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Women in Tech: Sarah Rosenbach enjoys technology's creative aspects

"I saw myself more as an outsider. It just made me have to be creative to win over the typically male technical programmers and engineers to my way of thinking."
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Written by Ken Hess on

Sarah Rosenbach

Sarah Rosenbach

Summarize your experience and what you do now. Please give a brief summary of your current role.

I started work in public arts in the early 90s. They needed someone to put their materials on the Web. I became a de facto programmer, however, I found I really loved it. It was like a new frontier. I loved the detective-like aspects of coding and soon I moved to the visual, user-interface side. Then on to product development both for digital and physical products. I recently started a company, appSmitten with two former colleagues offering app recommendations for iPhone, Androids and iPads. Apps are the new Web. It's so fun being at the forefront of a tech movement again.

Do you think that being a statistical minority in the Tech world has given you that extra push that you needed to become a top performer in your field?

I never saw myself so much as a minority rather an outsider. It just made me have to be creative to win over the typically male technical programmers and engineers to my way of thinking. I think just approaching things in a more human way worked best. Making it about common goals and great user experience helps bring people together.

How did you choose the technical field from all other possibilities that were presented to you?

I didn't choose a technical field, it chose me and it fit. Along the way I was able to perform and speak about technical functions while adding in other areas like marketing and business development. Those fields were equally challenging to learn as the technical stuff. In fact, the thing I liked about being in tech is how clear it was when something worked and something didn't. It was also clear what you had to do to make it work where marketing and biz dev are more full of fuzzy logic.

Do you think that the tech field provides the opportunity for you to think more creatively or to innovate more freely than other fields?

Definitely. Everything happens so fast in the digital world. In some ways innovation comes from taking existing ideas and re-contextualizing them. Being able to think creatively and put that special twist on problem solving is thrilling.

If you were asked to mentor a young woman interested in a tech career, how would advise her?

Don't let anyone tell you this isn't for you or you don't belong. Most likely their words are stemming from their own insecurities. If you are looking for work, try volunteering to be a part of a team that you respect. The technical opportunities will always be there, but it is harder to find people to work with that you like and can learn from. If you are questioning the job you are in, try something else. Experiment. See what things you do like to do. Make up your own projects. If you aren't happy, move on, there are plenty of opportunities out there if you open yourself to them.

What are the most important skills for someone going into the tech industry?

Creative problem solving, patience, attention to detail and learning to work collaboratively.

What is the best thing about working in tech and the worst thing?

The best thing is that you are encouraged to try out the latest gadgets and learn the latest technologies. The worst thing is that your skills and knowledge can quickly become outdated so you have to constantly keep up with the newest technologies and services.

See Also:

Women in Tech: Cynthia Rubio's proudest achievement

Women in Tech: Manuela Hutter sees endless possibilities

Women in Tech: Progress still to be made (photos)

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