Meet the Developer Experience Head at Remote! An interview with #CodingIcon Cassidy Williams about professional goals, giving back to the industry and more

Cassidy Williams is currently the Head of Developer Experience and Education at Remote! In the past, she has worked at companies such as Netlify, React Training, CodePen, Amazon, L4 Digital, Clarifai, Venmo, etc. 

She is passionate about startup advising and angel investing. She also loves teaching and helping people become better coders but also playing music, building mechanical keyboards and LEGO sets. 

Read on her interview below where she shares a bit more about her career path, the changes in her professional goals and the way she maintains a healthy work-and-life balance. 

Imagine meeting a young girl who does not know you or your name. How would you describe yourself with one sentence only? Who are you?
Hi, I’m Cassidy and I love building things and teaching others!

What was your professional dream as a child? What did you want to become when you grow up?
I wanted to either design cars or buildings. I’ve always loved putting things together!

How old were you when you learned to code? How did you learn?
When I was around 13 years old in 8th grade, I was walking home from school and I heard someone say, "check out my website!".

It was a lightbulb moment for me. All I could think was, "you can have one of those?" I went home that day and researched everything I could about making websites. I eventually made my own, and upon entering high school I kept playing with it. I loved making things with a purpose that people would use.

Soon I took AP Computer Science in high school, majored in Computer Science in college, and the rest is history.

How do you manage your life-and-work balance? Is it an easy task for you?
I rely heavily on my calendar, my to-do lists, and my note-taking software! It’s not an easy thing for me to do, but having a system in place keeps me focused and better at separating work and life.

How did your work change in the years? What did your professional development look like?
I think a lot of my work has stayed mostly the same. I love doing developer-facing work, helping other software enthusiasts build things better and get jobs.

I think the main things that have changed are my goals. I used to want to really climb the corporate ladder and be the boss in charge of things, but now I really just want to focus on helping folks reach their goals.

What is the most difficult part of being a woman in technology?
I don’t really want to get into this, because it’s the same thing that any other woman might say. There’s microaggressions, a lack of representation, harassment, and it’s often lonely trying to find people like you.

That being said, I do think that the industry is slowly but surely getting better, and there are amazing women, non-binary folks, and allies in tech helping make a difference.

What part of your job are you most proud of?
I’m proud that the work that I’ve done has helped people get jobs!

How do you like to learn in life? Are you a fan of academic learning (school, university and other types of structured education) or do you prefer learning from work, books, mentors, partners, mistakes or anything else?
I do love academic learning, but often struggle to make time for it. So, I most often learn by building projects for myself, and practically applying things as much as possible!

You got 3 minutes with your 13-year-old self. What do you say?
Hey nerd. Keep learning to code as much as possible, don’t get involved in internet arguments, and buy Bitcoin and hold onto it as soon as you hear about it in college (lol).

What are your next big goals or projects for 2022? Take us behind the scenes and share something we don’t know?
I’ve got a few side projects that I’ve been slowly working on for the past few years! I’ve been getting into advising startups, and I’m hoping to make some more online courses this year, as well.

Any last pieces of advice you would like to share with our audience? Is there anything you have wanted us to ask you but we didn’t?
Lift as you climb! As you grow and move up the corporate ladder and the tech industry, help others out. It’s so important to give back and help make the industry a better place.

 Asside from her website, you can connect with Cassidy on Twitter, GitHub, LinkedIn or Polywork.

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