The Women of S44: Celebrating Women's Month

In honor of International Women’s Month, we’re celebrating the women of S44. Meet Thana Paris, one of our Software Developers and key team members helping revolutionize the electromobility industry.

Author
S44 Team

Meet Thana, Software Developer & Wizard in Disguise

Can you tell us a little about yourself?  

I graduated from Columbia University in 2016, and after a year working as a software developer, I had to take a break due to health issues. However, I returned to work in 2021 after being hired by S44. I’m an avid Magic: The Gathering player, and I share a Yorkie named Nova with my roommate in Washington, D.C.

What influenced you to pursue your respective career path?  

I enjoyed my programming classes in college more than my classical Latin classes or the pre-med track I was on. I tied it into my interest in genetics and took bioinformatics classes, and interned in a genetics lab doing data analysis. However, the day-to-day work in academia was not very engaging, and I decided to work as a software developer. After my health issues, when I was ready to return to my career, I also started programming as a hobby. My favorite project was a program that scraped the New York Times historical archive to present word frequency distributions. For being a STEM field, programming is a powerful tool for self-expression.

What (or who) inspires you in this career, or in general?

To me, problem-solving is its own reward. There are few things as satisfying as a program you wrote silently working exactly as intended. Well-designed software can be a means for positive societal change, and I think our work for a leading electrification company on their charging infrastructure is an excellent example of that.

What piece of advice would you give to another woman pursuing a career in your field?

Computer science classes can be unfriendly, male-dominated environments; however, this is a profession where you don’t need a specific degree. Teaching yourself and developing a Github portfolio of impressive projects or otherwise contributing to the coding community is a valid path into the field. Online resources to help with this have never been so plentiful.

When you dream about future opportunities or possibilities – what do you aspire towards?

There are many things I want to do and only so much time! I have technical skills I want to master, personal projects I want to return to, and many directions I could see my career heading in. However, I want to keep my options open because I’ve learned, for myself, it’s better to be opportunistic than to plan every step in life.