To celebrate International Women’s Day we took time to ask ourselves, the women of PlanetScale, what questions we’d want to answer regarding our careers in tech.
After collecting our answers we transformed them into this blog post to share our different paths, our variety of motivations and professional accomplishments, and interests outside of work. We wrote this blog post in a mix of direct quotes and some that have been transformed into prose, based on our level of comfort of having our exact responses shared.
We hope you enjoy reading what started out as an nascent idea within our women’s group.
What interested you in a career in tech?
The women at PlanetScale hail from a wide range of backgrounds, from computer science to liberal arts degrees, and while our experiences have been important they have influenced but not defined our paths.
While some of us always knew we wanted to work in tech, others were convinced through exposure to things like self-driving cars or robotics. And, once we started, we thrived because we were surrounded by the brilliant people that accompany the start up industry.
The boundless opportunities to solve challenging problems on both the technology and business sides engaged our inquisitive minds. An atmosphere that is fun, iterative, fast-paced, and that provides the chance to fulfill our desires to continuously learn drew us in. And, a passion to connect to users and help them, and the business, move forward motivated us to continue.
What do you love about your job?
Learning and applying technical knowledge to meaningful and challenging problems. We relish the challenge of making databases, a field that tends to be thought of as unglamorous and difficult, fun and easy to use. The difficulty and depth of knowledge required to address these expansive problems makes us feel as if our opportunities to learn and grow are unlimited.
The work we do has an impact. There are always new projects where we can directly contribute and where we learn something new every single day. We set tasks up, prioritize them, and complete them across all areas of the company. We look for ways to enable team members to work together, be creative, learn, excel, and be happy and proud of our work. Many of us are the first and only person in our role, so we develop most processes, projects, and objectives from scratch.
The members of our team. The people at PlanetScale, and the open source community surrounding Vitess, have been welcoming and friendly communities. Our team is diverse in both professional and cultural backgrounds. We respect and utilize those backgrounds each day working with our group of talented yet humble people.
What would you want people to know about women in tech?
We want more women to join us.
Working at a tech company doesn’t look a particular way. We are passionate creative women that work in every part of the business. We get up in the middle of the night to resolve incidents as SREs. We dive deep into the intricacies of technical issues as full stack engineers and tech leads. We propel the business and our customers forward in Sales, Technical Account Management, Finance, Ops, Legal, and HR.
Beyond our job responsibilities we also support and mentor each other inorder to encourage each of us to achieve our aspirations. We work to promote conscious and proactive investment in making environments more welcoming to women, and hold our male counterparts accountable for their role in changing the unintentional attitudes that discourage women from joining the tech industry.
What is an accomplishment you are proud of ?
We’ve done many things across our respective roles from externally validated production of products to introspective growth.
At her last company, Frances worked with a small team building a new privacy product - and in just a few months, they launched it at their annual user conference. Deepthi leads the inclusive naming project in Vitess, which is on-going, but moving in the right direction. Liz was a VP of Business Services at a 150-person company before turning 30. She led all Internal IT and Security initiatives, the Business Analytics unit and managed all GTM Operations, with a team of 7 direct reports.
Sara and Emi were most proud of achieving their goals to work in or change their careers to the tech industry.
Lori promotes rescuing animals via adoption from shelters and other organizations, while also finding the time to complete 8 Iron distance triathlons, as well as 22 stand alone marathons and several triathlon and running, biking, and swimming events of all distances over the years. Karen earned her degree while working full time for a young startup where she was putting in 60+ hours each week. Tal works to stay ambitious and driven by studying continuously and pursuing different incredibly satisfying roles, all in addition to the feat of raising a family.
Why did you join PlanetScale?
PlanetScale's vision for the future, and its dedication to making the databases space highly usable, friendly, and delightful fascinated us. Both our product and Vitess, the foundation of our backend infrastructure, are interesting and constantly innovating. Building a service around them seemed like a great thing to be a part of and we were excited about the roles we would fill. A few of us knew the founders from previous jobs. Their passion for this project was infectious, so it didn’t take long for us to decide to join them.
Plus Rocco, our team dog, and a general enthusiasm for pets (cats and goats included), won many of us over.
We're always looking for more people to join us at PlanetScale. If this article's been of interest checkout our jobs page.