the, like, engineering world. You get very good at getting, like, down to the, like, granular thing, but it's not something that happens in a lot of other fields.

Parker Dillmann
Yeah. I'm just trying to imagine trying to because because before so when Caelin's bringing up like it needs to be designed this way because I actually remember this a lot and because because Church did our first UI design for the factory platform and when Kayla came on, Kayla was you were a UX developer. I think it's what your official title was at the time. And and we were trying to get the new, like, version 2 of the platform out and trying to make it better and It's kind of hard to prove if it's better too at that point because you have a design It's not even public yet, and you're like, I need to have another it's not right. It's really hard to prove it's not right without any kind of because you don't have customer data.

Parker Dillmann
You don't have anyone really using it. It's just hard stuff to do.

Kaylan Smith
Yeah. And and, also, like, I think that there's a lot of creative fields that you learn the rules and you ingrain them into your brain so well that it's, like, you assume everyone else knows those rules too. So when you go to, like, argue your point and you think it's obvious, other people may not always know that when they don't approach from that background, like, why you would do this or that pattern or something like that. So, yeah, there's there were a lot of there were battles along the way. But

Stephen Kraig
But but I think it's projects like that help build that gut feel. Right? Where later on, you can say, hey. I I know this is going to work. And what's it backed up with?

Stephen Kraig
It's backed up with me making a bunch of mistakes in the past and saying I know what I'm doing and it failed. Right?

Kaylan Smith
Yeah. For sure.

Stephen Kraig
My my my boss on multiple occasions will will be in a meeting and and we'll be discussing something and he's like, I cannot prove this. And he's like, this is an entirely an emotional response to this, but here is my thoughts. And it and I actually really appreciate that because it's not coming when he says that. It's not like I can't just immediately trust and be like, oh, this guy knows exactly what he's saying. He's like, literally, this is just gut feel, but, you know, that's the way he describes it.

Kaylan Smith
Yeah. Don't you like the when people clarify that? I like that now.

Stephen Kraig
I appreciate it. Yeah. I very much appreciate that. Yeah.

Parker Dillmann
Yeah. I've had I've gotten to that point too now is is if I say something in a meeting, I either will clarify, like, this is an opinion, or I'd be like, this is what I'm gonna say, and then here's a link to the data I collected. I tried to do both of those. Yeah. It's

Stephen Kraig
Well, which is funny because, Laurie, your comments about being asked your opinion on things right out of school, I think that's fantastic. And absolutely new employees should be asked that, but there's been almost zero time of developing that in that that idea of what is correct or what is good, especially because school drives us so hard to just get the right answer and move on to the next thing. So I think that's good, but it's also, like, would we trust someone right out of school with their opinion?

Laura Manley
Hopefully not. Probably not. And I think it's so important to note that school doesn't teach you everything, and it's not supposed to teach you everything. And sometimes, you know, in classes, when people are like, are we ever gonna use this? No.

Laura Manley
You're not gonna ever use this, but this degree isn't proof that you know all the answers. You're basically getting this degree to show employers that I know how to think.

Kaylan Smith
Yeah. Or you just have for me, I felt that I had just barely enough knowledge to convince someone to hire me. That's how I felt coming to MacroFab. Like, I had, like, just at that time, only front end developer knowledge, and it was, like, I had barely enough to convince them to hire me. Like, I could complete a code challenge, but everyone knew that I was going to come on and I was gonna have to be a resource they invested into as well.

Kaylan Smith
I was gonna be a contributor, but I was a new developer that I needed to learn a lot. And that is that can be overwhelming for people, and it it is not it's something I was talking this morning to our intern about who just graduated college, and now she's here working on the team. And I was talking to her about how, you know, there's that hurdle, but there's also, like, there's so much intangible stuff that you're not gonna have learned when you were in school that you're gonna learn working on a proper software development team and just learning how you interact with other developers and how you ask what I like to call informed questions and how you take criticism and how, you know, just bang your head against the wall over and over again until you figure something out. Like, just all of that stuff is things you only learn when you're, like, in a proper software development ecosystem and none of that stuff's learned when you're in school. Maybe the banging your head against the wall, but, like, you know, the how you work with, you know, a team.

