I’m mission driven. My resume is peppered with universities, governments, and other organizations that put purpose and people before profit. The best jobs I’ve had are the ones where money is a necessity that means nothing if the organization can’t deliver it’s public commitments. No matter the organization, proactive communication, working transparently, and starting with the people you’re serving builds trust and ultimately results in better products.
I believe in open source. I find working in the open joyful but also see it as key to building trust in software and institutions. In graduate school I released some of my papers as open source documents, this website is open source, and every site I’ve ever launched used open source software (often WordPress). We deserve to be able to know how systems work, and we have a right to inspect and audit those systems.
I believe the people you’re trying to help know what they need and are ready to tell you. Whether they’re users of a piece of software or students trying to better understand the world, they know their situation better than anybody and that’s where research should start. Meet your users where they are, speak plainly, and put their needs before your own: This is a recipe for good products and good customer service.
Working in technology means you’re either making or supporting makers. After several years of doing a mix of both, I’ve learned I thrive when I’m doing the latter. I’m better at explaining how a complicated data problem was solved than I am writing the code to solve it, and I enjoy it more.