An interview with Rebecca Kicker, Software Engineer on HALO Team

Rebecca Kicker
Software Engineer on HALO Team

Rebecca, you have a fascinating background having graduated from New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology with dual majors in Computer Science and Biomedical Sciences and with internships spanning genomics, neuroscience, machine learning and deep learning. How did you first discover your love of biology and computer science?
I found biology first. Psychology was easily one of my favorite classes in high school, and my curiosity for how the human brain works at a more concrete level led me to neuroscience. It wasn’t until my sophomore year of college—when I was terrified to take my first programming course as a requirement for my degree—that I discovered how much I enjoyed computer science.

What did you learn through your series of internships and work experiences that led you to join Indica Labs in August of 2020?
Each experience was completely different from each other, so I certainly learned a lot! But each internship slowly narrowed down what I wanted for my career—I found that wet lab work didn’t really suit me, but neither did machine learning or bioinformatics. In the end I learned that I find the most joy in logic and puzzle-solving rather than scientific research. However, that didn’t mean I lost my interest and passion for biomedical research, which makes Indica Labs a perfect fit.

What is your current role at Indica Labs?
I’m currently a software engineer on the HALO team, where I focus on developing new features and maintaining the codebase with my teammates

How do you leverage your expertise across computer science and biology in your role?
Although I never did pathology research myself, I have worked with specialized scientific software in a research setting, and I know how frustrating it can be to comb through messy data exports or fight through the same clunky and unintuitive workflow five times a day. I’ve found that experience helps me day-to-day more than any of my technical knowledge to keep a sense of perspective for our customers.

On LinkedIn you say that you are “Grateful to be applying my love for coding to groundbreaking biomedical research across the world at Indica Labs”. Could you tell us more about that statement?
I spent nearly the last ten years of my life imagining I’d be on the front lines of research in neuroscience. When I figured out I was much better at logic gates than potassium gates, I hoped that I could at least apply my programming strengths to help others research, even if I wouldn’t be doing the research myself. Indica Labs lets me do that on a scale I never imagined. I’m thrilled that I can help further biomedical research from behind the scenes, reaching labs across the world in all kinds of fields and specialties.

How do you like to spend your time outside of work?
I like to clear my mind and get some sun with morning long runs in the volcano trails. In the evenings, however, I let my inner 80-year-old out with a good jigsaw puzzle or some knitting. My husband and I also like to collect mechanical watches and surf the Albuquerque estate sale scene collecting old oil paintings.

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