Kaylan Smith
Because you're very rarely writing software in a bubble. You're always more often than not a contributor amongst a team with striations of knowledge and people total badasses and people that are newbies, and they also have value, but it's yeah. There's so much to that.

Parker Dillmann
Yeah. The whole working with a team kind of like on the job training, I guess, for lack of better terms, because when I was in school well I got from group projects was I didn't like working in a group because I ended up having to do most of the work And it wasn't until I started actually having jobs where now everyone is kinda, I guess, carrying the weight. I started liking working on with projects with people now. And yeah. So it's very interesting because I didn't learn that until after afterwards.

Parker Dillmann
And afterward, like, when I was my first job, I was just like, you know, I wanna work on these own things, and my boss was like, nope. You gotta work on

Stephen Kraig
a team. And I was like,

Parker Dillmann
and now quickly learned that act the work workforce is different than college, a 100%, and I think you learn faster. I I don't know what it is about. I think something about college and group projects just doesn't seem to work for me.

Stephen Kraig
Is it lone wolf over here?

Parker Dillmann
Yeah. No. Because it's not lone wolf because you just got 3 other people on names on the on the paper you're working on.

Stephen Kraig
Okay. So let's go ahead and do one more question on here and this is just a fun one. What has surprised you most of working in engineering or technology or software? Sorry to put you right on the spot with this.

Kaylan Smith
Oh, it's it was on the paper.

Parker Dillmann
It is?

Kaylan Smith
You have something, Laura?

Laura Manley
I did not come with a answer pre prepared. The first thing that comes to mind is putting myself back in the mindset of right before I started my first job out of undergrad, and I remember my biggest fear was that I was going to design some electronic product and it was not gonna work or, you know, it'd break, and it was gonna cost the company 100 of 1,000 of dollars, and it would be all my fault. And I was so, so immensely relieved when I started, and, you know, that first week on the job discovering that there is a process with a checker and an approver so that if something were to make it out into the field and break, it was not my fault. But, also, it was a good process that we would we'd be able to review it and and make sure that it's not gonna break in the first place.

Stephen Kraig
That's really fantastic because like

Laura Manley
you were saying, they don't teach you everything in school. They don't teach you that. Like, it's Yeah. And now it's so given, like, probably everyone listening is like, well, duh. Of course, there's a process.

Laura Manley
But, you know, to somebody still in school that hasn't done it, you know, first physics class, my professor, I was talking to

Stephen Kraig
in in my first physics class, my professor, I was talking to him about a problem I got wrong. And his answer to my just describing what I was doing, he he said, in the real world, people don't make mistakes. And and and I'm being dead serious. That's word for word what he said. And Wow.

Stephen Kraig
Yeah. Absolutely ridiculous. I haven't met anyone who doesn't make mistakes. And and Yeah. Talked to any engineer, and they've all made serious mistakes, like big ones.

Kaylan Smith
Yeah. That, wow.

Parker Dillmann
I wish My I wish that in my first engineering job, I had someone to check my work. Church, if you're listening to this, you'll probably be like, yeah. I wish so too.

Kaylan Smith
Thing, which is I think really funny knowing what I know now. But when I was when I was starting or before I transitioned my career into software engineering, I had this idea because in other professions, like, you and I was kind of in this place with design. Like, you could become a senior level designer, and you kinda knew everything there was to know in the field at that point. Like, you knew all the tool sets, like, whatever you're using, Adobe products or Figma or, you know, there's all kinds of stuff out there now, and you knew the rules and how you could bring a design to fruition that was successful. And so in that way, you you sort of cap out your knowledge, and your challenges are only when you get, like, a new customer or something like that where you have to re like, think of another design.

Kaylan Smith
But it's all the same system you're applying everywhere, right, if you're a good designer. And then when I was thinking about becoming a software engineer, I thought there were, in the world of software engineers, senior level people. They knew everything, and they knew everything there was. And it was so naive of me because, of course, like, as soon as I started working, like, I realized how little I knew. And I felt so terrible and terrified every day because I thought, these guys I'm working with know everything.

