ITA Spotlight: Liz Wylie, Software Engineer, CSC Corptax
Friday, June 12, 2020
Posted by: Abbey Kwiat
Liz Wylie, Software Engineer, CSC Corptax
Chicagoan by birth or relocation?
Relocation—I’m originally from Massachusetts.
What brought you to Chicago? I moved here for graduate school. I thought I wanted to become a professor, but I realized I hated doing research. I liked Chicago, so I stayed and got a job as a software developer. This city has so much to offer in the technology space.
Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
My mother. She worked in a technical role on some of the early calculators and computers in the 1960s and 70s and faced a lot of sexism and adversity. She always pushes me to do what I want and find interesting, as opposed to what other people want or expect me to do, even today.
What’s the best advice that you’ve ever received?
Deliver something, even if it’s not everything.
How did you come to work with CSC Corptax?
I came from a small team and was looking for a larger software group where I could learn from my peers and grow technically. CSC Corptax gave me the opportunity to be part of a larger team and work with peers across the organization, as well as enhance my skills. There are all kinds of perks – free Visual Studio and Pluralsite subscriptions, conference attendance, on-the-job training, and tuition reimbursement for formal training.
What have been some of your favorite media (books, podcasts, movies, documentaries, TV shows) of the last six months and why?
With COVID-19 going on, I’ve tried to limit news consumption, but I found Vox’s “The Weeds” nice because they explain proposed policies in more detail than a lot of other sources. On the fun side, I’ve been rereading “The Expanse” book series and rewatching the corresponding TV series. It’s a little bit of escapism.
What do you like most about what you do?
I get to be both analytical and creative – I analyze complex problems and then propose solutions. Doing both keeps my days interesting and keeps me engaged.
What’s your outlook on the local tech industry?
COVID-19 has the potential to dramatically change the tech community here. The value of being downtown – office culture, networking events, and community meetups – is going to be either impossible or very different for quite a while. Organizations will need to be creative about how they connect with the local tech community. But virtual events will allow more engagement with industry peers who aren’t downtown. And with more people working remotely, they’ll have greater freedom in where they live and work. CSC Corptax has always had a large remote workforce supported by investments in technology, and I expect this will continue.
What is the hardest challenge that you’ve faced on your professional journey?
Interviewing other engineers is by far the hardest thing I’ve had to do so far. I’ve supported hiring engineers that haven’t worked out, and I’ve argued against engineers that have been perfect. It’s a learned skill that I’m still working on.
If money were no object, what would be your dream job?
I’d run a farm-to-table restaurant. I love pretty much everything about food.