I’m currently the Senior Director of Infrastructure Engineering at Slack, having grown the team from 10 to 75+ in under 2 years. I lead engineering teams spanning 3 engineering offices in US and Canada, and report directly to our Vice President of Engineering: Michael Lopp (aka @rands).
I love solving challenging engineering problems at scale, growing businesses, and leading teams. I excel in high velocity environments especially during hyper growth: Slack engineering headcount grew 3x during my first 2 years, and my team grew 5x in size.
My organization builds the core backend, frontend, data, search and machine learning infrastructure that powers Slack; we are laser focused on reliability, scalability and performance at tremendous scale. I did an interview with Glassdoor about my experiences leading Slack Infrastructure. PS: We're hiring!
As an effective, driven technical executive with over 15 years of building software products, I am highly skilled at bridging the gap between engineering and business. I’m capable of both tactically improving the execution of large technical organizations, as well as setting vision and defining strategy in line with top line business goals.
My career has spanned a broad set of domains from Enterprise SaaS to Consumer Web to B2B (business-to-business) and B2C (business-to-consumer) Marketplaces. I've also led product development at both early and mid-stage startups. I served a the product manager for the Slack infrastructure organization (in addition to leading the org) for 1.5 years until we hired our first product manager.
Most recently I was the co-founder and CTO of Tindie up until the acquisition by Hackaday/SupplyFrame in August 2015. At Tindie I was the first employee and built the engineering team from the ground up. Tindie is a community marketplace for hardware creators and enthusiasts with thousands of products bought and sold by makers in over 96 countries. I raised venture capital funding from Andreessen Horowitz, Version One Ventures and several angels such Dave Morin and Joshua Schachter. We were frequently written about in WIRED and TechCrunch.
My early career was spent several years at one of the top research institutions in the world: IBM Almaden Research. During my tenure there I published 8 original research publications in peer-reviewed, top-tier ACM conferences, and was featured in several television commercials based on my work.
I hold a BS with Honors in Computer Science from the University of North Carolina where I did undergraduate research in operating systems, including building a distributed system that allowed peer-to-peer data sharing from browser caches in low connectivity. My MS in Computer Science is also from UNC (a top 5 graduate school for systems research) where I was advised by Dr. Kevin Jeffay. In late 2014, I was invited back to Chapel Hill as part of the Distinguished Alumni Speaker Series, where I spoke on Lessons From the Real World: Software Engineering (slides, video).
I was a founding member of NextGen Advisory Board for the Computer History Museum. During my 6 years on the board I chaired multiple committees, moderated and led panel discussions, as well as organized events in the museum's "Future History Makers" event series, which have included the founders of startups such as Uber, TaskRabbit, Eventbrite, Airbnb, Getaround, CloudFlare and many others.
I sit on the Industry Advisory Board for the California Polytechnic State University's Computer Science Department, helping to shape the computer science curriculum for the next generation of engineers. I'm proud to have also helped create a mentorship program connecting industry board members with women studying computer science.
I advise startup founders and CTOs on fundraising, hiring, technical decision making and other aspects of building a company. I've been on the founding team of 2 startups, raised venture capital investment (including from top tier investors such as Andreessen Horowitz) and grown an engineering team. If you are interested in this, please contact me. I also am an advisor to several startups, so if you are interested in having me sit on your advisory board, let's talk.
In addition fundraising and selling my previous company, Tindie, I’ve advised many companies who were going through the acquisition process, and vetted acquisitions for both venture capital firms and acquirers.
While in college, graduate school and during my early years as a software engineer I lacked strong technical female role models. It is important to me to help ameliorate this for the next generation of female engineers. I occasionally mentor and coach women studying computer science at Stanford, California Polytechnic State University, and my alma mater: the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Women that I have mentored have accepted offers at companies such as Square, Buffer, GetSatisfaction, Trulia, Etsy, Apple, and GoDaddy. Some have attended The Recurse Center and a few have even started their own companies.
In 2012-2013, I mentored at the Hackbright Academy software engineering fellowship program. My role with Hackbright has now shifted to giving occasional tech talks and career advising.
I am a former collegiate rower and avid runner (my favorite distance is the half-marathon). I never shy away from a Fitbit challenge.