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Meet the Virtual Hackathon Planning Committee: Rosemary Butt

Sparq and Women Who Code are hosting a virtual hackathon on Thursday, November 10, so we’re introducing you to members of the planning committee. Meet Senior Principal Consultant Rosemary Butt, based in our Mobile Development Center.

From Aspiring Teacher to QA Expert
With a degree in education, Rosemary never envisioned she’d end up in the tech world. As a young professional trying to get her first permanent teaching job, she had been doing substitute teaching to try to get her foot in the door. However, once summer hit and there weren’t any substitute jobs available, she knew she had to do something different to make money, so she took an analyst job at an organization specializing in airline fares and rules. As a subject matter expert, Rosemary was being interviewed a lot by business analysts and quality assurance (QA) testers from their IT department. She became more and more curious about what they did, so after seven years as an analyst, she made the leap to tech. In the beginning, her responsibilities were business analysis, QA and tech writing, but she was eventually asked to specialize and chose testing because that was her favorite. “I absolutely loved it when a developer asked, ‘Would you test this for me?’ I really enjoy teaming up and getting great software in users’ hands.” Over time, Rosemary wanted to move back to her hometown on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, but was concerned she wouldn’t be able to find a QA role in a much smaller community than the Washington, D.C. metro area. She was thrilled to find a QA opportunity at Sparq and has now been here for almost seven years.

A Rewarding Career
After starting in tech over 25 years ago, Rosemary has undoubtedly seen many changes in the industry, many of which have helped her become even more engaged in her role. “In the beginning, it was seen as collusion if the developers and testers talked until the developers were done coding. There was a distrust there and it felt wrong. Now with the ‘shift left’ mentality, we get to collaborate more, which is a great thing.” Rosemary also appreciates that no one can coast in the tech world. “In order to survive in tech, you can’t be stagnant, because change is constant. You have to stay active and that’s such a lifesaver for me. I love that it always keeps me on my toes.”

Becoming a Leader
As she grew in her career at Sparq, Rosemary began taking on more leadership roles, which started with being a team lead and continued to expand. “I got experience leading a team of QA colleagues, which was amazing, but I also got the opportunity to be a thought leader in the QA space. What’s so neat about the environment here at Sparq is that you’re not only expected to coach and mentor those around you, but you’re also expected to receive that mentorship as well. No matter where you’re at in your career.” She thinks that level of support is actually quite similar to the environment of Women Who Code. “I get so excited when I see organizations like Women Who Code, because they’re creating an inclusive community, which is such a vital part of professional and personal growth. Plus, their work is so important, because we need to keep paving the way for more women in tech. There are incredible opportunities for us in this industry.”

Sign up NOW for the virtual hackathon on Thursday, November 10!

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