Kaylan Smith
And then as, you know, the weeks went by, it was, like, wait a second. There's they don't know everything either. Like, nobody knows everything, and I love being in software engineering because you can never know anything. There is not one person that knows everything because the languages are evolving and changing and frameworks and technologies and everything is a moving target and then there's just this vastness of what you could potentially learn out there. So that's why I say it's never boring, like, you can never, you know, get stagnant in your career.

Kaylan Smith
I mean, you could choose to, but, like, there's always new stuff you could push yourself to learn. And, that is really exciting and like, a big driver of, to me, what makes a career fulfilling. But I thought it was so cute looking back, but I actually believed that there were people that just, like, oh, I've just mastered software engineering. I just know it all. I know all the languages, know all the frameworks, know all the tools, and that's hysterical now to think about.

Stephen Kraig
I'm curious. What

Kaylan Smith
humbling.

Stephen Kraig
Was there any imposter syndrome in that in terms of being like, oh my god. People are gonna find out that I don't actually know this stuff?

Kaylan Smith
I the first 6 months at MacroFab every day feeling like I was gonna throw up. And I wish that looking back that we didn't really I mean, we're such a such a start up at that time. I didn't really know or feel there was never the conversation on the other side of the table. It was like, it's cool we know you don't know, but we're trusting that you will know and, like, you better put the work in to get there. And I did, but we weren't saying that stuff out loud.

Kaylan Smith
I think one time I was outside with one of the former devs that worked here who I'm still in touch with, and he was smoking a cigarette. And he was like, it's cool. We all fuck up. We all make mistakes. You'll get there.

Kaylan Smith
And I was like, wow. So you know that, like, I don't know all this shit that you guys, like, think that I know and it's okay. And, you know, and then at at some point, you do know a lot of that stuff, and you feel intern today, like, that's you get there. Everyone's gonna get there. And you're never having a new, like, day 1 as a software developer.

Kaylan Smith
Like, that's over. You've done it. You're good. You move forward. So yeah.

Parker Dillmann
Yeah. Maybe being, more honest when we mess up so that other people know that it's okay to mess up. It goes back to what Laura was talking about with, like, processes that check work and that kind of stuff. Early on at Mac Crab, we definitely did not have that, but we just didn't have the people to do that.

Kaylan Smith
No. And there wasn't really a lot of time to, like, have these, like, you know, 1 on ones and stuff that we do now standard with everybody, but it was like it was just like, build it now. Like, build it yesterday type of thing. And it was I mean, in one way, that's a great way to learn because you're kind of just thrown right into the fire, and it's like you you either make it or you don't. But it's also kind of terrifying, and I could see how a lot of people would have maybe not survived that situation or not enjoyed that.

Kaylan Smith
And it was growth. It was knowledge.

Stephen Kraig
Yeah. That's a little bit more a startup culture.

Kaylan Smith
Yeah. It's startup mentality. But I knew what I signed up for in that way. So I may have not known the knowledge gap or what it would take to get there, what, you know, even they don't know and still don't know, you know, what they being, like, senior level engineers. But but, yeah, it it was it is start up life.

Kaylan Smith
Any closing thoughts? I I have one that is on here. Alright. But it because we had a bullet point that Pam put on here, and it was just the importance of diversity and inclusion within engineering and benefits to the industry. And I truly do think, like we were talking about, the mindset of the technology and why I feel like that moves so much faster than other industries, and a lot of it being that open source contribution and the speed at which you can share things and build upon things.

Kaylan Smith
But, you know, it is still all built by, like, a pretty much contingent of white men, at least in the United States, and I tell other women and people of color, like, if you want to build a world of technology that's more reflective of who you are as a person, you need to be a participant in that. And you need to understand what is being built around you and who is building it. And I think it's really important in that way because if you don't have that voice in a room I mean, there's been a lot of, like, you know, examples that you can think of over the years in the news of these technologies going wrong or things that just weren't factored into thinking about them. It's it is important. You have to if you want to build a better world that's more reflective and inclusive of you, you need to have a hand in it, and you can have a hand in it by working in technology.

Kaylan Smith
And there's nothing special that I did that anyone else can't do to get there. So I like to give that message to any young women that are thinking about a career in software engineering or engineering in general. Everyone it's all possible for anybody.

