Next up in the team interview series is Catherine Kanama, Hardware Engineer at signageOS. Catherine has been working for signageOS for almost two years now and is currently in pursuit of her master’s degree in electronics engineering.
Catherine is an insanely talented and hard-working team member with a very interesting story. She has traveled the world, attended universities on three continents, and is originally from Tanzania. But before I say too much, let’s dive into the interview.
So Catherine, did you always have a passion for technology and engineering?
My passion has always been problem solving and technology gives me the playing field to do that. Everything has some electronic components these days and being an electronics designer I get to design and make products that can be used by any person no matter which field they are in. This is why I love what I’m doing.
How did your love of technology and engineering lead you to the digital signage industry?
There is a lot of emerging tech in digital signage and this means that I get to create my own solutions and be a part of something that is evolving at a rapid rate. I am interested in designing innovative products and I believe I am doing just that with signageOS.
How did you start working for signageOS?
During my time at Union College in New York, I met this nerdy Czech guy, Michal, and was impressed by his intelligence, reasoning, and attitude. We began to date and as our time at the university came to an end we realized we needed to decide what to do next. Michal wanted to finish his master’s degree in computer science in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, so we agreed that would be the best place for us both to continue our education. I began my master’s program there and shortly after, a mutual friend told us about signageOS. The idea really intrigued and resonated with Michal and I. So Michal started working for signageOS first then I was recruited after a few months for a new project. We have worked at signageOS together ever since and both really enjoy what we do.
Do you have any specific message to women getting started in STEM fields?
Women shouldn't be afraid of taking STEM classes because they are difficult or there are not enough women enrolled. I would tell women who aspire to work in the STEM fields to stay persistent and consistent. Times are changing and more and more women are standing up to take on the inequality that has persisted for years. It’s not easy but if you are willing to put in the work then it is one of the most rewarding jobs.
A question that I feel like I have to ask is, do you believe Moore’s Law is dead?
Very tricky to give a direct answer so I will say yes and no.
At the moment it’s a yes because we are still improving the transistor technology and they are still getting smaller and smaller. Companies like Samsung have recently started mass production of 3nm transistors this means the number of transistors on the next generation of chips will definitely increase.
As for the future, I’m certain that this law will be dead. Things like 3d transistors or non-silicon based transistors may have the potential to give more functionality with less transistors. Since technology is evolving at a fast pace, I’m excited to see where it leads in the next 10 years or so.
Lastly, and I know this is confidential, but can you tell us a little about what you are currently working on?
We are working on some server side connections with digital signage displays. I obviously can’t go into detail but I can say we are working on improving cloud-based remote device management. All I can really say is that the other hardware engineers and I believe this will solve another major problem in digital signage and there is nothing like it on the market.
There you have it. A major thank you to Catherine for taking the time to sit down with me and for all the hard work she does for the company. We hope this interview inspires women all over the world to pursue education and careers not only in digital signage but in all STEM fields.
For the next interview series, we will be talking to some of signageOS’ new hires to discuss their journey and what they are working on.
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