New Crew Member: Janessa Tran
We'd met Janessa via community events several times before she applied for our open junior developer position, and through the interview process, it became clear that not only was she friendly and eager to learn, she was also a thoughtful and persistent programmer.
In the three months she's been at Ten Forward, Janessa has explored a variety of different software-related tasks, from investigating third-party integrations to learning about and writing Rails service objects.
Read on for more about Janessa, including why she decided to become a programmer, her favorite emoji and how she feels about leaving the warm beaches of San Diego for the frozen lakes of Madison.
What brought you to Ten Forward?
"I saw the listing for a junior dev position, and I had been learning Ruby on Rails for a while, looking to move into software development. I went to Ten Forward's website and thought [the company] looked amazing, so I took a deep breath and went for it!"
What are you looking forward to learning or doing in your new position?
"I'm looking forward to just becoming a better developer, and creating software. I really care about trying to do my part in making the world a better place for people who are marginalized and disenfranchised; I was thinking of the ways I could best contribute to that, and I think it's in tech and building software.
Part of my exposure to that being a possibility was learning about Ruby for Good, and doing the Ruby Me apprenticeship. That whole organization is set up to help people from different backgrounds get into software development, so all those things felt very aligned with the things that I care about."
You studied quantitative economics in college. What interested you about economics? How does what you learned serve you working in tech?
"I got into economics because I was originally studying accounting (in college), and I realized that it wasn’t my cup of tea; but part of my curriculum was economics courses, and I liked that a lot better. I felt that the subject allowed me to use more creative thinking than accounting did, and that was something that was important to me.
In terms of how I use that now, I guess I worked with a lot of data projects through economics, and that exposed me originally to python, to more technical stuff. Learning how to code through experimenting with python helped instill this idea that maybe I could pursue just the coding, and focus on that."
You’re a triplet! What do your sisters do?
"They are both software developers, which is surprising, because none of us knew what it was! One of my sisters chose computer science on a whim, so it's funny that we all ended up doing it. Right now we all use different languages, but one of my sisters was the one who told me to learn Ruby."
Fill in the blanks: "If I could only __ one __ for the rest of my life, it would be __."
"If I could only watch one show for the rest of my life, it would be 'Avatar: The Last Airbender'."
What does your ideal Sunday afternoon look like?
"I would have no agenda. I really like having time where I have nothing to do, and just figuring out what I want to do with that time. Usually it's journaling, or taking pictures of my cat and then writing a story about it, or drawing something and experimenting with what marker colors look good together. Just random stuff.
I guess like adult playtime (laugh)."
What's something about you people might find surprising?
Janessa: "The triplet one is a surprising thing, I guess? It's hard to think of something."
Hilary: "Maybe that you're from San Diego and chose to live here?”
Janessa: "Oh yeah! I chose to live in Wisconsin, and I knew about the weather, and I like it. I’m always kind of offended when people are surprised by that."
"But then, I went home to San Diego for the holidays, and realized I'd forgotten how nice the weather is there (laugh)."
Favorite board game/video game, TV show/movie, band/musician, emoji.
Board game: Bananagrams, Dominion
Movie: "Good Will Hunting"
Musician: Sufjan Stevens (favorite of all time), Gregory Alan Isakov (current favorite)
Star Trek or Star Wars?
"Star Wars, just because I haven't seen much Star Trek. But then, I kind of don't want to say Star Wars, because the last one was just so bad …
But still. Star Wars."