Associate Software Engineer Heather Price sits down with Ozmo to talk about her growth and role at the company. To learn more about one of our Ozmonauts in the Authoring department, her journey at Ozmo, software engineer roles and more, continue reading below.
Q: How long have you worked at Ozmo and what were you doing when you first joined the company?
I have been at Ozmo since November of 2020. When I first joined Ozmo, I was on the Product Core team. Now I work on the Authoring team serving as the Scrum master and building the internal tool that our content developers use to create all the wonderful content that goes into our product.
Q: Describe the path from how you started at Ozmo to the role you’re in now.
I started on a Product Core team on Engineering and worked on a lot of testing and working to make our onboarding processes better. From there, I moved to the Authoring team where I dual role as a scrum master and an engineer. Not only do I help facilitate scrum ceremonies like stand-ups and retros, but I also work as a full-stack engineer day-to-day.
Q: Why did you choose to work at Ozmo?
I chose to work at Ozmo because of the people. I worked at another company under the leadership of David and Aaron previously and absolutely loved the culture they created there. It's very similar to the culture here at Ozmo. Since then I've had several friends who have worked or do work at Ozmo and they constantly talk about how wonderful it is to work here, I couldn't agree more. Inclusion and autonomy over my own work that I do is something that I really value in a company and Ozmo checks both those boxes in a big way.
Q: What makes Ozmo such a unique place to work?
Ozmo is a very transparent and inclusive company. Everyone from the CEO all the way down wants to know what you think about the work, the culture, the processes and how we can make them even better. Everyone here makes an active advancement to be inclusive of everyone no matter who you are or what you believe in.
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Q: What is your favorite Ozmo memory?
My favorite memory has to be from our holiday party last year. The office administration always tries to include not only individuals who are in the office physically, but everyone who's remote. There were tons of activities from gingerbread house creating to white elephant and movie watching that allowed us all to get involved but I remember just having so much fun participating in all the activities and feeling like I was still in the office despite being you know 30 minutes away
Q: What are some of your proudest accomplishments while at Ozmo?
My proudest accomplishment is watching something I created or facilitated improve a process or make someone's job easier. I took initiative on creating a better feedback form for our products that allowed us to move to one central location for not only feedback, but production update tickets as well. We had a lot of tickets coming in from various sources including a ticketing system, email and a spreadsheet from both internal and external individuals as well as sprint workboards within Jira. Our retros were also in a whole other place. This caused a lot of duplicative work and made it difficult to see where something was in the process. Working side by side with our VP of Engineering, we created a new form within Jira that we could link in multiple locations. This not only made it easier for us to find the requests, but also created a method of communicating with those who requested the work simpler. It's made a lot of our processes so much smoother and I've heard a lot of great feedback since we've implemented this.
Q: What does day-to-day life look like for you at Ozmo?
I work from home, so a day for me usually starts with a homemade latte and a check in with my bullet journal and our sprint boards. In the beginning of the work day, I attend or help facilitate sprint meetings and most of my afternoons involve a lot of heads down technical time. That means that I could be writing a new component in React, or squashing some bugs and I work closely with other engineers and our design team throughout the day to ensure that our product is the best that it can be. My team is really open to questions and criticism, so that means that if I don't understand something or if I get really stuck, I can come to almost anybody and get an answer. There are a lot of technical discussions happening in our chat system all day long which means I can keep a pulse on what's going on without actually being in the conversation all day long. This helps me to get stuff done despite all the chatter happening. Some days we have team building exercises like wine Wednesday or we'll have deep technical meetings like front-end guild meetings or back-end guild meetings. These types of meetings not only help me grow in my role but help our team for stronger connections despite being all over the country.
Q: What do you enjoy most about your role?
The thing I enjoy most about my role is the ability to learn from what I think are the biggest brains in our area. Everyone's willing to share their knowledge in a caring way and allows for open questions and doesn’t judge. This doesn't only apply to our technical knowledge, but our hobbies with our weekly Ozmosis which gives anyone an opportunity to present on something that they're really passionate about.
Q: What does being an Ozmonaut mean to you?
Being an Ozmonaut to me means being adventurous and bold, similar to astronauts. You have to be willing to go into the unknown sometimes (with a plan of course), but also understand that your plan may not go the way you thought it would. You trust in your teammates and work as a collective to get the job done no matter what obstacle may come your way.
Q: What do you like to do when you aren’t working?
When I am not working, I am probably watching or reading something about nutrition, bullet journaling or snuggling with my cat. I love learning about how to use food to perform better not only in daily life and to fuel my brain, but also as an athlete. I also have a love for cats that's a little absurd, so much so that I have presented on cats for an Ozmosis. You'll probably see my cat in a meeting if you're ever in one with me.
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