From Intern to Junior Test Engineer, Amy Z and Preteckt are Growing Fast

By Chris Fields | October 5, 2017

Preteckt CEO, Ken Sills with U.S. Chief of Technology Officer (Under Obama), Megan Smith, and Preteckt Junior Test Engineer, Amy Z.

Preteckt CEO, Ken Sills with U.S. Chief of Technology Officer (Under Obama), Megan Smith, and Preteckt Junior Test Engineer, Amy Z.

It started with a simple Google search.

Amy was a 15-year-old high school student in Memphis, TN looking for a summer coding program. Unlike many kids her own age, Amy didn’t want to spend the summer just relaxing, she wanted to learn how to code.

Amy’s mother conducted an internet search which led them to discover CodeCrew, a non-profit organization in Memphis that is leading the youth coding movement for underrepresented communities. They reached out to CodeCrew and got Amy registered for the Beginners coding program. Amy was given an introductory education in the various programming languages used to create games and other tech innovations. Not only did Amy complete the CodeCrew programs, she participated in several extracurricular activities such as hackathons and drone contests. She was even featured in an article on WREG.com, “Closing the digital divide: Memphis minorities and girls are proud to be young and geeky.”

During that time, Executive Director and Co-Founder of CodeCrew, Meka Egwuekwe, took notice of Amy’s genuine enthusiasm and excitement for coding, “Amy was an outstanding student and great example of what CodeCrew is all about”, says Egwuekwe. He went on to say, “After meeting Amy for the first time, it was obvious that she is a special talent and wants to learn everything she can.”

Preteckt, is a new technology company named as one of Tech Crunch’s top 500 favorite Start-Ups, that develops science, Internet of Things, software to help 18-wheelers predict and prevent unscheduled costly breakdowns. The Executive team of Preteckt decided to relocate to Memphis in 2015, (around the time Amy joined CodeCrew) partly because of its reputation as “America’s Distribution Center.” and due to a partnership with Start Co., a tech accelerator that helps Start-Ups develop business relationships. Preteckt dove head first into the thriving tech community and began making many more connections.

Preteckt CEO, Ken Sills recalls it was tough getting started but after pitching their technology at a Start Co. event, things quickly began to change and the company grew rapidly. By 2016, Ken realized in addition to adding full-time employees, Preteckt could use some help with special projects. Just so happened, at the same time, Meka’s CodeCrew company was trying to increase opportunities for some of the Advanced Coders from their Summer programs. Upon sharing that idea with Ken, they decided an intern would be the perfect option and Meka had the ideal candidate, as he puts it, “Amy was top-of-mind.” After watching her complete the CodeCrew program, he was confident she had the personality and knowledge to be a successful intern.

Sills interviewed Amy and immediately recognized her intelligence, composure, and excitement. Amy was equally impressed by Preteckt. She said, “I just felt very comfortable there (in Preteckt’s offices). They are located downtown, close to CodeCrew and other tech companies that I know through other coding events like the hackathon. But Preteckt being a true tech company was the biggest factor.” She was offered the internship and she accepted.

Amy Z speaking at Tech Jobs tour event

Amy Z speaking at Tech Jobs tour event

Based on Amy’s performance, Ken quickly offered her a promotion from Intern to Junior Test Engineer, part-time, afterschool of course. When asked what he saw in Amy, Ken says, “At Preteckt when we see intangibles, like creativity, desire, and enthusiasm along with skill, we don’t want to miss out on great talent.” As for Amy, she has only great things to say about working at Preteckt, “I get to work on a lot of cool projects like websites and dashboards and I get to use Linux, Python, Django and JavaScript. It has been a wonderful introduction into Computer Science (STEM). It’s amazing!”