How did you end up as a software engineer?

I'm currently in school for Chemical Engineering. I am interested how you ended up working in software engineering. Could you elaborate? Thanks!
posted by Keodara, Columbia, MO on June 25, 2014

Answer by Chris Wolfe

Hello Keodara, 

Thank you for the question. I did not really target working in software. It kind of just happened while trying to balance work and life. 

I used to work for DuPont in Wilmington, DE. While there, I used a computational fluid dynamics software package called Fluent to model mixing tanks. I had also done my masters research in mixing. I loved my job at DuPont, but my husband and I wanted to start a family in a smaller town where there was more snow. It was also important for me to have a good technical job. The cooler temperatures requirement ruled out a job in a small town in the south, where more traditional chemical engineering jobs are more prevalent. I had come to New Hampshire for Fluent training the prior year and saw that it was a fun place to work and that I could have a technical job in a small town. A job posting for a technical support engineer with experience in mixing at Fluent came up, I applied and was in. From there I moved into software product management. So, in my case, a desire to be where there were less people, more snow, and good technical work led me to software.

That is my story. I would like to add that one of the things that drew me to engineering, chemical engineering in particular, in the first place was the versatility of the education. I know chemical engineers in many fields. One as even my professor in business school. Chemical engineering gives you a very good technical education while allowing you to keep your options open.