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Technical Training Launches Aquino’s Cybersecurity Career at Akamai
While job hunting in Summer 2016, Carolyn Aquino came upon the Akamai Technical Academy (ATA), which offered a five-month, paid, tech-training program. That fall, she began her training there.
“The security business unit immediately stood out to me, and when we were asked to submit our department preferences, cybersecurity was my top choice,” she notes.
It was a sector that was booming, and there would be a constant need for people. She received training via a mentor and support from Akamai’s diversity and inclusion team throughout her time at ATA.
Upon completing the program, Aquino, who’d earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies with a concentration in geology, was hired into Akamai Technologies as a software development engineer in test.
Headquartered in Cambridge, MA, Akamai is the world’s largest cloud delivery platform. “I’m responsible for testing the security software developed at Akamai,” she explains.
“My major responsibilities include reviewing all documents, requirements and resources to prepare an extensive test plan for a given application, using in-house tools to automate our tests so they can be executed in the background as I focus on further ensuring the quality of the app, being part of an agile process so tests are executed alongside development and bugs can be discovered sooner.”
When Aquino transitioned into her role as a software development engineer, she participated in weeks of team-led training workshops and assignments. “I gained a general understanding of our different apps, their functionality and how they were tested.”
She was then assigned challenging projects, at first with assistance from peers, and then with more independence and greater responsibility in what Aquino calls “a safe environment where we freely ask each other questions and are eager to help where we’re needed.”
For technical-track employees who want to transition into management, Akamai offers some tuition reimbursement each year so they can take management courses. About her own career growth, Aquino says: “Since I’d like to switch to a software development role next, I plan to take various software development courses this coming school year.”
She participates in Ohana, which means family in Hawaiian. It’s one of numerous special interest groups for employees at Akamai. Ohana is geared toward providing support to African-American, Black, Hispanic and Latin-American employees with workshops and guest speakers, as well as outings and fun events. Aquino also regularly attends meetings of Women Who Code/Boston (MA), and networking events geared to Latinos and other minorities.
More information can be found at akamai.com and akamai.com/us/en/about/careers, and information about ATA is available at trainingintech.com. Connect on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.
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