Category Archives: Interviews

A Chat with Software Developer Victoria Fry: A Career in Tech is All in the Family

Tanya Adams is a freelance writer, content strategist, and lover of all things tech. Not to be confused with her namesake of Red Alert 2 fame, but certainly that cool. Learn more about her at
Tanya Adams

There is a shortage of women in tech. That’s a fact.

Could it be that schools don’t encourage young girls toward a career in computers or math? Could it be the media and its lack of females depicted in tech oriented careers?

Yes, it could be.

Offering more courses in schools, science and tech camps for girls, and profiling women in the profession can all bring more women into the field.

But there is a larger influence in any young woman’s life that could be the most important element in choosing a life in tech or any other profession. That influence is that of the young woman’s parents.

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Family Support

Software Developer and Integrator, Victoria Fry, credits her very supportive parents when asked how she came to choose a career in technology; especially her mother, Suzanne.

Fry is one of three siblings (all females) who have opted for careers in the sciences (One sister is a nurse; the other is in bio-medical research.) Fry chose technology.

At a young age, Fry had an aptitude for math. Her mother, who also works in tech, recognized her daughter’s ability.

“She saw that I enjoyed math and encouraged me,” Fry says.

With her mother’s encouragement, Fry continued to enjoy math throughout elementary and middle school. In high school, she was introduced to computer programming.

“In high school, we didn’t really have too many programming classes,” she says. “We had maybe one and it was kind of the same environment that you see now. There were one or two girls in that class and twenty guys.”

Despite being one of the few women in the class, Fry took that programming class and found her calling.

“I really enjoyed it,” she says. “I loved being challenged to figure things out. That class really got me interested in computer programming, so that’s what I pursued in college.”

In college, the trend of being one of very few women in her computer programming courses continued. But that didn’t faze Fry.  However, she did find the interaction between the men and women in her college courses minimal.

“I joke with my husband, because we were in the same computer classes in college. I tell him, ‘you were one of the only men that talked to me in college.’” She laughs.

Throughout college Fry says her parents were there for support. Whenever she was stressed about a test or felt overwhelmed with her studies,  her father would remind her to put it all in perspective.

“He’d say ‘relax it will be okay. The world will keep going,” she laughs.

She credits her parents with creating the balance in her life that allowed her to pursue technology and for giving her the confidence to know she would succeed.

Serving Those Who Serve

Today, as a Software Developer and Integrator for USAA, a financial services firm serving U.S. military members and their families, Fry works on the team responsible for USAA’s iPhone and iPad apps.

“I love working at USAA, because of the team atmosphere,” she says. “In mobile development we’re a close knit group.”

Fry works on the maintenance side of the application; correcting any issues that USAA members (clients) see in production. Her integrator title means that she also works with colleagues across USAA’s large organization. At any given time, she may work on other projects as well as the apps.

Fry finds creativity in the problem solving aspect of her work.

“Figuring out problems, implementing a solution, and creating your own solution. I definitely think there’s creativity in that.”

Fry began at USAA directly after graduating from college with a computer science degree. Her mother also works in IT with the organization.

bestplaces_2014_iconVoted # 2 of COMPUTERWORLD’s ‘Best Places to Work in IT 2014,’ USAA’s campus boasts fitness centers, child care facilities, and Starbucks coffee shops. All great amenities for sure; however, for Fry providing services to military members and their families is most fulfilling.

“At USAA, the mission we are all striving for is serving those who serve,” she says proudly. “And the people who work here have such a wide range of technical knowledge and technical backgrounds. It’s interesting day in and day out working with these people.”

Since the birth of her own daughter, Fry says she has started mentoring through the Aspire community within her workplace. The group plans to mentor young people in the local schools in Texas next year and encourage young women who have an interest in technology.

“Now that I have a child of my own. I definitely see that drive to encourage others.”

Fry is grateful to her mother for recognizing her talents and encouraging her into the technology field.

“I asked her why she chose tech. Why did she go in this direction?” she says. “Her answer was simple. She said she wanted to make a better life for herself and her family. I really admire and respect her for that.”

Fry’s advice to other women who are contemplating a career in tech?

“It’s a male dominated field,” she says, “ but, I think if you have a passion for it, you’re more than capable of standing in a room with nothing but males and holding your own. Don’t be intimidated if you’re the only woman in the room. You’re smart. Go for it!”

