I’m a Software Developer at Auvik, but I’m also a Physicist.

Though I started out in science, eventually my interest in software development won out. I grew up in Mexico, and got my master’s and Ph.D. in Physics at Syracuse University. I focused on computational physics— using computers to see if theories match experiments.

After more than ten years of working in American universities, I realized I didn’t have the same passion my peers had for physics research.

But I did have a passion for coding.

Now, I’ve found a career at Auvik that supports my family life and allows me to work on exciting projects that matter to our customers. Making the jump to a new industry isn’t easy, but I’m glad I’m at a place that recognizes my skills and celebrates people of all professional backgrounds.

Bety Rodriguez-Milla

Moving from the academic world to the tech industry

In academia, I felt guilty for taking time off work on weekends. Some of my peers liked the work they were doing. But I realized the constant pressure wasn’t the life I wanted.

What’s more, when working for a University, there are usually only one or two schools in a given city. So you need to be prepared to move if you want a job change.

The most significant differences in working at Auvik now are that I don’t feel guilty about not working overtime, and I have the flexibility to work remotely.

That means I can exercise over my breaks and don’t have to rush back to my desk. I can help my kids get ready for school in the mornings and not feel guilty for not being online right at 9 a.m. People at Auvik understand and practice an understanding that family and self-care comes first, and they’re always willing to help.

I also like the mentality on our team that it’s not individual success. It’s team success.

I’m not a fan of spending a lot of time stuck working on something, and I don’t feel that way at Auvik. I know if I’m in a rut, I can reach out to someone on my team who has more context than I do, and experts on our engineering team that surround me. For any project, like anything in life, it takes a village.

Helping customers have “aha moments”

When I hear about customer experiences from our product and sales teams at Auvik, I like that I can point to things and say, “Hey, I made that!” One of those times was hearing about the impact of our new onboarding experience, which I helped create. I’ll call it the onboarding wizard.

We built a series of steps for customers guiding them through the initial setup to start using our Auvik platform. . It helps prompt customers so that Auvik can start discovering and monitoring devices. It asks which network to scan, and for the credentials needed to communicate with their network’s router, switch, or firewall.

It’s about more than installing Auvik; it’s making sure they’re set up to see exactly how our networking monitoring platform can help them. The easier that process is, the faster the customer sees how valuable the Auvik product is, and the higher the chances they go from a trial to a paying customer.

At Auvik, we don’t work in silos. So we get to hear stories of impact from our sales teams. This is personally rewarding, as it shows how our code matters—because it’s connected to sales and company success.

3 Tips for making a career change into tech

Exploring a new career in a new industry is tough! But here are some tips that helped me when I made the transition.

1. Connect with current employees and people working in the role you want to have.

Find people on LinkedIn who work at the company you’re applying to join. Ask them about what their day-to-day looks like and what the role involves. You can also reach out to people working in tech roles that you want to explore.

That’s how I found out about Auvik! I was browsing my LinkedIn feed during my job search and saw a post from Marcus (who ended up being my manager!) saying he was hiring for a software developer role. So I reached out to him directly, which led me to this job.

2. Identify your transferable skills.

Whatever industry you have experience in, there are qualities and skills you can take with you to your new tech role. Working in academia, you gain a lot of qualities that will be useful in any industry setting. For example, being able to learn and research quickly and summarize research and findings are a few skills I learned from my Ph.D. work that apply to my work today.

3. Ask questions about industry hiring and culture.

In academia, your resume and cover letter tend to be quite long, because it lists every publication and presentation you’ve ever done. However, recruiters and hiring managers in tech are looking for one or two pages with your skills and experience condensed and up front. So when networking with people in tech, I asked questions about their experience and job search advice.

Interviews are a two-way process and provide a window into the company culture. Auvik is transparent about what to expect in the technical interview process. If you see a job posting that doesn’t have all qualifications listed, apply anyway!

I know finding a job is challenging and stressful, especially when you jump into a new industry! Seek out great people, ask lots of questions, and follow your interests to find a company that recognizes your professional background and skills and celebrates them too.

Learn more about tips for interviewing at Auvik.

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