Interview: Kathey Carreiro

Mick Liubinskas
Jan 7, 2019 · 3 min read

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 ( 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’.

Interviews with Women in STEM

The stories of women in science, technology, engineering, and maths from around the world

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store