Inspired by International Women’s Day, we recently motion On all our channels to truly celebrate the powerful and inspiring women here at Starship. We only have one specific month celebrating women who #breakthebias, but every day is dedicated to amplifying women’s voices.
If Kaari’s story inspires you, or if you’re interested in working for Starship, check out our careers page. We currently have over 120 open positions worldwide.
A belated Happy International Women’s Day, Kali! Please tell us about your career journey.
To be honest, I never really planned for my career. I never intended to be a software engineer. It just happened. I joined Starship as a boring PhD student and was looking for a bigger team and something faster paced. I get a lot of energy from other people around me.
Whoa, so how exactly did you end up in your shoes?
I’ve stood my ground by telling others I want to code more. Sounds cool. And others did their best to help me achieve that. It’s easy to help others if you know what they want.
Your stories about how to maintain confidence and follow your intuition are very inspiring! What is your day-to-day life like in your current role at Starship?
We are deeply involved in determining what is most impactful in our field to achieve Starship’s goals. So part of my time is spent on data exploration. Other parts implement all the ideas. My job is to manage which robot does what at what time. It’s a never-ending optimization exercise. And it is basically impossible to say what is really the right thing to do. I love working in this uncertain space.
I especially like having long discussions with others about how to solve a problem.
How would you describe Starship culture in general? Or do you like it best here? Did anything surprise you?
I would say that Starship is a very caring environment. What I love most is knowing that the manager genuinely cares about my health. I’m not just a person who needs to be managed, but I know that I can trust my colleagues so I can talk openly about all sorts of issues and expect understanding.
I think Starship strives for a very healthy work-life balance. As one of her engineer-managers recently said, there are far more important things than work.
Finally, do you have any career or professional tips for women who want to work or grow in tech?
I think the important thing is to learn that everyone else is just as clueless as you are.
It is very common for young boys to start developing an interest in technology early on. Their friends have similar interests, and society as a whole encourages them. This is great. Others may feel like they have a lot more knowledge when you start out as an adult, but they’ve learned the technical stuff much longer. , it seemed to me that I could not catch up, but now I know that I can definitely catch up. Don’t confuse experience with inherent ability!
Another thing I recommend is to take on tasks you don’t know how to solve. Ask for help when you get stuck. Don’t look stupid. If you find a sympathetic person who isn’t afraid to ask silly questions, that’s great. They are usually not stupid, even if it seems obvious to anyone but you.