Kim Mann is a software architect, and she might not have found her career path if a 9th grade geometry teacher hadn’t decided to allow Kim to solve problems her own way. Up until this point, Kim had always been penalized for using her own ways of solving a problem instead of the method that was taught.
What this teacher did differently was tell Kim that if she could recognize the logical progression between steps, she could get full credit for her work.
“Once I saw the entire path in my head, I would see the shortcut and how to get the answer in the three steps that we were taught in class,” she said.
Kim went on to major in Math and developed a strong foundation in Computer Science at the University of Pittsburgh.
Said Kim, “When you finally do something where you get a positive feeling, you want to pursue it more and more… “Young girls need to understand that the stereotypical computer programmer is a dying concept. It’s not that you are stuck in a cube, typing away all day. Young girls are not intrigued or inspired by the concept of just sitting in a cube. For me, I often spend at least half my day interacting with other people, because a dialogue is required to find the right solution.” (Read more about Kim HERE)
Kim’s job is working as a software architect. We’ve heard of many dyslexics working in this career. Interestingly, a recruiter at a large multinational technology company in Silicon Valley once told us that they were aware that many of their software architects may be dyslexic because many didn’t have college degrees.
What is the role of a software architect?
It’s a big picture position where a person has to interact with all sorts of people – including customers and clients, product managers, and developers in order to envision, model, and create designs that can be built. A talent at seeing things from multiple perspectives and being able to simplify information down to its essentials are both skills that are especially well suited for software architects. At its essence though, too, is that architects have a knack for solving problems and visualizing solutions.
Work as a software architect involves developing and reviewing prototypes and providing complete technical support of a project from the moment of its start to its final execution.
How can software architects arrive at their positions without attending college? Many learned by doing, working in technical support jobs, freelancing as contractors, and earning technical certifications as needed.
Talented architects have many traits that tech-savvy dyslexics have…they are curious, analytical, and know what to do when systems fail.