Mission Critical is excited to introduce you to the 2024 Top 25 Women in Technology. Meet Makenna Deamer.

Title: Sales Application Engineer

Company: Subzero Engineering

Age: 28

What made you realize you wanted to pursue a career in technology?

I’ve grown up surrounded by technology and watched it grow alongside me. My family immersed me in technology and engineering from an early age and ensured that I felt comfortable and at home facing challenges and coming up with solutions. Pursuing a career in technology allows me to continue to grow and face new challenges each day.

What inspires you to do what you do?

Curiosity. My biggest motivation is my thirst for knowledge. We all face moments in our lives where we don’t have enough information to make informed decisions and my main goal in life is to never be unprepared for the same decision twice.

What role does sustainability play in your life?

Protecting Earth and its resources is critical for everyone, and we can all do our part to start changing things. In our individual lives, simple changes like reusing or recycling materials or minimizing energy consumption in our homes can help while also innovating solutions that can be applied at large scales. For example, sustainability is the root of our solutions at Subzero Engineering. By providing containment solutions for data centers that separate the hot server exhaust air from the cool intake air, data centers can lower their cost and energy usage from HVAC systems.

What is the most fascinating thing you have learned while working in this industry?

Everyone talks about how dynamic and changing the tech industry is, but the most fascinating thing I’ve learned from it is the similarities that tie it all together. The biggest string that ties everything together, no matter how different, is the drive for innovation. Whether we are innovating to solve a problem, to find a new market to build business in, or just because we are bored and want to change, all changes are driven by the human hunger for innovation. By focusing on the things that are the same, even the most alien of changes can feel familiar.

What’s something unique about you professionally?

I’ve worked in a lot of different sides of tech. All positions I’ve held have grown from one focus to another over time while working on separate projects. This covers everything from coding and robotics to finance data analytics and ERP system customization. There is no task I won’t learn and grow into if I can see and understand the need for it.

What’s your most admirable quality?

My thirst for long-term learning is my most often praised trait. If I don’t know something, I’ll learn it. Technology gives us the ability to learn just about anything for free if you have the drive to do so. This has trained a lot of people to learn things short-term, meaning they look something up and retain the knowledge just long enough to complete what they were doing. I think taking the time to review what you’ve learned and really retain it is important to brain health.

Why is diversity, equality, and inclusion important to you?

We all have different perspectives built upon the experiences and differences in self. While it is instinctually more comfortable to surround yourself with people similar to yourself, we are narrowing our viewpoints in doing so. Problem solving and innovation are so much more effective if we can widen our viewpoint. On a personal level, we can all strive to learn more and experience more things. However, in a group setting like a workplace or a society, the breadth of the viewpoints that a problem can be examined from is often greater than the sum of the individual people who make it up. This means promoting collaborative environments where everyone is comfortable enough to speak up. This environment is influenced by everyone within the group, not just the people doing the hiring, so we all should make conscious efforts to develop group dynamics that allow everyone to shine.

What aspect of the industry do you think has the most potential for growth, and, on the other hand, which aspect do you think needs the most improvement?

I think all aspects of the tech industry have extraordinary potential for growth. There is no end to the possibilities as our technological innovations allow us to innovate faster and more efficiently. This fact, however, is also what we need to be more cautious about. Technological advances have been growing and adapting almost like an organism would, becoming more specialized for the environment it is in. In becoming so specialized for the current cultural environment, technology reflects on the culture it is in, and in many ways influences it. We need to focus more on the possible long-term effects of innovations during implementation to ensure we are building a healthy technological culture.

When you imagine the future of the technology industry, what does it look like?

I cannot even begin to imagine where technology is going to take us next. I could make predictions about flying cars and interplanetary travel, but I honestly believe whatever does come next would just make my predictions seem childish. Instead of giving a prediction, I’ll give you my hope for future tech. I hope it continues to grow and change, and I hope it helps people to learn to accept change more easily in other parts of their lives. I also hope that it stays the same and stays true to the human innovative spirit.

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