Aubrey Baker is exactly the kind of thoughtful, well-rounded, and passionate individual you want in your life, whether as a coworker, friend, or both.
Since moving back to Michigan and joining our team over nine months ago as a Demandware developer, Aubrey has made contributions to our company and our community that go far beyond her job description.
With degrees from Michigan Tech and Virginia Tech, Aubrey's background is in Software Development and Human Factors Engineering. These facts alone start to give you an idea of who Aubrey is, but this picture is incomplete.
You may already know about Aubrey's passion for encouraging more women to learn to code and join the technology industry. She has actively participated in BitCamp, a day of code for middle school girls, and was critical in helping CQL host the event last weekend. It was partly because of these efforts that Aubrey was featured in an MLive article and on The Morning Show with Shelley Irwin about the viral #ILookLikeAnEngineer campaign to explain why engineering is a great choice for women and why she loves it.
Outside of work, Aubrey's varied interests portray a more complete picture of her. Here are four things besides her enthusiasm for development that you might not already know:
1. She Raises Chickens and Ducks
Imagine waking up to a rooster crow every morning. Not at the crack of dawn, but before dawn. This is what roosters really do. They don’t wait for the sun to come up, and once they start crowing they continue to crow all day.
Until very recently, this is how Aubrey would wake up. Now, her flock is rooster-less, but does include 16 hens and 6 ducks.
Raising the flock is pretty low maintenance on a day to day basis, once the chicks and ducklings reach adulthood. The hard part is keeping up with egg production, which is nearly an egg per day, per hen in the summer months. Because Aubrey’s hens are all less than a year old, their bodies have not yet perfected egg laying, so often the eggs have double yolks!
2. She Drives Antique Tractors
Aubrey also drives antique farm tractors. She likes them because they tell a story of how things used to be, serve as collectables, and also are useful tools to have around.
Aubrey frequently uses tractors to haul brush off of land she is currently clearing for a garden.
Soon she’ll be using the brush hog to cut down all of the smaller growth, and then tilling up the ground to make it suitable for planting in the spring. She also uses the tractors to plant food plots, like rye and oats.
3. She's a Member of the Western Michigan Old Engine Club
The Western Michigan Old Engine Club, provides Aubrey a social outlet for her tractor hobby. The club has monthly antique tractor pulls throughout the summer, where members see who can pull the most weight with their tractor.
Aubrey currently holds first place in points for the 3500 weight class (that’s the weight of the tractor), where she pulls her grandpa’s Allis-Chalmers WC.
The club holds an annual antique tractor and old engine show every August where they provide demonstrations with antique farm equipment and display tractors, among other events.
Aubrey also volunteers at the club’s annual education day where 5th grade students learn about the old ways of farming and other tasks, including making apple cider and blacksmithing.
At both the show and education day, Aubrey works with her grandpa, boyfriend, and a few other club members on threshing and baling straw. The old way of baling straw takes four to five people, compared to just one person with the technology used on farms today.
4. Aubrey Loves Hunting and Fishing
As plenty of Michiganders can probably relate, when off the clock and off the tractor, Aubrey also enjoys hunting and fishing. She loves fishing for pan fish in the many small lakes in the area. She likes fishing for Brown Trout, the prettiest fish she catches, in the Pere Marquette River. For Aubrey, bringing in a salmon out on Lake Michigan is an experience on its own level because of the size and strength of these fish.
Aubrey attends her family's deer camp every fall up in Custer. This provides some quality family time with her dad, grandpa, uncle, and cousins. Aubrey processes her deer by hand, vacuum seals the meat, and eats it regularly throughout the year. Occasionally, small game hunting provides meat for the dinner table beyond fish and venison.
With her many diverse interests and talents and willingness to contribute her energy and creativity however she can, Aubrey is one of those people you look forward to seeing at work every day.
In an industry desperately lacking in diversity, Aubrey breaks so many of the "typical developer" stereotypes and proves the tech industry is one that women can not only enjoy, but can thrive in and make significant contributions. We're grateful to have someone as multitalented and passionate as Aubrey on our team and we hope you enjoyed getting to know more about her.
Look forward to more CQL Spotlights coming soon!