I Look Like An Engineer: Figure Skater Turns Software Engineer

Aimee Knight
Aug. 14, 2015 by Aimee Knight

AimeeKnightI’m a figure skater. Coming from a background in collegiate sports, I’m highly driven, with an inner voice that replies to a challenge saying “suck it up buttercup.” I have a contagious amount of energy, and an intense amount of grit. I also happen to be a passionate software engineer who works on SparkPost in our Columbia, Maryland, office. I use Node.js and Angular to help build out email infrastructure for companies like Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

How did I get here? It started after college. I worked for a marketing company where I spent a lot of time working with developers, and with that exposure, I slowly saw my career goals begin to diverge from my initial path. When a developer for my employer’s web site handed off a CMS to me and said, “Don’t touch the code outside of this,” my competitive spirit took the bait — and my fate was sealed. My curiosity, coupled with an ever-increasing frustration from the surmounting development work my company always seemed to need, led me on a path of no return. I started to stay up late… really, really late… working on the site (while hopefully no one was looking!) Within a few weeks, I was totally hooked.

So, in 2014, I decided to go all out. The second degree I was pursuing wasn’t moving fast enough, so I packed up and temporarily relocated in order to spend six months as an apprentice in the fourth cohort of the Nashville Software School. There, I went through an intensive curriculum focused on JavaScript, Node.js, and Ruby on Rails. After all was said and done, I caved to Atwood’s Law and decided to narrow in on all things JavaScript.

And that’s what brought me to SparkPost. I had worked on some production Rails applications but was eager to dive further into JavaScript, and to work with a more complex architecture. The application team’s energy, work ethic, and focus on building high-quality software felt like the perfect place to shine in my new career. SparkPost also encourages employees to attend conferences and offers additional incentives for speaking, which is something I really value.

AimeeKnight_ILOOKLIKE

Outside of work, I’m a panelist on the JavaScript Jabber and Angular Air podcasts, a co-organizer for Charm City JS, and an avid runner. I have a type A personality, and I’m not at peace unless I have a set of challenges in front of me. As a former bootcamp graduate, I love mentoring other students and helping out at Baltimore NodeSchool. You can hear me speak about my journey into programming, and about my first year working on SparkPost, at the upcoming Nodevember conference in Nashville, Tennessee.

Follow Aimee on Twitter @Aimee_Knight

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