A day in the life, as told by a woman technical lead.

When I sat down to write this, I thought it would be so simple. Write about my day to day and highlight where it differs from my male colleagues. Happily, I found that Rustici Software has made it difficult to spot the differences.

A day in the life of Dottie

On paper, I am very similar to other developers or Team Leads at Rustici. I start my day reading through Slack and adding my own notes to the “working-on” channel. I have a weekly huddle with my team to discuss current tasks and upcoming issues. If I’m in the office that day, I might play a game of Crokinole. On the days I work from home, there’s a virtual game break. Some of my work hours overlap with almost everyone I work with to help with collaboration. I sign off as needed because life doesn’t always wait for 5 pm when you have young children. I make sure to work “my best 40 hours” by finishing up tasks in the evenings when I need to. That allows me to spend time with my kids before they go to sleep.

So, where are the differences?

Most of the differences come into play when I think about the things we don’t do here at Rustici. We don’t have important or mandatory work events outside of work hours. Work almost always happens during reasonable work hours. This respect for everyone’s life beyond the computer screen has helped me feel that I can contribute without reaching a dreaded burnout. There are smaller things I have noted as well. Such as no gender based dress code, no pressure to participate in fun activities, no single task that falls primarily to a particular gender and no assumptions are made about individual interests. Combined, these exclusions add up to a remarkably less stressful work environment.

In the years that I have been a developer, I have worked for companies that included some of the differences I mentioned above. At one point, I took a step back in my career because there was such a lack of support for working mothers. I have also seen women within my field who were asked to take notes during meetings, watched their ideas repeated back to them with credit given to someone else, had a project they were passionate about dismissed because they didn’t show an appropriate amount of emotion and nearly missed out on presenting their own work because they did not have a women’s uniform available for a tradeshow. While there is no uniform at Rustici, I was provided a very cozy hoodie, endless supply of fun t-shirts and a pair of Crocs. I have not come around to the idea of wearing Crocs in the office…yet.

I am also encouraged to “argue” ideas here, but this is in the spirit of making an idea even better, never a direct conflict towards myself or others. Rustici has a culture where ideas are encouraged. I speak up regularly and look forward to hearing from others as well. There is an emphasis on collaboration within Rustici that lends itself to new opportunities.

The key difference at Rustici is the support everyone offers one another. When I have a question I know I can reach out on Slack. Someone almost always has helpful information, a solution or sympathy to offer. While on maternity leave, I was encouraged to unplug from work, reassured that my team had a plan in place during my absence. This is my first non-technical blog post in the history of my career. You can try your hand at speaking, writing, proposing a new project and a number of other items outside your department. Rustici welcomes doing great work while being myself. That is the greatest difference.

If working for a company that offers the flexibility to drop for a bit to pick up your kids from school, go to a doctor’s appointment or even simply get your haircut is something you value, check out our open positions and see if one is a good fit for you.

Dottie brings a wealth of software development experience to Rustici, including seven years working with SCORM and xAPI. She puts her knowledge to good use as a software developer working on our Content Controller product.