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Julia Dubois, B.A.Sc. '00

(Computer Science) | Building Teams that Work

As COO of the Belgium-based software company TenForce, Julia Dubois has a wide-ranging set of job responsibilities.

“I’m in charge of a team of about 50 people, a mix of software engineers, architects, project managers, UX designers, DevOps and customer support staff,” she says.

“I’m involved in shaping the product vision and architecture, staffing, budgeting and defining the company culture with the other senior executives. One thing I don’t do much of any longer is coding – our teams do that much better than I ever did.”

Her favourite job responsibility is supporting and coaching her team members, and making sure they work together in a way that leads to great quality software products for the customer.

“I’m not sure if I thought I would become a senior executive in an IT company when I started university, but I knew that I didn’t want to become a pure technical expert,” says  Dubois, who earned an honours bachelor of science in computer science from McMaster in 2000, after studying in France and completing an internship in Iceland.

“I soon realized that what I enjoyed the most was to build teams that can work in an efficient way while having fun.”

Since graduation, she has moved through IT roles as a software developer, project manager, team leader and development process expert, and then into management.

“I see my job as a perfect mix (for me) of technical responsibilities and people development,” says Dubois. “But I think that my strong technical background has helped me a lot in navigating the specialized IT world.”

Her advice to today’s students: “Take any opportunity you have to open your mind, it’s key to shaping your future.”