In our Meet the Team series, we will be introducing members of the Summer team! First up, meet Geena, a software engineer who’s been with Summer since 2019.
Tell us about what you do at Summer.
I’m a software engineer here at Summer, mostly working on the front end of the application. My day-to-day involves working with product, design, and other members of the engineering team to first get the requirements for new features, then code out and launch those features.
What do you like most about working at Summer?
Definitely the people! I found out about Summer from my friend Don, who’s also on the engineering team, and he couldn’t say enough good things about his coworkers. The culture here is super supportive, and it’s also awesome that we all get to work together to build a product that helps vulnerable student loan borrowers.
Can you tell us about a project you’re working on?
I’m currently working on implementing new user interface (UI) components for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) portion of our Recommendation Engine*. For me, it’s fun to see the beautiful designs created by our Design team and bring them to life! It’s also interesting to see how the product evolves as we conduct more user research to figure out how we can improve our borrowers’ experience and outcomes.
*The Recommendation Engine is what a borrower will see after putting their student loan information into Summer.
What’s your proudest moment so far?
I recently got to lead the development of our new Overpayments calculator feature – this involved writing the tech specs, coding out the components, and helping to QA (Quality Assurance) the prototype. I also gave a short presentation about the development process at our company All-Hands meeting, and it was cool to see the non-engineers’ reactions – I think they learned a lot!
What inspired you to become a software engineer?
I actually went to school for business and economics, but during my senior year I became involved in organizing hackathons. I got to see how creative and impactful technology can be, and decided that I wanted to be a part of it! I had already lined up a job in auditing, so after a year of saving up money for tuition, I quit my job to attend Fullstack Academy of Code, and haven’t looked back since.
Any advice for young women who are looking to become a software engineer?
It can be challenging when you don’t see people like you represented in a larger group – only 14% of software engineering positions are held by women. Luckily, there are organizations that aim to build a supportive and encouraging network, such as Tech Ladies and Ladies Storm Hackathons. These groups are a great place to meet and learn from the experiences of other female engineers! If you’re looking to make a career switch like I was, Fullstack has a sister program called Grace Hopper, which is all-women and offers deferred tuition.
Where’s your go-to place to eat in NYC?
NYC wouldn’t be NYC without dollar slice pizza. 99 Cent Fresh Pizza on 6th Ave between 8th and Waverly never disappoints.