The path to my current position as a product manager at Enthought has followed a meandering route fueled by long-held interests in science, mechanical things, and computers. From an early age I was disassembling and reassembling my toys, “fixing” anything I could get my hands on, and learning whatever I could about programming, starting with my brother’s TI-99/4A. My formal training has all been in Mechanical Engineering, and while I enjoy woodworking and working on cars, on the job, I was always “the engineer that could program” and tended to gravitate toward coding projects. This was the case during my college years, in my role as an engineer for Michelin R&D, and again during my return to graduate school for a doctorate. It was as a postdoctoral research fellow that I fell in love with Python programming and taught myself the basics of scientific computing with NumPy and SciPy and GUI programming with Traits and Chaco. It was at this point that I joined Enthought.
My skills as a developer improved rapidly in the first few months as I made the transition from grad-school style solo projects to professional coder and learned about code review and software architecture and mastered version control and collaborative coding. The engineering content has been more than I experienced in my previous R&D job but less than in the university research environment. I rapidly became a contributing member of a project team and worked on a number of interesting projects. I also expressed an interest in teaching and began to deliver our Python for Scientists and Engineers course, which has brought me in contact with a lot of bright people working on interesting projects. Eventually, I started to lead project teams and develop my project management and leadership skills. Today I manage the development of several of our products and continue to have an active role in a number of interesting engineering projects.