--- Lian Li, aka Captain Electric
Alignment: Chaotic Good.
Captain Electric uses her telepathy for good by getting inside your head and sparking ideas. We’re glad she’s a superhero because if turned to the dark side, her powers could create the Condescending Gatekeeper of Doom and the Twittering Troll Mob!
I started on machine learning courses because the web world can kind of focus inwards and I wanted to see if I could bring other types of engineering into the bubble. What I love about machine learning - and introducing it to others - is that it’s so different from conventional coding. Conventional coding is oriented around finding a solution; machine learning is oriented around how to describe the problem. It takes a lot of data sets and forces the system to learn what it needs to do to change the value from one point to the other. It makes you think about the problem itself and how to describe it for the machine to understand.
Sometimes when I speak about machine learning at tech conferences, I literally see some men sit back with their arms crossed as if to say: “Go on. Impress me.” I noticed that as I was becoming more of a public figure, especially as I started using Twitter for talks, some people were offended that I had opinions. It gradually started to set in that being a woman is different. I had thought that what matters is what you do, but it really doesn’t. At one company, I was a team lead and made half the salary of a male colleague with a similar level of experience. When I started interviewing, I had a company ask me to come back with examples of my work. They canceled that appointment when they hired a male acquaintance who was at the same level as me, without asking to see his work. These experiences focused me on mentoring women and people who are underrepresented in the tech world.
Container Solutions is the greatest group of allies I’ve met so far. They’re not just interested in the label; they understand what diversity is really about. It’s not like collecting each type of Pokemon, it’s about having a diversity of experiences. I encountered Container Solutions (CS) because they volunteered their space for my friend’s “Stupid Hackathon”. I felt like this was a place with supportive people and without the kind of office politics that can ruin a job. I like that they say “we don’t hire skill, we hire potential” because technical skills can be learned; curiosity can’t.
I just moved to the Amsterdam HQ and I’m looking forward to developing my network here. I’ve already started coaching a couple of colleagues on their presentations. CS is already offering to help me set up a bootcamp or a hackathon for new developers. I’m finding more and more that if you’re looking for a place to grow, CS is the place.