When working with Catherine Banville, Kogniz’ Director of Engineering, I always feel inspired by her “glass half-filled” attitude. That positive energy got me thinking about how lucky we Kognizites are to work together and that we shouldn’t keep that bottled up. So... I asked Catherine to be my first guinea pig for a new series called, “Kognizite Spotlight,” where we highlight a member of the Kogniz team. Since Catherine’s a curious, positive-thinking woman, she agreed. Here’s a little more about her...
Tell us about yourself and what you love about your job at Kogniz?
How did you find out about Kogniz and what made you apply for your job?
Actually, Kogniz found me... I wanted more out of my job and was wondering what my next move should be when an awesome recruiter contacted me about a position at Kogniz. One thing led to another, I talked to amazing Kogniz people and started seeing myself working with them, my head already full of projects and ideas.
What are you excited about that you're working on now at Kogniz?
I'm excited about everything we are working on at Kogniz now! We are improving the Kogniz AssureAI platform everyday, adding cool new features and improving the user experience, while also improving our software processes (UI/UX design, software architecture, CI/CD, and so on). Since we are a lean, startup team, everyone can play a big role in everything we are doing. Everyone is making a difference.
What drove you towards engineering?
For as long as I can remember, I've always been super curious. I wanted to make sense of everything, understand how things work, make things better, or come up with a groundbreaking discovery. In school, I loved everything related to maths and sciences, and became fascinated with electronics and computers. So engineering, for me, was a no brainer. I've never regretted my choice and am super proud of the career I have in this extraordinary field.
What's something that you learned from prior jobs that impacts your work at Kogniz?
Everything I've learned in prior work is impacting my work at Kogniz. The person I am now was shaped by my experiences, good and bad. I've learned so much from them. And it might sound cliché, but the bad ones are the most formative ones. That's when you discover who you really are, what your fundamental values are, what you can't live without,... and what you want to become when you grow up (or old ;-) ). Oh, and of course, many years of software development also helped! [insert big smile here :D]
What's your favorite part of working at Kogniz?
I love working at Kogniz. No offense to my previous employers, but it's the first job I have where I don't see myself ever leaving. We have an amazing team of bright people who are always willing to go the extra mile to get the work done or help a colleague. We can have discussions about a technical challenge, with everyone having really strong (diverging) opinions and end the discussion with a solution that is better than what all the participants had originally brought to the table. We don't agree to disagree, we agree to make things better. We have created an environment where everyone feels safe enough to joke, talk about a personal problem, raise a concern, suggest improvements, propose a radical change or simply share what's on their mind.
What’s the culture like at Kogniz?
What are your most excited about for the future at Kogniz?
That we are always finding new ways to help people. Of course, the tech is fun and the team is great, but more than anything else, the work we are doing at Kogniz has a purpose that is bigger than all of us. We are and we will continue to make workplaces safer and safer... and that might actually save lives! How awesome is this?
When you're not working, what do you like to do?
I'm a mother of three so that keeps me busy! I'm also a long-distance runner, which gives me that so important "me time." I'm an all-season runner, so whatever the temperature, I spend a few hours a week on the roads or the urban trails of my beloved Montreal neighbourhood.
Thanks for reading. Stay tuned for more Kognizite Spotlights coming soon!