Sommer Panage

Engineering Manager

Biographical note

Sommer Panage has worked primarily as a software developer on mobile platforms for the past 10 years. Mainly focussing on accessibility, she has been employed by both large companies such as Twitter and small startups. She has spoken on accessibility as well as software development across the USA, Europe and Asia. Aside from in computer science, Sommer has a background in research psychology as well as classical music. She has also taken time away from tech to work in the performing arts as a performer, teacher and stage and tour manager. Currently, Sommer is an engineering manager in the mobile accessibility space at a large tech company. When she’s not at work, you can find her training aerial rope or handstands, running or hiking, or if the wind is just right, wing walking.

    KEYNOTE: There and back again: Lessons from leaving and returning to software development

    3 October 2019 | 09:15 | Cookpad Room

    At some point in almost every career, we find ourselves on a cusp, both yearning for change and fearing it at the same time. It might be brought about by the desire to try a new role, a new programming language, a new place to live, a new company, or, maybe, a whole new career. Regardless of the change itself, though, there are so many questions. What if I fail? Can I come back to what I was doing? How can I keep up the skills I had while I learn new ones as well? Is it better to go all into this change or just dip my toe in the water? What will others think?

    In 2014, I left my role as a software developer at Twitter to pursue a career in the performing arts. 2 years later, I made my way to a full-time tech job. In this talk, I’ll share challenges faced, lessons learned, and things I wish I’d known as I navigated these changes.