Hi, I'm Katie. I'm a Director of Engineering at Buffer where I spend my days crafting productive, effective teams and delivering a world class software product.
I was a full-stack engineer at Buffer before changing into leadership and before that was part of the awesome dev team at Cape Town startup LekkeSlaap.co.za and its English sister site, Travelground.com.
I got to chat to Suzan Bond recently for this Fast Company piece on leading remote teams. This is a major focus for me at Buffer and we dove into the challenges of authentic, open communication and how to embrace conflict as a leader to create more effective remote teams.
The Next Web shared this piece I wrote on being a women in tech, and explores why I previously was reticient to speak up on gender diversity and inclusion issues.
This piece was originally shared on my medium,exploring the complexities I experienced about identifying as a "woman in tech" and why for some time my major coping strategy was to ignore gender challenges and refusing to be "woke". That changed now and I believe it's important for me personally to both speak up, but also acknowledge the very real risks inherent to doing so. As a straight, white, cis woman and leader, I have a lot of privilege which minimizes these risks for me. Others with less privilege face far more severe obstacles.
This Fast Company article was originally shared on my medium page. It's a candid look at my first days as a manager and how I overcame the fear I felt managing developers who had chosen the technical expert career track, and so knew far more in their fields than I did.
My undergrad was in Philosophy and Economics, because I am quite curious and I wanted to know the meaning of Life, the Universe and Everything! I then did an MSc in Managerial Economics at the London School of Economics (LSE), which was really interesting to me because I love how good management practices have the power to encourage and develop people to be truly fulfilled and reach their potential (and even grow into new areas). The corporate life wasn't for me though, and after graduating I did a u-turn to pursue my own definition of happiness and success and taught myself to code (which I love!). I also like languages and am teaching myself German at the moment.
What I love about being a developer is being able to build useful tools that make people's lives easier, and how the industry is so fast-paced that I'm always learning new things and being exposed to different challenges. My motto is "work hard and be nice to people". A good flat white, exploring new places, skiing and my family rock my world.