June 23 is International Women in Engineering Day — an awareness campaign to raise the profile of women in engineering and focus attention on the amazing career opportunities available to females in this exciting industry. It celebrates the outstanding achievements of women engineers throughout the world. In this spotlight Q&A we celebrate our very own Yoko Sasaki, CAKE’s Senior Engineer.
Continue reading to learn more about Yoko’s achievements, background, and her Flamenco dancing.
What is your current role and tell us about your growth journey at CAKE?
When I started working I was mainly involved in front-end development adding new features to our affiliate network platform. I gradually moved on to middle-tier and back-end development as CAKE grew and matured. While CAKE continued to expand and started hiring more engineers, I had an opportunity to mentor junior engineers, which was very different from developing software and challenging at first, but fulfilling.
Now, I’m a senior software engineer and manager of an offshore QA team. I feel fortunate to be working with other engineers who are very sharp and generous about sharing their time, knowledge, and skills with others to help develop new CAKE features and use cutting-edge technologies to maintain our system.
What drove your decision to pursue a career in software development?
In college, I initially studied control engineering which is between electrical engineering and mechanical engineering. When I needed to control the inverted pendulum, a topical subject for control engineering, I had a chance to program a microprocessor using assembly language. I found that programming was more fun than fiddling with an oscilloscope and ROM writer for a microprocessor to control robots, so I started taking classes in computer science.
Outside of work, how do you enjoy spending your free time?
I love to travel and explore new places, so I’m always thinking about where I can travel to next. I enjoy finding new places for hiking and biking, especially ever since I purchased a folding E-bike.
I recently found an incredible hiking spot in the Capitol Reef National Park in southern Utah. While I was there I hiked narrow canyons through rivers and participated in a canyoneering adventure which required me to rappel over steep cliffs and down canyons.
What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
About five years ago I tried learning how to rollerblade but I just couldn’t get the hang of it. Last year, my goal during quarantine was to participate in more outdoor activities. I decided to give rollerblading a shot again and started practicing again in the winter. This time, something clicked and I can finally rollerblade now and quite enjoy the sport.
There is one more thing to add that people might not know about me … I used to be a Flamenco dancer and performed in dance gigs and as entertainment in restaurants.
What do you enjoy most about working as a software developer?
Some people might think software deployment is a lonely job, but in reality, software deployment requires tons of collaboration. This collaboration occurs not only within the R&D team, but also extends to working with other departments such as product and client success teams. For that reason, when we release a new feature or even a simple bug fix, I feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction as a team and am grateful for everybody’s cooperative effort to accomplish the release.
As a woman in the engineering field, do you have any advice for other women who are either currently in the industry or interested in pursuing a career in engineering?
Absolutely. First, find a good mentor early in your career and try to learn as much as you can from him or her about not only technical skills but also life lessons.
Additionally, never stop learning to be a better engineer, but above all, be a better person.
Other content you might be interested in:
- Blog: Build vs Buy Software: Dispelling 3 Common Myths About Building Your Own Affiliate Network Solution
- Checklist: Choosing the Right Affiliate Software for Your Company
- Case Study: Adleadr: Agency Manages Lead Distribution and Affiliate Programs on One Platform and Improves ROI