Interview: Kathey Carreiro

This interview is a supporting my book ‘She’s Building a Robot’.

I’ve worked with some amazing women in tech throughout my career. Kathey is one of the best. Here is why;

  1. She’s great at what she does (although she’s a software person, not a hardware person as I found out when I helped fix her network access issue and she said “Hmm, yeah, there’s a blue cable here…”
  2. She’s high integrity. Multiple times I’ve seen her do the harder task and hold a firm line around what is the right thing to do.
  3. She’s kind. Kathey works hard, but she is also fun to hang out with, either at a Halloween party or piano bar.
  4. She’s tough. Working with Kathey, she was famous for saying no to new features. You might think this is bad, but the reality was that you had to convince her. You couldn’t just say “I’ve got an idea.” You had to have a good reason and back it up with logic or data.
  5. She’s an inspiration. She’s lived in 3 different continents and now does amazingly long marathon runs around the world (as you can see from the pic below)

Below is an interview Kathey did for me about her life in tech.

Thanks Kathey — you rock!


1. Tell me how you first got interested in technology? How old were you and what kicked it off?

When I was in high school, so about 16 years old, I took a class where we learned the programming language called BASIC (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BASIC). I loved that class! So when it came time to pick a major in college, I chose Computer Science.

2. Have you ever faced challenges as a woman in tech and how did you overcome them?

In my computer science classes in college, and throughout my career working at many different companies, there’s always been about an 80/20 ratio of men to women. That didn’t intimidate me; it’s just the reality. I’m a very direct, some say blunt, person and I’m not sure if I’ve always been that way so working with mostly men (who usually have a more direct communication style than women) was a good fit for me, or if working with mostly men for so long has made me more direct and blunt. :-) But whatever the reason, I’ve found being direct and honest has served me well in this field. I”m much better at dealing with facts and objective decisions than dealing with feelings and subjective choices.

3. What is your favourite thing about working in tech?

I love coding! The perfect work day for me is getting to code for 8 hours straight (no meetings). :-) I’m an applications programmer which means the code I write directly determines what is seen on the screen. I like the instant gratification of writing a few lines of code, running the program, and seeing the results right there. I enjoy providing functionality for people that’s intuitive and easy-to-use.

4. What is the one tip you’d give a teenage girl thinking about a career in tech?

The one tip I’d give to a teenage girl thinking about a career in tech is to keep thinking about it. :-) There are so many different types of tech jobs, not just programming. Tech jobs pay well, and since technology is constantly changing, the opportunities to keep learning and stay challenged are never-ending. If you’re at all interested in tech things, go for it!

This interview is a supporting my book ‘She’s Building a Robot’.