Emily Clyde has become a staple in the community here in Eugene, OR. You will find her wherever you can find a tech event as she works to invite more women into the Eugene Tech scene. Originally from Northern Willamette Valley, life and serendipity brought Emily to Eugene. She sat down with us to tell us more about how she ended up in tech.
Emily Clyde: I ended up in tech because I redefined myself! That works perfectly, right?
Emily: I had a whole other career, I was a Bibliographic Content Editor in Portland for close to 15 years. Our company was purchased and my job went away and I decided to redefine myself. It was during the recession so I looked for ways to make myself competitive in the labor market.
I thought about it for a while and decided that tech is interesting. I looked into and decided I was going to check it out at Lane Community College where I got an Associates in Programming.
I did a few projects here and there and now I want to redefine myself again within tech. I feel like I have so many skill sets I can offer to the community, working on projects, coordinating and helping people navigate the tech scene in Eugene. People ask me often “how do I do that?”
Part of that is what spurred Eugene Women in Tech. I wanted it to be a place where women could get together to chill out, collaborate and maybe do projects together. And not just women in Tech but women in STEM. We have co-working sessions twice a month and a monthly happy hour that everyone is invited to attend.
RWIT: Are there any mentors or people who inspired you along your way?
Emily: One of the 1st people I met when I was kind of at the end of my road with LCC was Lauren Jerome [Executive Director, Redefining Women in Tech]. I stayed in touch with her and as I was building Eugene Women in Tech she was working on RWIT. So I would say she is the instigator in all this, it’s her fault!
RWIT: For anyone who is trying to get into tech or who might be on the same path you were, what would your advice be?
Emily: Always redefine yourself! If you find something you are interested in research it and just start doing stuff. Projects or volunteering or whatever. Don’t be afraid to try it out.
RWIT: How about any resources or steps you would recommend to get there?
Emily: Try and be super involved. That usually takes form in volunteering. Check out EugeneTech, there are a lot of community-based things that are interesting and fun that they are doing. It’s a good way to meet people and networking. Networking is the most critical thing here in this town.
RWIT: For those that aren’t in our community what would you recommend?
Emily: LinkedIn has a lot of good articles. A lot of women post some really interesting articles that I try to share.
RWIT: Did you encounter any roadblocks or obstacles along the way?
Emily: For me, it has usually been “the imposter syndrome”. I can do a lot of things and I’m capable of a lot of things but I get stressed out when people want things done faster. I have learned to decompress and take care of myself.
RWIT: So what’s next for you?
Emily: Right now I’m looking at lots of projects. I’ve been doing things with Eugene Tech like King Pong. I am really an advocate for art and technology which is a new arena for me and King Pong satisfies that. I’m looking to get more into product and product ownership things which I am doing some of with MVP Studio. I’m evolving, still trying to figure out what the perfect fit is or if there even is one!
RWIT: Last thoughts?
Emily: The one thing about Eugene and tech community is that we want to include everyone- even if you aren’t in tech. If you are interested we want you to come and see these community-based projects. Get involved! Tech is fun, not scary.
Don’t be afraid to get involved community involvement the best way to get into tech.
Don’t be afraid to call or write or ask someone for coffee. There are a lot of people who are open to chit chat and there is no pressure.
You can learn more about Eugene Women in Tech on their facebook page or come to a co-working session to see how you can get involved. EugeneTech hosts a Tech Tuesday each week at The Barn Light that is open to everyone. Come on down and meet some people, they aren’t scary. Promise.