Womenize! – Inspiring Stories is our weekly series featuring inspirational women from games and tech. For this edition we talked to Vicky Clark, Software Engineer at Unity Technologies. Vicky gives us insights into the world of coding, as well as the importance of sustainability and empathy in the workplace. Read more about Vicky in this interview:
Hi Vicky! How did you enter the games industry after completing your studies in Physics?

By accident, really. When I was in the last year of my degree, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. Games wasn’t an industry I had considered since I was a kid, until a recruiter from Unity reached out to me on LinkedIn. I didn’t have much coding experience, but I think what they were really looking for in a graduate engineering role was an analytical mindset, and a strong desire to learn new things.
As soon as I met the lovely bunch at the Stratford-upon-Avon office and heard about the incredible things that they were working on, I knew it was something I wanted to be part of. Three years later, I’m still learning new things every day and getting to work with awesome people on Unity’s core engine!

What do you enjoy most about your work as a Software Engineer?

I’m still a scientist at heart, so I like to understand how things work. My role is on the optimization team, where we work on optimizations in lots of different areas of the engine, which often means starting from scratch in a new area where there might be a performance problem. It can be daunting to start with, especially when it involves getting your head around unfamiliar code, but when you finally crack it you feel like a genius – or an idiot, if it was your problem in the first place!
It’s rewarding to achieve a good understanding of the area, to explain it to others, and to work towards the best possible performance for the user. Engineering can be really collaborative, too, and it’s fun to work with and learn from a large variety of people, across different areas of expertise and disciplines.

Are there any values that are of high importance to yourself professionally?

I’m really passionate about sustainability in all of its forms. It’s important to me that any company I am part of is working towards making the world a better place in any way it can. In my view, large companies have a huge responsibility to not only do right by the planet, but by people too, and working for a company that shares my passion for both the environment and social impact really motivates me.
More specifically for an engineering role, I think all good engineers need empathy. Empathy for the people using your tools, empathy for the people you work with, even empathy for yourself when you fail. There’s no point being a good coder if you can’t empathize with those you are writing the code for, align on best solutions with those around you, and share your knowledge with those who need it.

Thanks for this interview, Vicky!

Vicky’s links: LinkedInTwitterUnity on LinkedInWomen in Games on LinkedIn

Womenize! – Inspiring Stories Feature by Sophie Brugmann