Name: Minnie Lee
Designation: Agent 0079
Double Agent Role: Senior Software Consultant
Special Skills: Project management, research, and a deep curiosity for the sociology of human behavior and what that looks like in a team.
Location: Denver, CO
I’m new to consulting, and I am about to end my first engagement. And, as bittersweet as it is, I am very proud of the many challenges and unknowns I was able to overcome. There were new technologies, new people to engage with and learn how to work with, different processes, etc. After spending my entire career only ever working for product companies, I never thought I would ever join a consultancy. But what I’ve been able to accomplish within the last 7 months is proof that this is where I belong.
I feel like working at Test Double is the perfect blend of the opportunity to continue coding and honing my skills technically, and also diving into people management, process management, etc.—and not having to give up one for the other or vice versa. It can be difficult to step out of your comfort zone and do something you’ve never done before, but I would rather have tried than have spent my life wondering if it was right for me. And I’m glad I took the leap, because now I know.
I think I’m just excited for the constant and continuous learning. I’m not saying that in past jobs that I haven’t been learning, but this is like a whole new level. Recently, I had to learn a brand new language that is very different from Ruby. I’m honestly just excited for those opportunities to pick something new up and have to start all over again.
I would say my favorite thing is being surrounded by so many knowledgeable people, and I have the ability to get on a call with any of them. There’s this community of people that I work with who are not only kind, but they’re also so experienced in what they do and so passionate about what they do. It just creates a very inspirational and encouraging atmosphere.
My previous employer couldn’t support me in the way that I wanted and needed when it came to my outside dreams and interests, so I was very candid when I interviewed about making it a point to highlight what I was specifically looking for if I were to join a new company. Without going into too many details, Test Double was the only company who—without batting a lash—fully understood where I was coming from, and immediately gave me options on how they could support me. I have not come across very many companies who are so attentive and so caring about their employees, and acknowledge how many of us have interests outside of our careers that we are deeply passionate about. When I feel heard, seen, and understood, that is when I am at my best, and I am grateful to be able to work for Test Double.
The number one thing I’ve been thinking about a lot for the last couple of years is security, because I feel like a lot of developers don’t really think about it. There just seems to be a trend where I feel like a lot of companies don’t really think about security until later or when it’s too late, and it just seems very backwards to me. I do really feel like as a developer you can build your software and take into account security. It should be a more common practice especially with how technology is advancing.
The most memorable event that happened to me last year was the realization that as much as I love my career, I also love so many other things outside of what I do for work. I realize that it is a privilege for me to be in a position where I can ask myself: Why can’t I have both? Why can’t I continue advancing in my career and do the things that I love, which is to travel and immerse myself in the language and culture of whichever country I find myself in?
This led to my decision to leave my previous company that I spent 3 years at—and that I really loved—and to put myself and my happiness first. I didn’t really think that what I did was that brave or courageous, but I had many people tell me how inspiring it was that I followed through with what I wanted for my life—even if it meant giving up a really good job in order to pursue it. The pandemic really threw a wrench in my travel plans—as I’m sure it did for most—and even though my highest priority was the ability and opportunity to feel supported no matter where I lived, this opportunity with Test Double has also made me realize how much I enjoy consulting so, it’s a win-win all around for me.
I think it’s just the possibility of things becoming semi-normal, which I’m sure a lot of people are looking forward to. I’m particularly excited about going to conferences and being able to interact with people in person again, and to be able to travel again comfortably.
I recently read Code Girls by Liza Mundy. I love reading about cybersecurity and information security. One of my favorite books is Ghost in the Wires by Kevin Mitnick, so this book was definitely up my alley. I feel like there have been so many discussions about history in general and how there are so many untold stories. It was refreshing and encouraging to read about women’s involvement and service during WWII and how their efforts paved the paths to what is now known as information security and cybersecurity. It is humbling to think about how far we have come in providing opportunities for women, and I am grateful to the women that came before me, because I probably wouldn’t be in the position that I am today if it weren’t for them.
That would obviously be traveling. Traveling is my self-care. But more importantly, I have been taking Spanish lessons at least four times a week with a professor in Colombia. I have actually never met my teacher in-person, and he is honestly one of the best teachers I’ve ever had. He’s become a very important person in my life, and I am very much looking forward to meeting him in Colombia.
There are two things. I think if I wasn’t a software engineer I would spend a lot of time really delving into several different languages. I love learning languages. I love learning about other people’s culture. And then to add to that, I am constantly reading books about behavioral economics. I just find that topic super interesting.
This interview is based on a recorded conversation with Minnie Lee and Cathy Colliver. It may or may not self-destruct.