Speaker Spotlight: Q&A with Elizabeth Matusov, Software Engineer @ Invitae

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Elizabeth Matusov speaks to us about her role in the tech industry and shares her thoughts on Women of Silicon Valley, taking place May 2-3 in San Francisco.

Lizzie Matusov is a full-stack Software Engineer at Invitae. Her primary focus is building high-end customer experiences to enable ordering and reporting on genetic testing in the Women’s Health and Oncology space. Prior to her role, she worked as a Software Consultant for Red Hat, where she focused on consulting delivery for application development, migration, and deployments.

She has written and supported production code for front-end, back-end, and DevOps in a variety of industries – including insurance, biotech, and finance. Beyond her role, Lizzie focuses on supporting diversity in engineering by mentoring incoming women in technology, supporting hackathons, and attending tech meetups in the Bay Area.

What will it mean to be a software developer in 10-20 years’ time? Lizzie aims to answer this question and will be sharing her wisdom in a session entitled 'The Future of Software Development' at 11:30 on May 3. Click below to join her at the conference.


We're less than 2 weeks away from Women of Silicon Valley, book now!

 

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We caught up with Elizabeth ahead of the conference, here's what she had to say.

 

Women of Silicon Roundabout California

Please tell us a little bit about yourself and how you transitioned into the tech industry. 

My name is Lizzie Matusov, and I am a software engineer at Invitae, a genetic information company that is using genetics to improve the quality of healthcare for patients worldwide. 

I grew up with a great fascination for biology, particularly for molecular health and cell development. Now as an engineer focusing on our mainstream customer experience channel, my work is directed towards developing experiences within our ordering and reporting platform to empower a broader range of physicians to order genetic testing for their patients.  

My technical journey started with a mild fascination for programming as it is applied to bioinformatics – which led me to dive deeper into engineering, opting to pause my biology endeavors to learn more about software. To further my software development experience, I spent a few years as a software consultant for Red Hat, the world’s largest open source company. I dove into application development, and supported everything from the UI, to the microservices architecture, to the infrastructure-as-code deployment of Docker and Kubernetes.

I am now back in the molecular biology space, using my software experience to shape the health-tech industry and enable a larger set of patients to be informed about their genetic code. My experiences have lent me the opportunity to learn that, beyond just healthcare contributions, I am most driven by the idea of using software as a means to impact lives  no matter how big or small  on a larger scale than otherwise imaginable.

I have had the fortunate opportunity to use my skillset and knowledge beyond my job efforts. Besides mentoring women transitioning into technology, I have spoken at a number of conference on topics ranging from Women in Open Source, to the benefits of state management for modern UI development.

Why are women crucial to the continued success of your company?

At Invitae, the products we develop serve to inform us on our health and wellness throughout our lifetime – we strive to support every one of life’s milestones, big or small. Those journeys require a particular attention to diversity of life’s experiences, and we need diverse minds to understand how we can most efficiently serve our growing demand. I truly believe that it is in every company’s best interest to support a diverse workforce, otherwise they are limited in their ability to think outside the box and find objectively good solutions to life’s greatest challenges.

A more obvious example of where women have supported the success of our company has been in our expansion of reproductive and women’s health offerings. We have recently launched our Non-Invasive Prenatal Screening to screen developing babies and support families in their prenatal journey. This product, as well as our other products supporting women’s health, could not have been so successful without the incredible women who brought their professional skills as well as personal experience to guiding these successful products.

Invitae Genetics Women in Tech

What is your Women of Silicon Valley talk about?

My talk will be covering the future of software development. It will showcase a high-level view of past, present, and future software engineering – and what the tech industry’s development process could look like in 10 years.

What about the tech industry makes you the most excited?

To see how far the industry has come with our understanding of technology has opened up endless opportunities to shape society beyond what we once could envision. As we enable better and faster development, we start to see products that will have rippling impacts on the trajectory of our society’s future.

When we think about physics, for example, we know we are bound by very finite laws about the way the world works. In software, however, we are generally limited by what we haven’t fully investigated. Decades ago, we were programming using punch cards and, over time, engineers and leaders have continued to ask “but what about this?” It is galvanizing to work in a space that is constantly asking its contributors to think outside the box.

What advice would you give to women who want to pursue a career in tech?

Keeping an open mind and ambitious energy will create endless opportunities for growth in this ever-changing space. The direction of tech innovation is incredibly malleable, and there are so many opportunities to make an impact with whatever unique insights an individual has. Most importantly, I’d advise women to stand firmly on their feet and make themselves heard – the strength of today’s women leaders will drive tomorrow’s innovation.

Unite with tech superheroes like Elizabeth Matusov at Women of Silicon Valley 2019

Taking place over 2 daysWomen of Silicon Valley boasts over 50 sessions100 speakers, and 1,500 attendees. Be inspired by the ecosystem's most influential women in technology, network with like-minded female founders, liaise with top Silicon Valley tech companies and enhance your skills portfolio in a thought-provoking atmosphere. Don't miss out!


We're less than 2 weeks away from Women of Silicon Valley, book now!

 

JOIN THE MOVEMENT


Lizzie is one of California's female tech superheroes, click here to find out more.

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