Meet the Aries Team: Brenda Dean, Software Engineer 4

Tell us a little about yourself – how long have you been working for Aries? What have your roles at Aries been?

I have worked for Aries for 10 years now. I started as a contractor working on making Editorial Manager multilingual. My job consisted of adding language tokens on all pages within EM but it was too much for one person to do. To help manage the workload, Aries contracted this work out to a company based in India and I managed the project. I would assign the team pages every week with directions, approve the changes and then give them a new batch of pages to tackle. I learned a lot about EM though this project by going through each page of the system individually. After 6 months, Aries hired me on full-time and I became Software Engineer. After the acquisition of Aries by Elsevier back in 2018, I became a Software Engineer 3, and I have since transitioned to Software Engineer 4.

How have your previous roles helped you in your current position?

Before my career at Aries, I had experience programming desktop applications, so I carried that knowledge with me. I have continued to grow my skills and knowledge by working on Editorial Manager site development, as even the old Active Server Pages (ASP) pages were new to me! It has been a great learning experience. My current role allows me to share my knowledge of EM with new people working at Aries. I really enjoy that aspect of my job – I love helping people!

Tell me about your department and the people you work most closely with.

The Engineering department currently consists of five teams; a Team Lead and generally three to four software engineers. There are five members on my squad!

Describe your typical workday. What do you most enjoy about your job?

Every morning our team holds a quick stand-up meeting at 9am to go over what each member of the team is working on. We also use this time to discuss any obstacles we have encountered or may encounter. I really like the problem-solving aspect of my role, especially when it comes to solving a difficult obstacle. I love helping my other team members and being a good resource for engineering for those outside of my department.

What are you currently reading, listening to, or watching?

Currently, I am listening to an audio book, Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow.

Tell me about some of your hobbies/interests outside of work?

Outside of work, I studied karate for 18 years and am a 4th-degree black belt. Unfortunately, my dojo recently closed so I am not practicing anymore. I do a lot of boating on Great Bay in New Hampshire during the summer. I also enjoy gardening, hiking and other outdoor activities.