Written by volunteer writer Alison Perch
Judy Johnson had always wanted to become a teacher. With a talent for mathematics, and some encouragement from her school’s guidance counselor, she ended up following in her father’s footsteps and becoming an engineer. As a TechGirlz volunteer and software engineer at Onyx Point, Judy gets to marry her passion for teaching with her engineering expertise.
“The cool thing about TechGirlz is that I can scratch that schoolteacher itch and still use my engineering brain,” Judy explains.
Judy has worked as a software engineer for many years and has a degree in computer science. Her current role, related to computer security, involves software engineering, system engineering, and leading a tech team.
As a seasoned engineer, Judy brings a wealth of knowledge to her volunteer role as a TechGirlz instructor and coordinator. She ended up learning about TechGirlz when a co-worker (Lewis) was looking for some fun, in-depth extracurricular STEM opportunities for his daughter, Hailey. After doing some research, TechGirlz was a standout option.
“The TechGirlz team is so organized, it is an easy sell. And the first time you see a young lady come out of class enthused about her project and wanting to go home and work on it more, well, you’re never going to want to stop,” Judy notes.
Judy’s fellow workshop volunteers are a combination of friends, friends of friends, co-workers, and high school & college students. “I just love spending time with people with very full hearts, as well as brains. My co-volunteers are the best!” she says.
Judy notes that volunteering with TechGirlz, no matter one’s skill level, is an easy and rewarding experience. She says many people have supported her throughout her career, so she loves to give back and help others interested in STEM. Her employer has also encouraged and facilitated her volunteer work.
“I have been very fortunate in my career, and cannot give credit to any one person or group of people. I like to say that I am defined by many things, and my gender is only one of them,” Judy explains.
Outside of work, Judy enjoys music, hockey, baking, and volunteering. Her volunteer experience includes reading to elementary schoolers, doing practice interviews with high school and college students, and providing support during robotics events and other women in tech events. In the tech realm, Judy is also interested in learning more about UX and accessibility.
Judy is passionate about fostering young women’s interest in STEM. As a woman in engineering, she is especially proud that both of her daughters have become engineers as well. We’re grateful to Judy for inspiring and empowering the next generation of women in tech.
Want to empower the next generation of tech leaders? Volunteer with TechGirlz today!