Being one of the only women in her computer science program didn’t stop Hannah Mudge from pursuing her dream of becoming a software engineer
Hannah Mudge was one of the only girls in her computer science program when she enrolled in 2012.
“Most computer science programs are only 30% women. I was in a smaller program so sometimes I was the only girl in my classes,” she says.
Now a software engineer, she has her master’s degree in the subject.
Hannah had a love of tech from an early age. She was homeschooled until 8th grade and found her passion for coding then, she says.
“I loved Neopets and I spent a lot of time figuring out how to make my website beautiful,” she says.
Then she was working in HTML and CSS and she knew there was more to coding than just that.
Now, she works on Elastic’s presentation team, focusing on Kibana and, more specifically, Dashboard. Her day-to-day work is rarely the same — it depends on her team’s current sprint.
Hannah could be doing bug work in one sprint, and then adding features to Dashboard, like adding a reset button (which allows users to discard any changes made to their dashboard) or sorting to options list controls (which allow users to easily filter their dashboards) in another, she says. Most of her time is spent doing front-end work, but she appreciates the fact that there is a sprinkling of back-end work every once and awhile to balance things out — she enjoys it when she gets to work directly with Elasticsearch as part of her work on Dashboard controls.
“In my first year, I was really happy that I was able to do feature work,” Hannah says. “I don’t think that a lot of companies do that.”
She was promoted to Software Engineer II at her one-year mark, and she has her sights set on Senior Software Engineer. "Now, she is given a very specific task and works to complete it, but at the senior level she would be responsible for higher level code design and managing larger projects, she says."
“My manager has already been asking me what my goals are and how we can get there,” Hannah says.
Hannah found Elastic through our Elastigrad program, a recruitment program that hires new graduates into a variety of roles, after she completed her master’s degree. Upon graduation, she knew she wanted a remote role, and after seeing the Elastigrad opening on LinkedIn and reading about our culture, she wanted this job.
Unfortunately, Hannah’s experience in the tech industry and as an engineer wasn’t always smooth. As the only girl in one of her classes and the minority in her program, she dealt with odd, sometimes shocking, comments, she says. But she didn’t let that stop her.
“I can be stubborn, I never cared that I stood out,” she says. “I picked something and I liked it so I didn’t care what people said.”
“I can see how you can be pushed out. That makes me sad, that people are interested in it and they can be pushed out.”
But, despite her past experiences, she also had a lot of people who rooted for her.
“Things can be tough, but I met plenty of people that treated me as an equal,” Hannah says. “The further you get through it, it gets easier and easier.”
So, her advice? Stick with it. Stick with what you love.
“Some of the best programmers I know are women,” she says. “I think the more we show that to people, this is normal, it doesn't have to be this weird thing.”
Interested in a career in tech? Check out open roles.