Kileen Valenzuela in the Spring 2023 Issue of Women Engineer Magazine


Valenzuela Leads An Engineering Team In Software Development At Dialexa.

In her current job, Kileen Valenzuela oversees the entire software development life cycle, starting with design and ending with product release, at Dialexa. “I’m a senior manager and engineering lead at Dialexa, an IBM company, where I’ve worked for more than three years. My role primarily involves leading a team of engineers as we work together to create digital product solutions that drive business outcomes for our clients,” she elaborates. “As an engineering lead, I particularly love that I have the opportunity to work closely with business stakeholders, creative designers and technical developers to create digital products that help transform industries.” Recently, Valenzuela worked with the Center for BrainHealth, part of The University of Texas at Dallas, on The Brain Health Project. “Our engagement involved redesigning the user interface and adding gamification to participants’ brain health journeys,” she notes. This task meant a lot to Valenzuela. “As someone who has a personal interest in wellness – and with close family members who have been affected by cognitive degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease – I found it interesting to learn the different factors that contribute to brain health and the surprisingly simple steps science has uncovered as a way for people to become proactive about their brain’s fitness,” she shares.

quote-mark There’s an art when it comes to creating good software that’s well-designed, scalable, and performant. I love coming up with different approaches to a problem and then seeing elegant solutions come to life. quote-mark

– Kileen Valenzuela

Valenzuela believes a career in STEM can be really empowering for women. “I strongly believe women will find that being involved in STEM careers builds their confidence and self-esteem, as a tool to help them work through challenging problems and come up with solutions that reflect their different perspectives and experiences.”

Plus, STEM careers typically have high earning potential, and, according to her, “can serve as a way for women to achieve financial independence, allowing them to create a better life for themselves and their families.” She wants job seekers to know that software engineering is actually a highly creative career: “There’s an art when it comes to creating good software that’s well-designed, scalable, and performant. I love coming up with different approaches to a problem and then seeing elegant solutions come to life.” For Valenzuela, software engineering also provides constant learning. “Technology is always evolving and software changes quickly. New languages can become mainstream in a couple of years, and even programming paradigms can shift depending on the application,” she contends. There are so many different opportunities to improve your skills, she points out, “and even more exciting is seeing how these new techno- logical trends are impacting everyday life.”

Her overall career advice is to believe in yourself and don’t be afraid to fail. “STEM careers do require a strong mathematical foundation, logical reasoning skills and a love for problem-solving,” she adds. “I find that women tend to shy away from these subjects in school for fear of failure as they’re perceived to be harder. It’s okay to be scared of challenges, but we shouldn’t let that fear discourage us from continuing to push ourselves to succeed,” she encourages. “Failure in this field is inevitable, but it’s how we grow. Doing hard things can be rewarding and even fun! In the end, you’ll realize you’re capable of so much more than you think.”

This interview was originally published here.


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