Erica Weems

Erica Weems

Title
Test Engineer
Organization
Niitek
Location
VA
Erica Weems
Ask a Question:
Required field
Enter the code shown: (only upper case)

Biography

I am a Test Engineer with a Bachelors Degree in Computer Engineering. I develop software applications and hardware to test the different components that make up the Ground Penetrating radar systems my company manufactures. One of the things I love about engineering is solving problems. I have a 5 year old daughter and am excited to get her interested in math and science as she grows up. She recently has joined the Girl Scouts and I am a volunteer. I hope to be able to bring fun ideas from a engineering, math and science prospective to the troop.

Answers by Erica Weems

Hello,

Sorry it took so long to respond.  As a black female computer engineer, the main challenge I have faced is having my skills and capabilities as an engineer underestimated.  In my current position, I know that on numerous occasions I have surprised my male counterparts, managers and employees in other areas of the business when I have exceeded there expectations on task or project I was given.  I don't know if they had assumptions because I'm black or female or a quiet person, or all of the above, but it's always obvious when they are surprised. You have the ones that will praise your hard work and say job well done, and then there are others that will refuse to acknowledge that my work has been a great success and has benefited the company and try to find ways to tear it down. I also find that it seems I have to prove more so that my white male and female counterparts. However, I have been lucky with my current employer in the aspect of being allowed to participate in and take on projects in other areas of the business that I have expressed an interest in.  Now if they would just pay me more. :-) Hope this helps.

Erica

Hello,

Sorry it took so long to respond.  In my current company a Test Engineer should have a bachelors degree in an engineering discipline (Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, etc.) with at lease 2 years of experience in hardware testing, hardware design, software development.  You should be able to create test cases from requirements documents and develop test equipment and test software based on those requirements.  You should be able to write test procedures.  I don't think it would be very difficult to be come a Test Engineer if you have the minimum requirements. However, the experience and educational background requirements can vary depending on the company.  Hope this helps. Good luck to you in your endeavors. 

Erica

Hi Anna, I can understand your mother's concern. However, after 4 years of college in a male dominated major I think you'll be more than used to working with the fellas and holding your own. :-) More times than not I was assigned to groups and labs in college where I was the only female. So you get used to it. Then you realize you know just as much as they do if not more sometimes. ;-) I think any job can be suitable for a girl if that's the job you truly want to do. But I can only speak from my own personal experience. My degree is in Computer Engineering which basically combines Computer Science with Electrical Engineering. I initially was just going to major in Computer Science until a female engineering adviser convinced me otherwise. I'm glad she did. There were usually two or three girls in my engineering courses, but sometimes I was the only girl in the whole class. Currently, I am the only woman engineer on my team at my company. For me this is an afterthought, because my male counterparts respect me and the skill set I bring to the company. I don't know your interests but I think day to day activities can vary depending on your career choice, job responsibilities, and the type of company you may work for. For me, one day I can be writing a software application in my office, the next day in the lab developing a fixture, the next day on the manufacturing floor troubleshooting a complex system, or the next day traveling to our research and development facility to learn about a new product. I like it that way. I wouldn't want to just sit in my office all the time. I feel that if you are confident, assertive, and know your stuff there is no reason to feel intimidated in male dominated environment. We need more girls in engineering. Hope this helps. :-)