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Renata Vaccaro

CTO/Cofounder

engineering.com/ProjectBoard

And - Founders of Super Coders

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Know that whatever you accomplish can inspire the next generation of girls and the challenges you face and overcome are making it easier for them.

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WHAT DO YOU DO?

I’m CTO of Engineering.com and cofounder of a business unit of the company called ProjectBoard. I run the team which means a do a little bit of everything from coding to working on partnerships.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS FIELD?

My parents squashed my dreams of being a fashion designer and I happened to be taking a programming class for fun.  The teacher of that class encouraged me to take Computer Science. I was terrified and sure that I wouldn’t belong, but I didn’t know what else to do and thought I would take a risk.

HOW DO/DID YOU TACKLE OBSTACLES?

Holding my breath and hoping it turns out okay. I try to use adversary to fuel my fire. For example, when I’m told I don’t look like a programmer, I try to ignore the pressure that puts on me prove myself and instead focus on being proud that I look different than others.

WHAT DO YOU LOOK AT & THINK, "I WISH YOUNGER ME WOULD HAVE KNOWN THIS WAS POSSIBLE?"

I wish I would have realized that my unique perspective made my teams stronger and it was ok if I didn’t know everything and it was ok to ask questions and ok to show my weaknesses. I was good enough and should have felt proud of my level and abilities at any given time because I worked hard to get there.

WHY DO YOU LOVE WORKING IN STEM?

I’m challenged every day, I’m always learning and I have the gratification of building something or making something better all the time.

BEST ADVICE FOR NEXT GENERATION?

Know that whatever you accomplish can inspire the next generation of girls and the challenges you face and overcome are making it easier for them.

INSPIRATION

“The reason we need more women in tech is because tech will get better. The laptops we use, the infrastructure that's all around us, the mobile apps we download to our smartphones--they are missing a voice.” Megan Smith, former CTO of the United States