Anna McGrane is the COO of PacerPro, a legal software company founded by her brother. She is a former corporate associate for Herbert Smith Freehills before transitioning into public interest and working with the Natural Resources Defense Council in Beijing. She joined PacerPro in 2014.
What kick-started your interest in coding?
“A year ago, our company started developing an “Application Program Interface” (API). For me, an API was a new concept – and one which I wasn’t entirely comfortable talking about. Since I’m in sales, that seemed like a problem.”
How does coding help you now?
“The benefits of PacerPro’s API always made sense to me: as an associate at an international firm, having a partner say “hey, someone at the firm has probably done this before – see if you can find an example” – had always been an invite to a long night at the office, searching through mislabelled and incomplete files, sending general emails that would go generally ignored, and wishing I had a better way of finding relevant expertise.
“But building a legal technology company requires more than understanding the pain points of practice: you need to be able to effectively engage with decision makers on the ‘how’ as much as you do on the ‘why’. A coding background enables me to ask smarter questions, provider fuller answers, and stay tuned-in when our development team provides an overview of the technical side of our service.”
How many years have you been able to code?
“I started the coding process about 8 months ago with Fullstack Academy’s Flex Immersive program. Although a bit stressful on top of a very full-time job, the entire thing has honestly been a total delight.”
What languages can you code in?