We’re back with our series to introduce you to another one of our fantastic employees, Madeline Ryder. Madeline is on our engineering team and joined us about 10 months ago. Today we’re spending some time getting to know her and about her experiences as a female engineer in Chicago.
How did you find your way to HighGround?
Networking at a womenHack event! At the HighGround table, I met my future mentor, Nadia, a senior developer, and the head of our QA department, Marcie. We talked about the variety of opportunities at HighGround and the dynamic environment the engineering team functions in. I felt like HighGround was a place where I could be exposed to a lot of different engineering roles and grow as a developer. Now, I’m happy to report that my experience lines up with this initial conversation.
What does your role as Software Engineer entail? What does a typical day look like for you?
My role focuses primarily on creating new features or enhancing current functionality. A typical day for me always includes some mix of the following: meetings about the current project, development, research or time spent debugging a piece of the feature I am working on, talking with the product owner or other engineers about roadblocks and coming up with ideas to make our product work better.
How is HighGround disrupting the HR technology space?
Our real-time performance management and social recognition platform helps address areas where I feel like we all have significant hang-ups at work. One of my favorite benefits of our recognition tool is visibility into positive feedback. As a relentless optimist, I find it so heartwarming to read about the appreciation my co-workers have for each other, primarily because I don’t work with everyone in my day-to-day activities. The tool allows me to see the impact of the work across our organization.
How did you get your start in development? What drove you to the industry?
My interest in development was driven by friends who were in the industry and a desire to change up my current career path. Before this position, I was an engineer working in the oil and gas industry. From that experience I knew I wanted to be more creative with my work, I wanted more flexibility, and I wanted to work on projects where you could see the results much sooner. My role at HighGround is a better fit for me and checks all these boxes.
Have you found Chicago to be welcoming to female engineers? What’s the atmosphere/culture at HighGround?
I have! The networking event I mentioned above was actually a women’s only event. I’d like to brag a bit about my mentor Nadia here. She is someone who not only always has time for my questions, but really takes the time to make sure anyone who wants to learn has the opportunity. At HighGround we have many women in leadership roles and in positions all throughout the company. It’s fantastic to see especially at a tech company!
One more question, just for fun. Where is your dream vacation?
Lately, I’ve been obsessed with Peru and its beautiful landscapes. I love that there seems to be an unlimited number of hikes and it feels like a very remote destination. I’m also dying to spend a night cliffside in the Sacred Valley at the Skylodge. It’s this mountaintop glass pod with a beautiful view of the valley at sunrise and sunset. The pictures of it give me major travel envy.