Get To Know Shandy

Shandy started out building websites for fun as a high schooler and built it into a career as a developer. She loves solving problems and her pet cats. Shandy is one of our most experienced developers!

Full Transcript Below:

Shandy:

I was doing homeschool at the time because when I went to high school, I switched over to homeschool.

Cris:

Go homeschoolers.

Shandy:

Except I made a spelling test for my mom, which she liked. He said, “Oh, that’s actually pretty good. She should think about being a programmer when she grows up.”

Cris:

Hey Shandy, thank you so much for joining us. Thanks for jumping in here and doing a little video call with us. We just wanted to do a part of what we call the getting to know you series. So Shandy, you’ve been with Bixly for quite some time now, which is super awesome. What’s your kind of background and how did you actually get into tech? Let’s kind of start there.

Shandy:

Oh, wow. Okay. It goes way back. Funny thing, it’s actually kind of a weird story so don’t make fun of me, just joking. When I was about 14, I think, I had a friend and we had the silly kind of Sci-Fi/Drama story that we regularly played. We were always adding stuff to the story and all of our characters worked at a store, which was creatively named All You Can Think Of store. I had found, interestingly enough, I had found a very small little box, it’s not really a full article in a cat fancy magazine, talking about making a website for your cats. I mentioned it to my friend and then she said, “Oh, do you think we can make a website for our store?” And I thought, well, maybe we can. We’re kids, we don’t have money.

Shandy:

So we start Googling how to make a website for kids. Because we thought if it’s for kids, it’s going to be free. She found Webmonkey for kids and so I got on there, I learned HTML. She did all the designing, picking out the colors, picking out the fake little cartoonish items that we put in our catalog and I did all the HTML coding, which I know I’m not technically programming yet, but we’re getting there.

Cris:

Hey, you’re getting there. That’s a big step.

Shandy:

Yes, it was fun. I fell in love with it from the start. I had a blast doing that little project. And of course, the little cartoonish stuff wasn’t enough for me, so I put this as a fictional site on every page. But after that was done, I went back. I thought, well, let me just check out regular Webmonkey.

Cris:

Yeah, regular programming.

Shandy:

Yeah. So I went there and I found a tutorial on JavaScript, which, I mean, people say good and bad things about JavaScript, but that was actually my first language. I went through that tutorial, played with it, absolutely fell in love with programming. Wasn’t even thinking about it as a job yet. This was just pure fun. I was doing homeschool at the time because when I went to high school, I switched over to homeschool.

Cris:

Go homeschoolers.

Shandy:

Yay.

Cris:

I was homeschooled if you don’t remember. Yeah, we turned out okay.

Shandy:

Yes, yes. Perfectly normal.

Cris:

Perfectly normal.

Shandy:

Anyway, I was doing that. I had all this extra time because it was high school and it was a self study program, so no teachers or anything. I just kind of did my schoolwork and I went through it very rapidly. I had all this free time to just code. And granted, it was really silly stuff that didn’t really go anywhere. It wasn’t going to be useful for anyone. Except I made a spelling test for my mom, which she liked. She showed it to her coworker who was their IT person and he said, “Oh, that’s actually pretty good. She should think about being a programmer when she grows up.” That was the first thought I ever actually had of doing this for a job, for a career.

Cris:

So you’ve now learned, you’ve had some job experience. How did you get over to Bixly, exactly?

Shandy:

Well, with my previous job, it got kind of interesting and by interesting, I mean that in a kind of negative way. As much as I love programming, I like to do other things too and so I decided to start looking for something else. That’s when I did a job search and found Bixly. I was excited from the very beginning because I could tell just from the application process that it’s something about the culture.

Cris:

We were a little different.

Shandy:

Yeah, I could tell I already liked the culture. I got excited about this one. I applied multiple places, but this was probably the only one that I got really, really excited about. So, I filled out the application and sent it.

Cris:

Nice.

Shandy:

And that’s when everything happened from there.

Cris:

Obviously, we hired you. We’ve been super happy. It’s been quite a few years now that you’ve been working with us and you’ve obviously seen probably lots of changes, ebbs and flows with the company a little bit, but even tech in general. What are some new things, just real quick, if you have some, that you’re really excited about? Like what new tech are you really excited about, Shandy, that you’ve seen last couple of months, couple of days, couple of weeks, whatever? What’s new and exciting?

