In recognition of the upcoming Microsoft Ignite conference and its accompanying “Women in Tech” program, we’re highlighting female engineers at DocuSign who have helped build various DocuSign for Microsoft integrations. Recently, we sat down with DocuSign software engineer on the Microsoft Integrations team, Kiah Jones. She discussed what led her to become an engineer, the largest challenges she’s faced in her career, her advice to young people looking to become engineers, and more.
Kiah Jones is a software engineer on the Microsoft integrations team. When asked what led her to become an engineer, she said, “Honestly? It all started with Myspace. On Myspace, you could customize your page using coding, and I became fascinated that.”
Her early enthusiasm for coding led her to begin taking classes at her local community college, where she developed an interest in programming. “At first, I hated it,” she said. “And then one day, something clicked. From there I knew I wanted to pursue becoming an engineer as a career.”
Her day-to-day at DocuSign consists of a short scrum in the mornings, following which she tackles her assignments for the day. On what she enjoys about working at DocuSign specifically, she said, “I like working for a company where someone will ask where I work, and usually, they know it. Even if they aren’t familiar with the company, I can describe what our product does. Having everyone understand what I do — as opposed to working in a very niche area — is nice.”
What’s more, her job allows her to help others tackle challenges in their own workplace. On the DocuSign for Microsoft integrations, Kiah says, “We help people save time. A large part of our integration success is that we help automate whichever workflow the company is focused on. Currently, Kiah is working on the Dynamics integration. “With Dynamics, we typically help automate some kind of sales process. Instead of having to switch out of the Dynamics integration, go into DocuSign, and then come back to Dynamics, we provide them a workflow that helps automate all those different steps.”
Regarding the future of DocuSign + Microsoft, Kiah anticipates her team will be focusing heavily on both Dynamics and Sharepoint workflows. “Microsoft asked if we could set up our Dynamics integration to work with in-person signing. All customers will need to do is set up the integration to call that workflow, and it will kick off in-person signing People who are out in the field can simply click a button, and then go about their business.”
Regarding her own future? Kiah has her eye set on potentially making the leap to a product manager type role in the next 5-10 years. “My product manager has let me shadow him so I can understand what goes on behind the scenes and see if it’s something I want to pursue. It became an interest when I started picking up books on UX and product psychology. This led to reading/listening to podcast about marketing. There’s just something really fascinating about understanding what makes people love a product and being a part of the process.”
For Kiah, the greatest challenges of being an engineer are also her greatest rewards: “What I like most about engineering is that it’s kind of a double-edged sword. Your job is to problem solve. Working as engineer means I continue to expand my knowledge on the languages I use. There’s always something new that I have to pick up or be left in the dust. It’s also important to have a good amount of domain knowledge on the DocuSign software plus whichever Microsoft application I’m working on. And in the case of Dynamics… you can never know enough. You’re consistently being challenged and therefore, consistently learning.”
Want to learn more about the upcoming Microsoft Ignite conference? Take a look here.