I love sharing interviews with women engineers here on the blog. I think these stories brings to life what it’s really like to be a female engineer. It shows aspiring and current female engineers we’re here, we’re real, we’re doing it, and we’re great at it!
When I was contacted by Cheryl Ng of GoodTime about sharing a post she wrote about her company’s sole female engineer, of course I was interested! Below is the post written by Cheryl with a link to her original post on the GoodTime website.
by Cheryl Ng
I recently had a conversation with some friends about how San Francisco is one of those places with an amazing culture that empowers people, and never do make minorities feel like an “Other”. So we talked about the startups that we are in, and there we identified something – that most engineering teams consist of a single homogenous profile, “A White Man”. This might really sound like a pretty sensitive issue, and I do admit that the sample size we discussed is likely to be too small for a conclusive judgement. But this made me curious. What is it like being divergent of that standard profile? I decided to find out more from Kelsey, GoodTime’s Rockstar Female Engineer.
Well to paint some context, GoodTime’s engineering team is nothing like the companies my friends depicted. We’re really as diverse as can be, to some extent. Our team is made up of engineers from Korea, Brazil and more. Still, Kelsey is currently the only female in our engineering team. And she’s amazing. So here’s her story.
Why did you decide to join GoodTime?
Before GoodTime, I was working on a personal project with some friends. It was a website in React that helped people schedule their itineraries at music festivals. It was really cool, we had users creating schedules for themselves, and it was my first time using React. Then my day job closed the office I was working at, so I decided to find a job where I could develop my new React skills! GoodTime caught my eye because it was a fast-paced early startup where I could contribute immediately but also continue to learn and grow.
So I hopped onto a call with Jasper the Chief Product Officer, and we just hit it off really well! After multiple rounds of interviews, I’m here!
What do you do in GoodTime?
When I first came, the team needed help with some front-end development for interviewer training, and that was what I started to do. The team had already built a really organized product, so it was easy to both understand the code and build upon it. When I was building my website, things were really messy because I just used the first thing that worked and didn’t really prioritize the structure or the readability. (I think every page was a single React component… ? ) It’s nice working with experienced front-end engineers who really know the ins and outs of React and CSS.
I’ve found one of the main differences between frontend and backend engineering is that when you do something on the front end, everybody has something to say! Even if you’ve seen mock-ups of a feature, once it’s live it looks very different. This can be both good and bad. It’s great for getting feedback and refining the product and getting your team excited about a new feature, but it can also lead to things taking longer than you planned. (At a previous company, I spent my first several weeks there repeatedly inserting and removing the same button!) At GoodTime, we have such a small close-knit team that I can get lots of feedback without too much scope creep. For example, last week we were building metrics into our site. As soon as I had a first draft of the metrics table ready, Jasper and Ahryun came over to look at it and had some awesome suggestions right from the beginning!
What are your thoughts of being a female engineer?
Well, I’m really just an engineer! There’s not much of a difference at GoodTime because everyone’s all cool and chill. Nobody really has got an ego problem or anything like that.
Any other things you’d like to share?
I really love how helpful everyone is here. They’re always so supportive and positive, and I can easily ask anyone for help! And we really do enjoy a Good Time- Happy Hour on Thursdays, Fried Chicken Fridays and so much more!
I hope you enjoyed the guest post by Cheryl with GoodTime. You can view her original blog post and check out their website by clicking here or on the title of the post above.
If you are or know a rockstar female engineer and would like to share your story on the blog too, please contact me! Also, please check out my other interviews in the Women in Engineering Interview Series.