In this episode, I talk with Cassidy Williams, a senior software engineer that works for the fully-remote company CodePen. CodePen is a social development environment for front-end designers and developers. You can find  Cassidy on Twitter or visit her website.

We talk about

  • working remote for a small startup
  • how to find fulfillment in your career and through side projects
  • how to port an application from one technology to another
  • how humor can make tech a more welcoming place
  • and how she interviewed for CodePen

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To allow you to find interesting places here are the beginnings of some conversations:

We start with how she found herself working remote for CodePen. (1:35)

How it is for Cassidy to working remotely for CodePen (3:15)

What is Cassidy’s responsibility at CodePen (6:11)

She is responsible for changing their web application from Ruby Rails to Apollo and GraphQL

Cassidy talks about how she interviewed with CodePen (9:40)

How the team learns a new technology together as a team (13:20)

CodePen’s inclusive environment and women in tech (15:45)

Why does Cassidy spend time on making jokes and funny videos (19:50)

How does Cassidy approach problems? (24:15)

How do they communicate in a remote team? (27:00)

Do they use Code Reviews at CodePen? (29:35)

Cassidy explains that they also invest now more into testing (31:30)

How are decisions done at CodePen? Who decides which features are delivered? (32:15)

Cassidy talks about how they covert CodPen to a more consolidated state using React and Appollo (38:15)

We talk about if you should re-write your code from scratch? (44:15)

CodePen is rewritten piece by piece, reminding Michaela about how Slack UI was  modernized.

Now we talk about Cassidy’s side projects and how she integrates that into her life (45:50)

Why she isn’t a developer evangelist anymore (46:30)

What is up with Cassidy and her keyboards? (48:45)

Cassidy’s advice for others on side projects: figure out why you do that (51)

A song that stuck with her and has some solid career advise (52:30)

The day is short.
The night is long.
Why do we work so hard, to get what we don’t even want?
(From the song: The Day Is Short – Jearlyn Steele)

Career advice: You should know what you like and what you dislike (55:00)

Rebecca Gracia: When you build your personal career or your personal brand, it’s just as important to know what you like as it is what you dislike.


About the Author
Michaela is passionate about making the life of developers and engineers better. She hosts the SE Unlocked podcasts and also researches and helps to make software engineering processes and tools better. She writes about her work on

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