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GirlGeek of the Week
July 1999

Sarah Bansak Heidi Bauer

I am a software engineer at Macromedia, a multimedia and Web software company in San Francisco. I grew up in a small town in Vermont and then went to a boarding school in Concord, MA. I liked math, but I couldn't imagine a career in it. I thought computers were for geeks. I didn't always want to be a programmer, but I did enjoy puzzles, brain teasers and building things.

After high school I went to college at Brown University in Providence, RI. During my freshman year I wanted to be a teacher or study languages-anything but science. Then, I took an aptitude test that encouraged me to study something that would use my problem solving skills-such as computer science. Friends of mine in computer science really thought I'd enjoy it. They were right. After my first class, I was hooked! I decided to get a B.S. in computer science and after some hard work, I did it.

The summer before I graduated, I was an intern at Macromedia. I worked with the documentation team, writing example code for product developers. After graduation (and after four months skiing in Colorado) I returned to Macromedia as a full time software engineer. I've been there ever since!

When did you first discover your love and/or obsession with computer and technology?

I took my first computer programming class when I was a sophomore in college. Before that I didn't particularly like or dislike computers or technology--the thought just never crossed my mind. I mostly love the challenge of solving problems using computers and making life easier with the software I write.

How do you earn a living?

I am a software engineer at Macromedia. The product I work on is called Dreamweaver. It's a visual Web authoring tool for professional designers. I'm one of the 13 original engineers on the Dreamweaver team-a team that has since grown to 18 engineers. I spend part of my day writing code and building the user interface for my code. I also meet with other programmers and QA engineers (people who test the software) working on improved designs for the user interface and the software architecture.

Do you consider yourself a Geek?

Sure do! And if geeks get to have this much fun at work, I have no problem with that.

What is your favorite Website?

Shockrave and The Onion

What do you do when you are not working?

I play soccer in a women's league and in a co-ed league in San Francisco. I also like to sea kayak with my boyfriend in the summer and ski or snowboard in the winter. My favorite activities also include reading, hiking, camping, sailing, and cooking.


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