Jackie Ellis (BIT/18) joined the LEGO Group as a Senior Software Engineer in August 2022.

Jackie Ellis went to school not to have all her questions answered, but to find a career of constant learning. In her line of work, software development, she is regularly challenged to learn new things and grow.

Ellis, who was born and raised in Ottawa, graduated from Carleton’s Interactive Multimedia and Design (IMD) in 2018. It’s one of four undergraduate program options in the Bachelor of Information Technology (BIT), a joint program in collaboration with Algonquin College.

“The combination of a degree and a diploma allowed me to explore the theoretical and the practical,” says Ellis. “The best part of the program was being able to learn the basics of all types of multimedia.”

Through the co-op program, she became an intern at Shopify and worked there as a frontend developer for four years after graduation. There, she was able to practice what she learned in her problem solving, time management and effective teamwork. She also had to learn a new programming language.

Her next step has taken Ellis to the LEGO Group, where she joined as a Senior Software Engineer in August 2022. She was attracted by LEGO Group’s strong commitments to work-life balance, to their employees and to the planet.

Today, she works in Billund, Denmark, where the original LEGOLAND opened in 1968. Besides working for the world-famous toy company, Ellis has also enjoyed getting to know a new country, culture and language.

Her day-to-day focuses on a business-to-business application that helps sell novelty sets to stores. Retailers can use the app to learn about forthcoming LEGO sets and make plans to market them on their own websites.

As she advances through her career, Ellis finds that each role has an increasing amount of leadership responsibilities. She’s thankful for her experience as a residence assistant in Carleton’s Glengarry Residence when she lived on campus.

“That taught me what type of leader I would like to be,” she says. “It prepared me well for mentoring other developers and for interviewing incoming students.”

During her last year in the IMD program, she worked on a clothing fitting application for her Capstone project. Ellis’ group created PERFIT, which scans a person’s body, recommends a size for each garment, shows it on a model in your measurements and demonstrates each garment’s fabric movement through animation. The opportunity to work on one big project for a whole year turned out to be an ideal way for Ellis to work.

“A long project like that really lets you dig into that specific problem space and gives you the time to create something really neat.”

For Ellis, the best part about being a design-focused developer is the renewing excitement she feels daily.

“Frontend development is the perfect combination of user experience and problem solving while still getting to write code every day,” she says. “I still get to focus on interaction but also responsiveness, accessibility and performance.”

By: Joseph Mathieu

Tuesday, September 20, 2022 in , , , , ,
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