Community Spotlight: Angela Kinder @ GetThru

Rylee Hurley
October 27, 2020

What is your speciality / area of expertise?

I’m a web developer, I do have some experience with javascript and design as well as some DevOps so I try to be full stack but I’d say I have the most experience with back end development and databases. I mostly work with small companies working with external APIs and doing heavy back-end processing and writing complex queries.

What inspired you to enter this field?

I was a musician but finding the complete creativity of it exhausting and overwhelming, so being a developer seemed like a good way to have some creativity within set boundaries. I taught myself HTML and CSS when I was a kid, and although I kept that skill up somewhat I never had any resources to move forward with it on my own or any friends who were interested in the same thing, but I enjoyed designing my own websites for whatever thing I was interested in at the time- one of my favourite projects as a kid was a website I made for science class for our reproduction unit with all the images made by hand in MS paint. I’m actually surprised I didn’t gravitate more towards front end development as opposed to back end because of that. 

What problems are you currently solving in your role/what is your organization working to solve?

I work for a company that makes software to connect organizations with their patrons, mostly political, educational and non-profit organizations. If you’ve ever gotten a phone call or text that says, “Hey this is so-and-so from X’s campaign, you wanna vote for us?” that’s what I do. Especially during the pandemic, it’s been a really important campaigning tool. Sorry if it’s annoying.

What tech stack do you work with?

React/Phoenix LiveView, Elixir, Postgres, Nginx.

What technologies are you most excited about?

I don’t know how much I would use it in my daily life but I am interested in learning about Neo4j. As a back end developer, any kind of new database or API system is always interesting to me. Elixir is also rapidly catching on and it’s great to work with a technology that’s on many peoples’ radars right now. It’s an incredibly fun language to work with and extremely powerful for heavy processing and telecommunications.

What is your favourite part of what you do? 

I love being able to solve problems for other people on my team.

Any tips for people entering or looking to make a transition to your industry? 

My big tip would be to remember that not everyone knows everything and a lot of people act confident even when they don’t have a clue. I think for especially women in the industry, we communicate more candidly and openly and it can be intimidating to work with people that act as if they’re always right. Don’t be afraid to make suggestions and stand by them if you think you’re right- even if you’re wrong, it’s a great way to learn. 

Do you work remotely? If so, any tips?

I do work remotely and have for two years, and admit that I probably don’t have the best working habits. My suggestions would be to make sure you take time to go outside during your day and stretch your legs, and try to make a routine. Start the day with something easy, such as doing some learning. Ticking something off your to-do list first thing in the morning is a great way to feel productive, and if you feel like you’ve gotten a lot done during the day you’re less likely to work after hours. And don’t be afraid to let people know that your day is over, especially on the east coast when you’re often working with people in earlier time zones.

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