In honor of Women’s History Month, we are speaking to Women in Tech to amplify the stories and pathways of women in technology across the industry. In 2020, only 31% of IT employees were women, according to Gartner Research. For today’s featured women in tech, we looked internally and spoke with a 3D Cloud™ by Marxent employee. So, grab yourself a coffee, pull up a chair, and meet 3D Cloud™ by Marxent’s very own, Abigail Duff.
Hi! My name is Abigail Duff. I’m 24 years old and have been working at 3D Cloud by Marxent as a Mobile Application Developer for over a year and a half now. My work has mostly involved development on our augmented reality Android applications as well as our Unity-based HD renders.
What steps did you take to reach your level of success?
I first realized I wanted to get into software development, particularly that involving emerging technologies such as augmented and virtual reality when I was in high school. In 2015, I developed my foundation in coding through a 7-week summer program by Girls Who Code back in 2015 and later co-founded a club for other fledgling programmers at my school. During that time, I also attended my first hackathon, Technica (the world’s largest all-women and non-binary hackathon), at the University of Maryland, College Park, which I later applied to in order to pursue my BS in computer science. Two years before my enrollment, the school had received a large donation from Brendan Iribe, the original CEO of Oculus VR. This funding paid for the Brendan Iribe Center for Computer Science and Engineering, which was a new building with labs for AR, VR, robotics, and AI. This knowledge helped make UMD my first choice in schools, and I was able to take a number of courses in that building, including one on game development, which provided me with a lot of the knowledge that I apply in my work today.
What has been your biggest challenge as a Mobile Application Developer?
My biggest challenge as a Mobile Application Developer has probably been getting over the initial hurdle of thinking I wasn’t cut out for my work when first entering the field professionally. I would stress myself over whether or not I was meeting expectations and getting my work done in a reasonable time period, and whether or not I knew enough to do the work I was doing. But all of those concerns were just in my head. Realistically, it takes time to familiarize yourself with new codebases, and people here have always been ready and willing to help with any questions. I was eventually able to let go of that fear and become confident in my role.
What has been your biggest success in your current role?
I would say that my biggest success in my current role has been having a noticeable impact on the applications I help to improve and also helping to create a pathway for newer developments. Knowing that I can be relied on to help alleviate the workload from others is a success in my eyes, especially when that means they can go on and develop other cool things. And being given a level of responsibility for our new AR features in Android is pretty nice.
How do you differentiate yourself?
Every individual has their own quirks, so I suppose just being as “you” as you can be is enough to differentiate yourself from others. Each experience you’ve had in life ends up influencing the way that you approach problems and how you ultimately solve them. So, by bringing forward fresh ideas and creating cool new things based on the cumulative experiences in my own life, I’m able to assert my individuality.
Just being as “you” as you can be is enough to differentiate yourself from others
How do you move forward with differing opinions?
I tend to keep an open mind and try to hear the thoughts of the other sides. Oftentimes opposing arguments both have valid points. If, after talking things through, it’s possible to reach a compromise that can satisfy both parties, then agreeing on that would be ideal. However, there are sometimes situations where one or more sides can’t compromise on their beliefs. In that case, moving forward separately, but both forward nonetheless, might be best. It’s always possible to converge again further down the line.
What are your tips for thriving both personally and professionally?
As I mentioned earlier in regard to my biggest challenge, it can be easy to get in your own head and overthink things to the point where you stress yourself out. It’s important to remember that you can rely on other people for help, and hearing feedback from others can help you improve yourself and get second opinions on your work. You should be kind to yourself and do things/be places that make you happy, in both your personal and professional life. With a positive mindset and a supportive environment, you will be better able to perform at whatever it is you’re trying to do.
Thank you for your time, Abigail. We are so glad to have you on our team. Abigail has a great personal process we all can learn from. She is persistent in the face of difficult problems. She also has an enduring love for Pokemon and anime. If you want to come work with Abigail, check out our job listing.
Keep an eye out for the next Women in Tech feature and if you would like to take part, shoot us a follow on LinkedIn.