By Madison Brown |
Editor in Chief
Neea Rusch, an Augusta University graduate, is making waves in the technology industry with her work as the lead software developer for TaxSlayer’s product, LegalSpark.
Rusch grew up in Helsinki, Finland, and moved to Augusta nine years ago. She became a student at Augusta State University in 2011 and graduated with her B.S. in computer science in 2014.
She was able to find a job right out of college with the help of several of her professors at AU.
“Around the time I was ready to graduate in 2014, I had excellent professors at AU, Dr. (Onyeka) Ezenwoye, Dr. (Michael) Dowell and Ms. (Joanne) Sexton, who got me in touch with the right people and helped me to land a position as a software developer at TaxSlayer,” she said.
She became the lead software developer for LegalSpark after working on TaxSlayer’s other products for a few years. LegalSpark is a service in which residents of Georgia pay a $50 fee to get 20 minutes of personalized legal advice from a lawyer in their area.
Rusch is responsible for the design of LegalSpark’s system architecture and the overall implementation of it. She also designs, builds and maintains the front-end web applications, servers, APIs, and all the databases and services offered by LegalSpark.
According to Rusch, the gender disparities in tech did not affect her as she was trying to find a job in the field, though she does note that her experience may not be the same as others.
“As far as landing a job, I have been with the same company since I graduated, so my experience is limited,” she said. “Gender did not make any difference. What really helped me was knowing the right people and having those people put in a good word for me to help secure that first developer position.”
She gave some advice to people hoping to get a job in the tech field: learn how to ace technical interviews as well as regular job interviews.
“Technical interviews are different from regular job interviews, and transitioning into tech fields, you need to be able to master the technical interviews,” she said.
Rusch encouraged everyone interested in joining the tech field to keep learning
“Lastly, keep learning new things every day,” she said. “It takes a long time to master different fields of computing but eventually it will become your superpower and it is very empowering to have one.”
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