Alex Barcus has some advice for girls considering a career in tech or computer science: Ask questions. Seek out an internship in your field of interest. Pursue a career you are passionate about.
“Graphic design has been a huge passion of mine ever since I took my first class in high school,” Alex says. “Since high school I have designed numerous T-shirts, wedding invitations, wedding programs, foil stamp prints, logos and many other forms of print and digital designs.”
She turned her passion for great design into a career step by step, earning a degree in Web Systems and Design from Southwest Baptist University and completing internships in digital communications, videography and User Interface, User Experience (UI/UX).
“After completing an internship in UI/UX I knew I had finally found my dream job,” Alex says. “Every company can find developers to code their applications, but what sets an application apart from the competition is its user experience. From the moment a user downloads an application, the experience should be positive and intuitive.”
UI/UX designers must do a lot of research upfront to achieve their goals, she says.
“You can have the sleekest looking application with the latest and greatest technology used to construct it, but if it doesn't function the way users expect then your application's experience is not positive. From user tests to wireframes to clickable mock ups, a user experience designer’s job is to do the necessary research up front before the developers begin to code.”
Alex puts these principles into practice daily in her role as Software Developer at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Now she challenges girls thinking about careers in the tech field to set aside any misconceptions that coding is too difficult and to start networking and exploring their options.
Alex turned her design sensibilities into a career in tech—and you can, too. Follow #GirlsinTechKC to learn about local opportunities.