By our Head of Story, Leah Sarich
Katie Underwood is a Senior Software Developer on our Product Traction team.
And yes, while she loves to code, she really likes connecting with founders to determine what to build before her fingers even hit the keyboard.
“What I really love about my job is helping ventures realize the idea that’s in their head, and translating that into something concrete,” explains Katie. “I was really excited to come to Thin Air. I’d been looking for this kind of opportunity for a long time where I could combine my interest in the tech adjacent side of software with development. I love to understand the ‘why’ …why are we doing this and what is the root of the issue at hand. I love being involved in the more creative discussions with founders and I love writing code. In the past I’ve never been able to do all of those things at once, it’s been one or the other.”
"I strongly believe that we have so much potential in Calgary, and so much knowledge, drive and ambition. I think if that can be focused in a positive direction, we can have an incredible outcome for the city..." --- Katie Underwood, Senior Software Developer
Katie’s love of working with the customer, comes from her earlier work in the oil and gas industry where, after completing her degree in physics, she worked in seismic imaging.
“I’d be working with a small team of clients, meeting with them on a weekly basis, and everything I did in that job was tailored to the individual.”
She liked partnering with clients where each engagement was unique, but Katie eventually realized she wasn’t on the right career path. So, after some significant travel time, Katie got a Computer Science degree and entered the software industry.
“At Cisco, I worked in the advanced malware protection group working on security tools. Then I went to Clio where they make legal practice management software for small to mid-sized law firms.”
But she missed working with customers, and digging into the problem.
“I enjoy technology but it’s not the be all and end all for me,” explains Katie. “I really enjoy the whole process. I like to be in the room for all the discussions because that’s interesting to me, but I think it makes me a better developer as well.”
And that led her to Thin Air Labs where she can both code and connect with customers. It’s also where Katie can make a meaningful impact on the community she grew up in and continues to call home.
“I had a lot of concerns about the future of our city after our one major industry which is pretty volatile was on the down slope. I strongly believe that we have so much potential in Calgary, and so much knowledge, drive and ambition. I think if that can be focused in a positive direction, we can have an incredible outcome for the city and make this a place the rest of the country looks to in terms of innovation and quality of life.”
“I love that our tagline is #BuildWhatsNext because we’re not just looking at today, we’re looking at where we could be 10, 15, 20 years down the line. As technologists we have a responsibility to make sure the things we are working on are good for society, that will have good outcomes and positive impact." --- Katie Underwood, Senior Software Developer
She believes that with Thin Air Labs we will #BuildWhatsNext for Calgary, and the world.
“I love that our tagline is #BuildWhatsNext because we’re not just looking at today, we’re looking at where we could be 10, 15, 20 years down the line. As technologists we have a responsibility to make sure the things we are working on are good for society, that will have good outcomes and positive impact. At Thin Air, we have the ability to do that, to select the ventures we work with, support them to be successful and create positive human impact in the community, and be good global citizens for the future.”
To learn more about Katie’s work and the Product Traction service go here.
We are actively looking for more developers. If you want to join Katie on the Product Traction team apply through our Careers page.
In the meantime, something you may not know about Katie:
"One of my favorite things in the world is playing Dungeons and Dragons. I love the creativity and imagination of creating stories together with friends!"