Fontaine grew up in Texas, and loved maths and puzzles, but didn’t take a CS class until her final semester of a civil engineering degree. “I only took a couple of courses – I wish I’d discovered it sooner!” After graduating, she landed in the tech industry. “Like everybody in California,” she jokes.
Now a product manager (PM) at Google, she says adaptability is more important than having a CS degree or knowing any particular programming language. “Tech changes so rapidly, so the most important skill is the ability to learn,” she says.
Working with designers to figure out the best way to visually bring a product to life, while also liaising with engineers to code the product is one example of how these aspects combine. Fontaine notes that each of these disciplines has a different viewpoint, which is almost like speaking another language – that’s where her translation work comes in!
“We all work in teams. Being understanding and making other people feel comfortable is critical to being able to build something together,” she says.
Fostering creativity is of particular interest to Fontaine and she’s motivated by knowing that her work at Google can make a big impact. “There’s an opportunity to change millions of lives.”
– Larissa Fedunik
Fontaine’s career path:
>> Bachelor of Civil Engineering, Stanford University
>> Project Engineer Intern, Blach Construction Company
>> Product Manager, ModCloth
This profile is brought to you in partnership with Google.
“People get distracted by the tech side, but you can also use your footprint to actually make people’s lives better.”
Author: Larissa Fedunik-Hofman
Larissa is the editorial assistant for Careers with STEM and a Chemistry PhD student. Larissa’s goal is to promote public engagement with STEM through inspiring stories.