Amira Boutouchent, Julie Tousignant and Catherine Proulx, Ubisoft Women in Tech ambassadors, visited Silicon Valley last April 29 to May 3 as part of the trade mission seeking to promote Quebec’s expertise and to draw inspiration from technology giants.
They share their thoughts on this exceptional adventure.
Okay, what now?
Now that we’ve convinced you that technology is creative, exciting and the best way to save the world, what do we do?
I have one piece of advice that you will like and another that you might not...
Let's start with the downside: the best way to prepare for a career in technology is to tackle the toughest maths possible for you.
Pushing one’s limits is obviously different for each of us. For some, it means going back to school to complete high school. For others, it’s teaching themselves mathematics which frightens them (for my part, I have a serious mental block with respect to Jacobian matrices!). With access to some free resources such as the Khan Academy, you can go back as far as you need to start over on a solid foundation, up to elementary arithmetic if necessary.
Why mathematics? First, because they open doors to technical and university programs in technology. But above all, beyond admission criteria, math will teach you to face difficult intellectual problems.
I know, it's more reassuring to take the easy course with a good grade guaranteed, than the one where you have to work hard just to pass. But learning to cut a problem into small, digestible pieces, to get help, to push forward even when you’re freaking out... it's the best school to prepare for a career in technology.
Now, to make it easier to bear... There are also plenty of fun-based resources to introduce you to technology. When you’re fed up with trigonometry and matrices, install Unity and learn how to design video games (it's free, the tutorials are excellent and it's a real professional tool... it's what I use every day). Learn how to use Blender, a free open-source 3D modelling software. Find yourself a child and discover Scratch together (for the little ones who can't read yet, there is even Scratch Jr, which is entirely visual). Buy an Arduino card and make the most amazing Halloween costume ever, with flashing LEDs all over it. Participate in a technology workshop or hackathon. And when you've filled up on enthusiasm, go back and give your Jacobian matrices a good kick in the pants for me!
The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal. As a result, the Chamber cannot be held responsible for published content.
About the trade mission to Silicon Valley
The trade mission to Silicon Valley, led by the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal in partnership with Ubisoft, was presented by the Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation. The trade mission was made possible through the cooperation of CN and the participation of the Offices jeunesse internationaux du Québec, Montréal International and our official carrier, Air Canada.