Katy Exline

SOFTWARE ENGINEER

A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.

In 2013, I took a risk, sold my car, and moved away from Central Ohio for the first time in my life. I had 6 weeks’ worth of living expenses in my bank account, plenty of debt, and hope of landing a position as a developer before the money ran out. Thankfully, the investment I made in myself and my future, as risky as it seemed at the time, paid off tenfold. I'm grateful to be in a career that I love with seemingly endless opportunities to grow.

In one of my first professional roles, I was charged with researching and cataloging state-funded tech initiatives throughout the US. I had a massive spreadsheet filled with details on each initiative that I would duplicate and add to every day. I loathed that spreadsheet... "I feel like this should be in a database? Didn't I make a database in one of my college Geography classes? How the heck did I do that?" I muttered to myself. And so launched a late-night, insomnia-fueled Google search to find any information on databases, automation, and eventually writing code.

"Intro to HTML/CSS". That was the name of the first class I took from a local nonprofit chapter dedicated to teaching women how to code. No, that class didn't solve my spreadsheet problem at work, but everything I was learning lit up the synapses in my brain in the most exciting way. For the first time, I felt like I found something I could do for the rest of my life. I decided to make the leap and attend a full-time, coding boot camp to kickstart my career in software development.

Thankfully, I landed a job within 4 weeks of moving to Chicago after graduation--just shy of that six-week mark! I joined a venture-backed startup dedicated to helping employers offer lunch benefits for their employees before moving on to Braintree/PayPal to tackle engineering problems at scale. In my time there, I wrangled SDK’s, bolstered our most critical applications’ resiliency, and ultimately became a specialist in managing and scaling the databases.

The investors at Drive pick companies that have strong talent, fit our investment thesis, and have tremendous potential for growth. Choosing to work for Drive feels just the same. I see an incredibly talented team, with a vision that I believe in, and an unbounded potential to grow. I've seen how taking risks can pay off in my personal life, and working for Drive is one risk I'm exhilarated to take.