We’re continuing our celebration of Women in Tech Week with another profile of one of many of the amazing women who make a tremendous impact at Docker – this week, and every week – helping developers build modern apps.
Clara McKenzie (center) is a Support Escalation Engineer.
What is your job?
SEG Engineer (Support Escalation Engineer).
How long have you worked at Docker?
Is your current role one that you always intended on your career path?
The SEG role is a combination that probably doesn’t exist as a general rule. I’ve always liked to support other engineers and work cross-functionally, as well as unravel hard problems, so it’s a great fit for me.
What is your advice for someone entering the field?
The only thing constant about a career in tech is change. When in doubt, keep moving. By that, I mean keep learning, keep weighing new ideas, keep trying new things.
Tell us about a favorite moment or memory at Docker or from your career?
In my first month at Docker, we hosted a summer cohort of students from Historical Black Colleges who were participating in a summer internship. As part of their visit a few of us were asked to share our insights about working in tech, career paths with a BS in engineering, and how different roles work together to build and release a product. My colleagues Savaugn and Shanea were able to give them deeply personal and practical advice. I was able to give them the advice I’d give my own children who are just a bit ahead of them in their career. The students had lots of questions and it was a really nice event.
What are you working on right now that you are excited about?
There is so much for me to learn at Docker. I wasn’t familiar with the Enterprise products when I arrived. Now I’m learning mostly DTR and UCP from both inside and out. Escalations keep you on your toes. It’s a unique experience to hear the client dilemmas and piece together the story. Was this an unintended consequence, a bug? How did we get here? And more importantly, how are we going to address it?
What do you do to get “unstuck” on a really difficult problem/design/bug?
I ask my colleagues! This happens quite often – these are hard problems. It takes the skills sets both Support and Product to solve escalations. You need to know what to ask the clients for in terms of logs and debugging data, sometimes issues get solved just in the process of doing that.
What is your superpower?
What is your definition of success?
What are you passionate about?
I love dogs. I enjoy genealogy, puzzles, and I like volunteering. I was on the board of Berkeley Ballet Theater as Treasure for a while; that was really rewarding. My husband and I collect and sometimes race old Volkswagens too, which is a lot of fun.
What is something you want non-women in tech to know?
We have not yet created the level playing field we all want, one where we get the best out of everyone. It’s complicated but we can make strides. Docker can be the kind of workplace you refer back to your entire career as the way things should be done.
Who do you look up to?
Leaders who take risks for the greater good: Martin Luther King Jr., Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Mahatma Gandhi.
What is something you love to do? And something you dislike?
I love hanging out with my family. And I hate sitting in traffic.
Share a story about something or someone who has been very impactful on your life or career.
A director I had in a very successful startup I was at, would say “Success is failing less than the next guy”. He also showed me how to take everything in stride, the good and the bad, which was good because there was a lot of rolling with the punches on that job. The company was acquired for a lot of money and we all remember it with pride and exhaustion.