Practical Advice for People on the Leading Edge

International Women in Engineering Day – Team Quotes

I'm so excited to write a guest post for the mighty MATLAB blog, to celebrate International Women in Engineering Day! I'm Tish Sheridan, and I lead the documentation team in our Cambridge UK office. My brilliant team create examples that help tens of thousands of engineers and scientists around the world solve problems using MATLAB. I’ve loved working here for over 20 years and have always found my colleagues a fantastic supportive collaborative fun group of people!
For International Women in Engineering Day, I asked my team to tell us about themselves and what inspires them. This is a bit different to the practical advice we usually have on the MATLAB blog, but I am excited to tell you a bit about our culture here at MathWorks. We will hold celebrations for International Women in Engineering Day at several of our offices – all week, because a day is not enough to celebrate what the amazing women in our teams do.
Here’s a photo of some of our women engineers enjoying a company trip to Kennedy Space Center!
On the left is Jess Welding on my doc team, with two of our colleagues in user experience, Yuqian Zhang and Alexandra Martinez Rodriguez. Doc and UX are stronger together, advocating for users!
This is my doc team at MathWorks. In this pic, we were doing social mission volunteer work at a zoo!
I asked the women on my team to tell us what they love about their work and what inspires them.
Here’s what Rebecca Nakhoul had to say:
As a Technical Writer for Engineering at MathWorks, I collaborate with brilliant minds daily. My role is not just about writing documentation; it is also about making complex concepts accessible and engaging for our global community. Together we bridge the gap between innovation and application, ensuring our users not only have great software but the knowledge to harness its full power.
Engineering is a field where curiosity, creativity, and problem-solving come together to create a better world. Every day brings a new challenge that tests my skills and intellect. As a woman in this field, I'm proud to contribute to this mission.          
Here’s what Miriam Scharnke had to say:
My favourite thing about engineering is that we use math to make real things. That's vague, but true!
I write documentation for the Deep Learning Toolbox and natural language processing in Text Analytics Toolbox.
 I believe technical writing is enormously important! A genuinely good explanation allows people to hit the ground running and spend their time innovating and building. A genuinely good written explanation makes this accessible to anyone.
I recently wrote an overview article about the different techniques MATLAB offers to compress neural networks to fit them on memory-restricted hardware. Even in its draft form, it has already been shared between colleagues who needed to get up to speed on the subject!
Here’s what Leyorla Ohene-Yeboah had to say:
Hello, everyone! I’m Leyorla, the documentation writer for Parallel Computing Toolbox and MATLAB Parallel Server. My job is to write documentation that makes complex concepts accessible and engaging, and I love the fact that MathWorks documentation helps thousands of engineers and scientists understand how to use our software effectively. 
Growing up, I had a passion for (creative) writing and for STEM subjects, and I used to think I had to choose between one of these passions for my future career. During my time in university, I was also passionately involved in a range of science communication activities. Being a documentation writer helps me fulfil all these passions equally. At MathWorks, I’ve had the opportunity to work on projects that perfectly blend my love for creative writing, STEM, and science communication. For instance, I have been writing decision support topics where I suggest different approaches to using our parallel features. This project not only allowed me to use my creative writing skills but also challenged me to deeply understand the parallel features we have, engaging my passion for technology. 
I spend most of my time learning to understand our software inside and out, and then translating that knowledge into clear, concise documentation. I work closely with our developers to understand and test new features, and give feedback, acting as the first user for their features. I collaborate with both product marketing and customer-facing engineers to improve our documentation. Sometimes, I am researching new problems for examples, using my STEM background to try to understand brand new concepts. One of the things I value most about my career at MathWorks is the constant opportunity for learning. Just last release, I had to familiarize myself with deep learning concepts for a documentation project. MathWorks provided me with time and all the resources I needed to understand this complex topic, including access to other documentation writers and developers. This culture of continuous learning keeps my job exciting and fulfilling.  
I was inspired to continue my STEM learning by my sixth form physics teacher, a woman who had an incredible ability to communicate difficult physics concepts in a way that made them easy to understand. There were only two girls in our physics cohort, and she encouraged us to continue studying physics in year 13. I hope that my documentation can do for our customers what my teacher did for me - make complex concepts understandable and interesting. 
The most rewarding aspect of my work is knowing that my efforts directly contribute to our customers’ success. When I see customer comments that describe how my documentation has helped them understand a complex feature or solve a problem, it reaffirms my career choice.  
Being a documentation writer at MathWorks is a role that brings together my love for technology, writing, and helping others. It’s a dynamic role that keeps me on my toes! 
Here’s what Jess Welding had to say:
I'm Jess, a technical writer at MathWorks. When I was a student, I spent many frustrating hours trying to understand a single paper, sometimes even a single sentence, only for the meaning to be completely obvious at the end of it. I found most scientific writing to be full of needlessly confusing jargon and not written with the aim of the reader’s understanding. It was this that inspired me to make sure that whatever I wrote would be for everyone to understand; I didn't ever want someone to be stuck for hours because of incomprehensible language. That is what I enjoy about my role, I get to use my STEM background with the goal of helping people to understanding complicated topics as quickly and smoothly as possible.
When I interviewed for my role, I asked what a typical day looked like, and no one could answer me! Fast forward 5 years, and I'd struggle to answer that question myself as there really is no "typical" day. Some days I'm writing, some days I'm coding, other days I'm designing apps and talking to customers about their needs. The variety is what makes this role so exciting and rewarding. I get to be involved with developing the features and then helping our users get the most out of them. I was always enthusiastic about teaching, but I also wanted to code and use my STEM background, and my role perfectly combines those things.
Lastly, here are my thoughts on what I love about working in STEM and what inspires me.
I'm Tish Sheridan, I lead a team at MathWorks who create examples that help tens of thousands of engineers and scientists around the world solve problems using MATLAB. We work on varied domains including deep learning and data science, parallel and cloud computing, physical modelling, and embedded code generation. We make and explain the tools that accelerate the pace of science. My favourite MATLAB function is doc - obviously!
In this photo I was teaching a workshop at a London Grace Hopper Celebration - but we do most of our teaching through the doc online and in MATLAB, writing code and explaining it to try to help many thousands of people get stuff done.
I love my job because the work is so interesting and the people are so talented and fun. I love working together on solutions with my doc and product teams, we have a super collaborative environment. It's an honour to hire brilliant people and help them learn through interesting challenges. I think my team have the most fun - in the doc group you get to use all the tools to create examples and you can see your impact from the thousands of web views and ratings from users.
My favourite part of the job is the MathWorkers! I love the energy and talent here; it is a privilege to work (and play) with such great people. I also love hearing about the amazing things our tools have helped people achieve around the world, from mars rovers to every car and plane you’ll ever travel in. I love the variety of projects across research and industry, and every day is different. I’m so glad I chose a STEM career. Before MathWorks, I was passionate about researching and teaching evolution and ethology. My PhD is in Genetics, and I studied the sex lives of tropical fish and seabirds. Now I get to work with talented people from many disciplines, especially engineering, maths and physics, and quite a few inspirational women leaders on technical projects. Do you have a thirst for learning new tech and sharing your knowledge? The Cambridge office is growing fast - come and join the team!
If you want to learn more:
Happy International Women in Engineering week! (a day is not enough for us!)
Hello to the amazing MATLAB community from all my team!
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