Laura Manley
Engineering opens so many doors that even if you don't end up working in engineering or you don't stay in engineering for a long time, it makes it a lot easier to get to what you want that next role to be. And when I was working on my MBA, I had so many classmates who told me how much they regretted not getting an engineering degree when back when they were picking their major. So that would be my career advice, be an engineer.

Parker Dillmann
Yeah. That was always that was the advice my my dad gave me. He's like, if you get an engineering degree you can do anything you want to do I've kind of kept with engineering, but it's it's definitely like Yeah. It's you you can kinda just, like, oh, I guess actually no because I don't wanna do engineering really anymore at work. I do marketing now.

Parker Dillmann
I pretend to do marketing. I feel like Kaylin at the very beginning now because I have no idea what I'm doing.

Kaylan Smith
We've role reversed.

Parker Dillmann
Yeah. What I'm doing.

Kaylan Smith
You know, and nobody said that to me when I was achieving my visual arts degree. No one said, you can take this and do anything. Actually, I mean, it's, like, it's funny now that this is the world I work in, but I do actually know quite a number of artists that, like, work in engine as engineers now. It's not such a weird leap, but I was I was just joking. I'm making the, like, comment about engineering opening the doors.

Kaylan Smith
I'm not sure the art degree does, but it it can. Yeah. It might be true.

Laura Manley
You can still do anything, but it's a little easier Yeah. If you started out doing engineering.

Stephen Kraig
Yeah. Well, Caitlin and Laura, we really appreciate you coming on and and discussing this with us.

Kaylan Smith
I was gonna say something. No. Thanks. It was terrible. No.

Kaylan Smith
No. We had a good time. We had a great time.

Parker Dillmann
No. I I was gonna ask. I was waiting for y'all to respond.

Kaylan Smith
I know it looks like it. So this probably sounds like we were like, okay.

Stephen Kraig
Cool. Yeah. Cool. Later.

Kaylan Smith
See

Laura Manley
you. We already hung up.

Parker Dillmann
What can our listeners if they wanna ask y'all questions or anything like that, where can they get a hold of y'all? We have a community forum. If we questions there, can I point them to y'all? Totally.

Kaylan Smith
I love answering questions from people, especially women that are out there that are thinking about a career in software, and I'll be really honest about stuff and give, you know, hopefully, some thoughtful responses. So if people want to send me an email, they can. Would that be maybe that's a preferable way. Way. I'm not gonna not really much of a social media user these days, but they they could certainly reach out to me at atmacrofab.com.

Laura Manley
And my email is lmanley@macrofab.com. By the way, I'm the only Laura, so I wanna see if I can get that laura@macrofab.com. That'd be cool.

Kaylan Smith
Yeah. I think it's I think it's doable. Yeah. I'm old, so I have the I'm an old school MFR, so I have still just my first name. And I think I have Smith too.

Kaylan Smith
I think when Smith left, I took Smith, so I got both.

Stephen Kraig
You wanna sign this up, Parker?

Parker Dillmann
Yeah. Sure. So thank you, Kalyn. Thank you, Laura, so much for talking about international women in engineering day. So if anyone has any questions, we have our community forum at forum.macrep.com you can send an email to caylencaylenmacrep.com and Laura at Laura what's l dot is it l dot or just l manly

Kaylan Smith
no dot just l

Parker Dillmann
manly we'll try to get lawyer at macrofab.comvia. So thank you for listening to circuit break from macrofab. We are your hosts, Parker Dohlman.

Stephen Kraig
And Steven Craig.

Parker Dillmann
Later everyone.

Stephen Kraig
Take it easy.

Parker Dillmann
Dang on do our outro? Thank you. Yes. You breaker. So, Caitlin and Laura, we call our listeners breakers, that's circuit break, for downloading our podcast.

Parker Dillmann
Tell your friends and coworkers about circuit break, the podcast from MacroFab. If you have a cool idea project or topic you want us to discuss, let Steven and I and the community of breakers know. Our community where you can find personal projects, discussions about the podcast, and engineering topics and news is located at form.macfab.com.

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