What emerging tech trends are getting you most excited right now?
Jo Ann: Too many to mention! But let’s start with the IT market, which is advancing at a revolutionary pace, thanks to a new internet project delivery model that makes engineering code open to any developer who wishes to participate.
At The Hartford, we are digitizing our IT operations so that our technology infrastructure is increasingly software-defined and cloud-based, which makes it more agile, flexible, and efficient. We have adopted modern work practices such as Agile, DevOps, Hybrid Cloud, and Inner/Open Sourcing, and our teams are collaborating, innovating and delivering at a level surpassing prior years. We also recently launched our own site on the open source community, possibly a first step toward contributing to the market in a material way.
Adithya: So many exciting technologies are emerging for data engineers, including the Talend ETL cloud tool; Hadoop, an open-source software framework for storing and processing data at higher volumes to enhance the application functionality, and new data analytical tools, such as Spark, Talend, R-Programming, and Tableau.
Hannah: The digital team is employing many tech innovations, from enhanced application development standards to enforcing new in-trend development languages and tools. Containerization and automation of code deploys alongside accelerated testing in a collaborated agile workspace, all of which have given me the opportunity to give my best, learn and grow as we speak. It’s an exciting time for innovation at The Hartford, and an exciting team to be a part of.
How do you ensure a seat at the table in what is perceived as a male-dominated career field?
Jo Ann: I don’t make it an option; I just go. I confronted this challenge countless times, but refuse to allow it to be a deterrent. I would encourage anyone in the same situation to do the same, but I admit, it is not easy, and requires determination and practice.
Adithya: I speak up for myself when there’s a need, and strive to be open-minded and resilient, which has helped me in many situations. I also focus on the business needs first and technology second, which gained me the trust of my business customers who always turn to me for my opinion.
Hannah: It may be perceived as a male-dominated field, but that does not disqualify me from having a voice. We all have something to offer, and being the best I can continuously gets me a seat at the table.
How do you balance your personal passions with work?
Jo Ann: It’s a matter of prioritizing, and seeking balance over the longer term. In my experience, it’s a fallacy to believe balance is possible every hour of every day.
Adithya: I set aside time for personal and professional development activities throughout the week. I’m passionate about fitness, and take advantage at The Hartford’s fitness facility during the workday and run after work. Through The Hartford’s Lunch and Learn sessions, I’ve been introduced to new IT development practices, tools, and technologies.
Hannah: Discipline at work is key. By working my regular hours with complete dedication and focus, I can accomplish more than I planned to, and have the time to follow my personal passions after normal work hours.
What’s the one bit of advice you’ve gotten that you’d want every woman in tech to know?
Jo Ann: There will be obstacles. Just be ready for them. Keep focused, persevere, and deliver, and stay true to yourself.
Adithya: Having the passion and determination to learn and swim your way through is the key to competing in the tech world. Explore and say yes to the opportunities that come your way, and you will succeed.
Hannah: You don’t have to know everything. Be open to learning along the way. When you fall or you get stuck, it’s okay, just learn from the experience, pick yourself up and keep moving.