Shandy:

Well, it’s kind of interesting because if anyone ever asks me, “What’s your favorite such and such?,” I can’t ever pick one thing. It’s the same thing with tech. So the thing that really excites me though is the pattern. The pattern of that there’s always something new. There’s always something improving and the possibilities that opens up. One thing that I was thinking back to, is way back in the 90s when the internet was new to a lot of people including myself. Yes. And I would go to a website and it would take forever to load. And that was cool. I was perfectly fine with that because that was the expectation. And then now, I was hoping to test out a website one day and I clicked on a link and it took, by the time a second had passed, I was thinking maybe I didn’t click on the link.

Cris:

Right. Maybe it didn’t work.

Shandy:

Yes. That’s actually something that excites me is that user expectations have changed. When user expectations change, that means that the challenges that we’re going to work on, grow. They expect more. And so, what we’re expected to code increases the things that are possible to code because of that same example. If you had a website that took five minutes to load, there’s no way that you’re going to create an application and run it on that website. You would just make a desktop application.

Cris:

Right.

Shandy:

But now with the technology, how it has improved, just the fact that we can make web applications that are just as good as the desktop ones.

Cris:

What are some other things that you are very passionate about? Let’s talk about those when you’re not in front of the terminal, what are you doing?

Shandy:

Well, there’s a lot of things that I dabble in, but I wouldn’t call those passions, but it’s fun. I enjoy creativity. I enjoy drawing, I’m not particularly great at it, but it’s fun. I think having that element of creativity actually makes me a better developer in the long run, because that helps with problem solving. So, even though this isn’t great, I mean, it’s…

Cris:

I’m ready. I’m ready for it.

Shandy:

This is what I did on Saturday.

Cris:

That’s like way better than anything I could ever draw. I’ve never been able to draw.

Shandy:

So yeah, I do that. I guess if you want to say what I’m passionate about, I ebb and flow between different things over the years. But the one thing that’s remained 100% consistent, and I’ve already mentioned it once, you’ve already seen a picture of it there; cats. I’ve been a crazy cat person for my entire life. This is Simon.

Cris:

Simon.

Shandy:

Yes.

Cris:

You just have piercing eyes. I don’t know whether to run from you in fear or give you my life’s fortune. There’s so much emotion happening in those eyes. That’s awesome. So how many cats do you have again? Because I feel like the number shifts a little bit. Okay.

Shandy:

I have four. Yes. I had a couple that I lost early 2020 but we know 2020 is kind of like that. On the positive side, those two cats lived very long, happy lives. One lived to be 20, and the other one…

Cris:

20?

Shandy:

Yes, 20. We had him since two, we got him in 2000 and he lived to be 20 years old, died in March of 2020. I think it was March, but it might’ve been February. And then the other one was 17.

Cris:

I didn’t know cats even live that long. That’s wild to me.

Shandy:

Yes.

Cris:

All right. Well, Shandy, this has been super fun and Simon, I know you’re off camera somewhere, but thank you for making an appearance. Yeah. This has been super fun Shandy. We greatly obviously appreciate working with you and it’s super fun getting to know you a little bit more. I’m excited to see, like you said, what the future brings and what kind of challenges Bixly will face in the future. I’m looking forward to crossing some of those challenges, hurdles, and bridges with you as part of the team.

Alexandra:

Thank you for joining us for this episode of Bixly Tech Tuesday. I hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know Shandy a little bit better, and her love of cats. She’s actually one of our longest standing and most experienced developers, and she is a huge addition to our team. We’re so grateful to have her. If you have any questions about what they talked about today, don’t be afraid to leave those in the comment section down below. And don’t forget to check out our free custom guide.

Alexandra:

It’s actually linked in the description to this video, and that will walk you through the whole process of planning out your whole app idea. If you feel like you’re ready to talk about the idea that you have, go ahead and check out our website, bixly.com. There’s actually a button there, free app validation meeting. And you actually get to meet with Chris for 60 minutes to talk about your app idea, and start strategizing how to execute it. Thank you for joining us for this episode of Bixly Tech Tuesday.