|Sarah Margaret Hardie
What is your day-to-day role at Lucid? What do you do in detail?
HU: My main focus as a Tech Ops Analyst is Client Support. I work with my colleagues here in New Orleans and in India to support all Fulcrum Clients via support tickets and phone calls. It is my job to dig into the issues clients present to us and figure whether or not it is a one-time problem or if this issue is a symptom of a bug or a bigger problem on our platform. Troubleshooting and testing is what allows us to come to that conclusion. I also work closely with our Demand API Integration clients, assisting them as they work on becoming fully integrated with our API.
SMH: I currently manage special projects. Any project with unique technical requirements, projects that involve third party contractors, or projects that require an additional amount of communication between teams generally use a project manager to make sure information is translated successfully during phased hand-offs.
LG: A Tech Ops team member has a unique role in our company. It is a position that allows us to touch every aspect of Lucid’s technology and business. On any given day we may be consulting with our client’s developers on integrating with our APIs, advising our Product team as a Business-side stakeholder on product improvement projects, monitoring and reporting on platform health metrics or even training end users.
What brought you to Lucid?
HU: I have had a few different career paths since school (recruiting, high-end art sales, client relation work) but I was attracted to working in tech, especially in New Orleans, because of the overall opportunities for professional growth in many different areas that the available jobs presented. I found that pairing technology with the client relation work I enjoyed is needed across industries, so the job market become much larger. I also think it is important to note that working in Tech does not mean you have to be an engineer, it means you have an understanding of the inner workings of your company’s software, hardware, or tech offerings. It also means you are curious enough to read, learn, and expand your tech knowledge base in order to better serve your role within a company.
I knew a few people who worked at Lucid and I saw a position with the Tech Ops team as an opportunity to grow into a well-rounded client relations and technology professional.
SMH: After working as an IT consultant in the midwest for 4.5 years, and surviving the snow-pocolypse of 2014, I decided it was time to move back to my home state of Louisiana. I had originally planned to continue to consult with New Orleans as my home base, but Lucid was an amazing opportunity to expand my technical experience and to really make NOLA my home.
LG: After working on software implementation projects in my previous position, I wanted to make the switch to working for a company developing their own technology products. Lucid was my top choice because not only are they innovating in their industry, growing their markets and product, but they’re headquartered in New Orleans which is an amazing city to live and work in.
What are the key differences you’ve noticed between men and women in the workplace?
HU: It seems women are taught to carefully consider their ideas in meetings, or conversations in the workplace, which means they tend to be less vocal in general.
I also believe it’s easier for men to wear jeans and t-shirts while still looking professional. I have noticed at most of the companies I have worked (tech and otherwise), women often dress in a more traditionally professional way than men (and the reason I mentioned is 100% my assumption).
SMH: I don’t think that men and women are different in the workplace, but they can be treated differently. Gendered, Racial and socioeconomic bias exists and people receive different treatment because of it. Everyone can work to be conscious of these behaviors and bring transparency to situations where they feel like they are being treated differently. If you have an open dialog about equality in the workplace, you can grow a diverse and productive team.
LG: Our workplace is full of very dynamic individuals. I think it would be impossible to attribute any of their specific character traits or tendencies to their gender. Further, it is important to me not to be defined by gender. I think disassociating gender from an individual’s personality is key to dismantling implicit biases that can manifest in the workplace.
What advice would you give women looking to get into the tech industry?
HU: Mentors. I strongly believe in having strong mentors and mentors are the only reason I was able to make the transition from art sales to tech. I think it is important to have mentors from various professional backgrounds. This way you never pigeonhole yourself into one career path. Tech is one of the most fluid skillsets you can have. Many different companies and industries need employees with technical background.
Always speak up. No matter how small or petty you think an issue, question, or concern may be always speak up about it. This is also where having mentors you trust comes in handy.
SMH: Everyone should ask questions. It’s how you learn about tech and about yourself. I would have never had a career in tech if someone had not noticed me and said hey, try this. But that is my biggest regret. That I waited for someone else to notice me. I was extremely lucky in that regard. That does not happen for everyone, so we need to make it happen. Start a conversation with someone in tech about something that interests you.
LG: I would give women the same advice that I would give anyone. Never stop growing your skills and expertise, take risks, and be persistent. Once you have done these things, do not surrender to imposter syndrome. You have done the work and deserve to be where you are.