“Helping humans do amazing things has been embedded in software’s DNA from the very beginning. Becoming one of the people that enables that kind of human advancement was a no-brainer for me.” – Rachael Miller, Software Consultant & Developer at Atomic Object.
This week, we conclude our three-part series on local women in the tech industry who are taking strides to empower, create, and do good. Meet Rachael Miller, a transplant to Grand Rapids. Miller, originally from Oxford, Michigan on the east side of the state, moved here after completing her undergraduate studies to begin her career as a developer.
Miller, a full-stack developer, has been coding for the past seven years, and credits her success in the industry to being exposed to technology's potential to help humans do amazing things.
At Atomic Object, Miller is what the small, West Michigan company calls a “generalist, in other words, the focus of her work falls under the umbrella of’ 'whatever the customer needs.’” A graduate from the highly competitive computer science program at University of Michigan, Miller has developed the expertise to work in each layer of software technology.
The developer extraordinaire stays in Grand Rapids because she wants to contribute to a small, local economy.
“There’s interesting technical work, there are growing local companies in need of talented technologists, and the economy is such that laying down roots with eventual homeownership doesn’t have to be a pipe dream,” says Miller “Having spent some time there, I can’t say as much for the West coast. I think that elements of the Silicon Valley culture can be unwelcoming, and even hostile to women."
“What makes that easier is having other people to ‘share the pain’ with," she adds. "if there are other women developers around, I don’t have to bear the weight of being the token women developer for all speaking engagements and outreach efforts.”
To help address the lack of representation of women in the field, Miller tries to be as visible as she is able to and get to know as many women in the industry as possible. By building relationships with other women, and talking about her own experiences, Miller believes she can be part of the solution through representation.
“I want to be visible as a representative, so that other women know they’re not alone,” shares Miller.
“There isn’t one way to be a developer,” she adds. By having a representation of diverse work styles, women and girls can have the opportunity to be different and get to see their approach to technology isn’t wrong.
Michelle Jokisch Polo is Rapid Growth's On The Ground Editor. To connect with Michelle, you can email her at [email protected] and follow her on Facebook and Instagram.