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Tanya Adams is a freelance writer, content strategist, and lover of all things tech. Not to be confused with her namesake of Red Alert 2 fame, but certainly that cool. Learn more about her at
Tanya Adams

Software Developer, Chantell Osejo never dreamed that she would be a woman in technology.  It came as a complete surprise.

“If you had told me five years ago that I was going to be in IT, and a programmer, I would have laughed” – Chantell


Coming from a small town in Tennessee, the opportunities in technology were limited. In her high school, the only computer classes offered were a basic keyboarding class and the occasional Dreamweaver course. None of her teachers suggested technology as a possible career path.

“Nobody ever suggested tech to me. Lots of [other] female dominated fields were the typical thing,” she says. “It wasn’t frowned upon necessarily; it’s just no one ever said, ‘have you considered this?’ “

At home, her mother wasn’t too fond of computers and limited Osejo and her siblings’ access to them. Her father was a different story.

“My dad always had been pretty much tech-oriented. He built computers with us when we went to visit him and we’d play on the internet.”

Osejo soon discovered Neopets and made her first foray into programming, although minor, by dabbling in HTML so she could make her Neopet town pages. Still, a career in computers never dawned on her.


After high school, she enrolled in the Rochester Institute of Technology anticipating a career in veterinary medicine.

But, a funny thing happened.

Osejo found that she hated all of the classes in her major, but did have an intense interest in math, science, and logic. She took a career assessment to determine if the career she’d chosen was the best path for her. Her fiancé (who was a friend at the time) suggested that, with her interests, she may enjoy computer science.

Then, the results of her career assessment came back. The assessment ranked science at the bottom and computer science and technology at the top.  Osejo promptly switched majors. She remembers calling her mother with the news of her new found career goals.

“Her response was, ‘are you kidding me,’ “she laughs. ‘You must have lost your mind. You are going to be so miserable!’ It was probably a shock for her. It was a shock for me, too. “


Osejo began exploring computing; originally starting with networking and systems administration. She took on internships in the field. During her second internship she was doing mobile development and fell in love with the mobile operating system and building apps.

Today, Osejo has found her bliss as an Android Developer for Glympse, a start-up based in Seattle. Glympse is an app that allows the user to share her location in real time with people of her choosing for a specific amount of time. The user can send a Glympse to let someone know she is going to be late or to follow her to her destination. A Glympse can be accessed from any platform.

Osejo explains her role at Glympse this way: “I own our Android customer facing platform app in its entirety. I build. Right now we are going through a re-design, for example. And, I’m tasked on occasion with implementing features as part of our partnerships. So, hypothetically, I might build a car mode UI that may be set up in your vehicle.”

Osejo truly enjoys her job!

“I kind of feel guilty talking to people who are not in the tech industry about how much fun I have at my job.”


Before her time at Glympse, Osejo was a Software Integrator at financial services company, USAA. She found the culture there much different from that of a start-up. She says that at a big corporation you get a small slice of whatever application or product you’re working on; making you an expert on that particular thing.

A start-up culture is the polar opposite of that.

“I have so much freedom sometimes,” she says. “If I want to implement a feature and I have time; I can do it.”

When asked what she likes most about her job she says, “Oh, the creative aspect. Hands down!”

She says a lot of people make the mistake of thinking that programming is all about logic and math. It is an important piece of the job, but about eighty to ninety percent of programming is creative.

“You’re creating something. You’re building something. You’re fitting together the pieces of the puzzle,” she says. “Especially, if you’re designing. You’re building an experience.”


Osejo would really like to see more women choose technology as a career. (When she graduated from college in 2012 there was only one other woman in her IT major.)

She gives back by volunteering with younger women and girls. Tutoring middle school kids in technology and leading an exhibit at a science fair designed to encourage girls to pursue technology and science, sponsored by Girls Inc., are just two examples of how she is giving back.

She feels that opportunities are wide-open for girls and women just starting out in technology as well as  career changers who want to pursue technology. She has met people with backgrounds in art and history who now work happily in technology.

“The opportunities are great,” she says. “No matter where your personality is on the spectrum, you can find the right fit for you.  Whether that’s a start-up mentality where you are able to drive the direction of the company or whether that’s corporate where you can be a piece of the bigger picture and really see how your bit interlocks with everything else that’s out there. There’s something for everyone.”