Ivanti Women in Technology: A Q&A with User Experience Designer, Julie Hor
Q: Tell me a little bit about yourself, and your career.
JH: I’m a User Experience Designer and I help create the user interface for our product by gathering feedback and information from our customers. I actually got into this field because I took a web design class and I thought to myself, “Yeah, I can totally do this as a job. It’s a lot of fun and I enjoy it.” So that started my journey into finding an internship at Landesk, and I ended up getting a full-time position after at Ivanti.
Q: Why is working in tech interesting, challenging, or exhilarating to you?
JH: I’ve always loved tech, but people don’t realize that there is also a user experience in everything that you do. Whether it’s you driving your car, sitting in a chair, or even using an app—there’s a user driving it. I think that’s what I love so much about my job. It allows me to also study human behavior and improve people’s lives, just by moving around an interface to make it more efficient for them to get their job done.
Q: What is one project that you are working on that you are excited about?
JH: Currently, our guild is still working on synthesizing the data we received at Interchange. We got a ton of feedback on one of our prototypes and printed out 700 pages worth of flash cards of information to sort through. I think it’s one of the best things to work on because we got to meet with our customers and get to know what they like and what they don’t like. It creates a better workspace for them and we get to develop customer relationships, which is a plus.
Q: Recently on our Insiders Hub, we asked “What can we do to help women succeed in tech?” Can you speak a little bit about your own experiences with this subject—maybe what you’ve seen or experienced that you’ve liked or has been important in your career journey?
JH: I think what Ivanti has been doing has been great. They have been volunteering for the STEM program in high schools and junior highs. They have also helped sponsor the She Tech conference, which helps young girls explore what they can do in the tech industry—it isn’t just limited to being a coder. My only concern or hope is that this leads to companies and organizations actually hiring more females. In the engineering department, I’m probably one out five women who I work full-time. This year, more than 50 percent of our interns were women and that made me really happy! It’s a step in the right direction and I think Ivanti is really trying to make a conscious effort to support women in this field.
Q: What advice would you give to younger generations who want to enter IT/tech or who are just starting a career in the field?
JH: To be honest, I think they should explore. High school only offers a small pool of job/career choices. I remember doing those career days and taking those career tests to see what job would best fit me, but I didn’t realize there was so much more out there than a computer program would know. I didn’t even know about this particular field until I got into college. There’s more to the IT/tech world besides just coding, so I would encourage those interested to go to tech events or even do job shadowing.
Q: As someone who is on the frontlines of tech, what are some of the coolest ways that you’ve seen tech change throughout your career?
JH: I think one of the biggest things for me was the Apple Watch. I was never one to wear watches a lot, but I wear this thing everyday. It’s been so much fun because the rest of my team has them, and we all send those messages to each other after we’ve completed a workout. It’s been a good motivator for me to actually get out and be active, and challenge my teammates as well.
One thing I’m looking forward to in the future is self-lacing shoes. They’re going to be like the ones in Back To The Future, but recreated as the Nike MAG. They also have a simpler one called the HyperAdapt but I’m interested to see where the future tech of shoes is going to go.
Q: Who is your inspiration/role model?
JH: This is not so much in the tech industry, but more so in shoes, as I actually really look up to Bill Bowerman. He’s one of the co-founders of Nike, and I believe there wouldn’t be a Nike without him. He was a track coach, and he was always wanting to innovate his runners’ shoes—how to make them faster, lighter, better. He would always rip shoes up and put them back together, and then have his runners test them on the track for an hour. He was a genius and I aspire to be like him in some way or form.