Sage Franch: January STEM Star


We are kicking off our new 2017 series that pairs with our monthly subscription box service themes! This month's box is coding themed, so we are featuring an awesome coding STEM Star! This month's feature is, Sage Franch (aka The Trendy Techie). She is a Tech Evangelist at Microsoft and the Founder of TrendyTechie.ca. She recently graduated with her Bachelors of Computer Science for Dalhousie University.
We sat down to ask her a few questions about her experiences in tech and how she got here!
What does a normal day at work look like for you? 
Sage: Every day in the life of a Tech Evangelist is completely different. Being a Tech Evangelist is kind of like being a professional early adopter - we work with emerging technologies and share our projects with other developers to demonstrate what the technology is capable of! Lately I'm working with chat bots, cloud computing, and holographic apps, so I spend a lot of time testing my apps and creating demos for these technologies. When I'm not coding, I'm out speaking to developers at hackathons, meetups, conferences, and even in classrooms! As a tech blogger at TrendyTechie.ca I am always looking out for cool things happening in technology, so out in the action with my fellow developers is my favorite place to be.



When did your interest in coding begin and how did it grow?
Sage: Before I discovered coding I wanted to have a career as a 3D animator. In the summer of grade ten I went to a computer graphics course at UPenn, where I spent four weeks learning the ins and outs of animating 3D characters. During the course, a professor showed the class a code script that rendered fire, and when I saw the animation burst to life on the screen I knew I wanted to learn how to code. When I went back to school that fall I took a computer science course, eventually decided to study computer science at university, and the rest is history!
What do you think is unique about coding that separates it from other fields?
Sage: Coding is exciting because it touches every industry. It's no longer separate from other fields, but integrated into them. To code is to speak the language of computers, to be able to control technology, to be able to build things without being limited by the laws of physics. Code powers everything, from the devices in our pockets and on our wrists, to the machines that make the non-technical products we use every day. No matter where you look, code is an integral part of our lives - learning to code unlocks the power to make an impact in any industry and build the future. 

What new or upcoming technologies are you most excited about?
Sage: My favorite emerging technologies are holographic computing, artificial intelligence, and self-driving cars. All three of these used to only exist in science fiction, but they are all a reality today! 
What is one of the coolest projects you have gotten to work on during your career so far?
One of the coolest projects I've worked on is hacking with HoloLens, Microsoft's wearable holographic computer. I've recently started developing for it using Unity3D - it's such a cool experience to see your code come to life in front of you, not just as a 2D creation on a screen, but as a 3D hologram in your living room! 

What advice would you give to young kids interested in STEM?
Sage: My best advice to young people interested in STEM is to explore it! The best way to discover your interests is to get your hands dirty in it and try it out for yourself. So find a tech club at your school, join the mathlympics, buy a chemistry kit, or try the 3D printer at your local library. The more you try, the more you'll discover, and you might just find something that you really love.
Want to follow all of Sage's tech adventures? Visit her website, trendytechie.ca.
Also connect with her on social media:
Twitter: @theTrendyTechie; Instagram: @theTrendyTechie; Facebook: facebook.com/thetrendytechie

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