women in tech: christa roberts

Only 25% of computing jobs are held by women, despite women making up more than 50% of the overall workforce and more than 50% of college graduates.
 
Here at iSeatz we are lucky to have a growing number of talented women in technical roles, and we think that’s worth celebrating.

 

What is your current role at iSeatz?

I am a software development team lead. I try to be a more technical team lead. Since I came up through development, I like to guide teams through projects, remove blockers and make sure the development team understands what to do and make sure that they have everything they need to work the project.   

I’ve been a team lead for a year. I’ve worked with multiple different clients. Now the majority of the work that our team supports is IHG. 

What are you working on now?

I am about to do a kickoff for a new project for IHG. They are redesigning their mobile app and we’re going to redesign the Trip Extras section, to match the branding and look and feel of the rest of the app. It’s a great opportunity to make the end-user experience really intuitive and exceptional, particularly for a traveler who may be on-the-go. 

IMG_4222Christa with a team member 

 

When did you decide that you were interested in technology?

I took a computer class as a senior in high school and really liked it so I decided to major in computer science in college. Academically in high school, I had really great teachers and my class group was a great environment so I never shied away from math or science.

Our first computer was in our family room so my brother and I both got to play with it. 

Most of what we did was play games on the family computer. I grew up in a small town in Louisiana. Northwestern State University would offer 1 or 2 week classes during the summer at my high school. In junior high, my mom signed me up for one of those computer classes. I learned to write BASIC there. And I was excited to be able to go home and write other things on my computer. I remember being really excited when my mom would see what I created and that it was cool that i could create these items. 

What really interested me was the logical progression of how you talked to a computer. I liked talking to computers better than talking to people. I hated having to talk to people growing up so I thought it would be a great thing to talk to computers, but come to find out, you really do have to talk to people in tech! But at least, in tech, you talk to people about solving logical problems, and that’s what I really like to do.  

Have you ever felt like giving up?

Once. In my sophomore year of college. I felt like I wasn’t able to keep up with the rest of the class. I wanted to drop out of the program. But I didn’t know what else I wanted to do, so I just stuck with it. 

How do you think we can get girls more excited and confident about STEM?

I am raising  boys. I have three nieces and I feel an obligation to help them get into STEM as an aunt. I spend a lot of time thinking about ways that I can get them excited about STEM and not have them feel afraid of the subjects. 

When I talk with them, I’m trying to change the conversation and ask them to engage their minds about STEM. 

Having a class or group that they can join and collaborate in a team competition setting would be great. 

Image from iOS (17)

Christa with one of her nieces 

What’s changed since you were in school?

I remember going to college and thinking about the internet and telling my parents about the internet. My mom didn’t understand why everyone would need the internet. It’s really interesting to see how technology has really been ingrained in everyone’s day-to-day lives. 

What do you wish you could tell your early-career self?

It’s okay and it’s expected to make mistakes. I wanted everything to be perfect so I put a lot of pressure on myself to not have any mistakes. But if I can’t get my hands on something, and try out different ways to solve it, then it’s not a learning opportunity. I wish I was more accepting of myself to realize that it is a learning opportunity and no one is perfect. 

Being more confident in what you do know. I think part of it is to realize that everyone is in the same boat. Even though someone may have more experience, doesn’t mean that you can’t be useful and end up either learning or teaching something to them. 

What do you love about your job?

Problem solving. 

Why did you choose iSeatz?

I’ve been at iSeatz for five and a half years. I found it hard to figure out the tech scene in New Orleans at the time. I liked that iSeatz was small but had been around a while and was stable. I don’t like doing the same thing over-and-over again. I liked to be able to work on different problems and come up with logical solutions. 

My favorite jobs have been in collaborative settings. I like to work with others and come together to solve a problem. 

What do you see as the future of technology? 

Taking over the world! 


Image from iOS (16)
Christa with her sons.

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