As a female-led company, we’re dedicated to empowering women with resources to drive change in technology and beyond. To celebrate the achievements of our female coworkers, we talked to Seli Cerda (she/her), Director of Platform Engineering at CDW, to learn more about what her average day looks like.
6:30 a.m. I start my day around 6:30 a.m. Since I manage the support team that covers infrastructure 24/7, I’ll check my phone for any system alerts or pending messages from overseas support. After sorting through my messages, I check my inbox for any pressing work or emails.
6:45 a.m. I turn on my Keurig, choose my flavor of the day and pack my kids’ lunches. My kids are picky eaters, so I usually prep lunches for easy morning routine. Then, I’ll wake up my kids and we’ll eat breakfast together before my husband takes them to school.
7:15 a.m. When time permits, I try to take 15-20 minutes to center, meditate, and re-energize myself to tackle another day. I start from a place of gratitude, knowing each day is a gift and never promised. This also helps me bring clarity to challenges, and re-focus on what needs to get done.
7:30 a.m. I login from my home office and review my calendar for pressing meetings, and start any preparation for presentations or discussions.
9:00 a.m. Each morning, I meet with one of my engineering teams to review projects from the last two weeks. During the meeting, I’ll encourage the team to address any blockers and talk through their issues so we can find actionable solutions.
9:30 a.m. After my first stand-up, I plan one-on-one meetings with engineering managers to discuss major projects and address technical work challenges. We’ll usually plan for a plan forward or design sessions where we can work through a technical solution, and/or engage a vendor to support.
10:30 a.m. I try to build in a mini break to get a snack and reset for the rest of my day. I’ll usually opt for a KIND bar and a water bottle.
11:00 a.m. I join our department staff meeting with my boss, the Vice President of Operations, and his direct reports regarding agendas, ongoing projects and budget reviews.
12:15 p.m. I step away from the office to disconnect during my lunch break. I usually do a 30-minute bike run on my Peloton to get the creative juices flowing and recenter myself. Once I’m done with my workout, I’ll freshen up and log back in around 1:15 p.m.
1:30 p.m. I hop on my second daily stand-up meeting with the site reliability engineering team, which focuses on operational issues. We’ll discuss any issues from the previous week, what tickets are coming into the queue and any upcoming projects.
2:00 p.m. I join a one-on-one meeting with another technology leader. I rotate my one-on-one meetings with leaders to learn what our team can do to improve on automation and tech services.
2:30 p.m. I meet with the Lean-Agile Center of Excellence Working Group (LACE), an ad-hoc group that looks at improvements across technology plans for work, to work on the Scaled Agile (SA) framework. As part of the SA process, our team plans for three-month increments and delivers work every two weeks.
3:30 p.m. I settle into another meeting with CDW’s largest Cloud vendor. When you consider of everything living on the Cloud internally for CDW — my team helps to administer, manage and deploy those services. Given they host a large amount of our workloads, we meet on a consistent basis to ensure they have what they need to support us.
5:00 p.m. After my last meeting ends, it’s time to start winding down. I’ll check my email, work on team metrics, reference architecture, and follow-up on the status of our application release calls usually happening around this time. A couple times a week, I’ll usually take this time to do market research on emerging technologies in the DevOps, SRE, and IT Service Management space.
6:00 p.m. My husband usually arrives home from picking the kids up from school and daycare, and I’ll start making dinner. I love to turn off the devices and enjoy some quality family time at the dinner table — no matter how messy or loud that might be.
7:30 p.m. After dinner ends, I start the kids’ baths and read them a book before bed. When all goes according to schedule, the kids are ready for bed by 8:30 p.m.
9:00 p.m. I relax and spend some “me time” with my husband, which usually involves catching up on reading, listening to audiobooks or watching Netflix. I just finished watching Wednesday on Netflix, and I’m currently listening to Spare on Audible.
11:00 p.m. I wind down, turn the lights off and head to bed.
When I was going to school, the STEM sciences weren’t pushed as much as they are today. I think there’s still so much more to do to fill the gap between women and technology, especially minority women. We need more bright minds and more girls to be engaged.
My advice for young girls interested in tech? Try it out. Try different parts of technology. Try coding, try JAVA, try C#. Besides enabling us to work more efficiently and making services more convenient, technology gives us the ability to make the world better.
– Seli Cerda