Erica Smith

Erica Smith – Redbubble

Go Girl Topic: Building a DDR style dance machine with Makey Makey

What is the most awesome thing about having a career in tech for you?
Tech is used in pretty much every single industry in Australia. I’ve worked in industries like health care, real estate, retail, government and non-profits. They all need technology to function, so my skills in tech are a passport into any industry which catches my attention.

As a child, did you dream of a career in tech?
As a child, I was either going to be in IT or teaching. Turns out that part of being a professional in tech requires not just a lot of learning but also a lot of teaching, so it’s my one stone to take out two birds.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve done, both personally and professionally?
Spending two weeks in the mountains of Timor Leste, helping a small local school to install and configure a dozen computers, so that students could learn the basics of computing.

Why are you passionate about diversity in technology?
We all instinctively seek to surround ourselves with people who remind us of ourselves, but that makes our view of the world really limited. We are shocked and surprised when it turns out that there are thousands of people who think differently about something to us! The only way to really understand anything at all, is to spend time with people who have a different perspective of it. Having diversity in our industry is one of the easiest ways to help that happen.

What would your advice be to your 15 year old self? 
Keep creating things. Consuming other people’s content is great, but it can also be limiting. True self-empowerment is in taking all of those things you’ve learn from others, and making something amazing from it.