Spotlight 39: Tracy Hinds
Name: Tracy Hinds
Job: Front End Developer
Favorite website, app or gadget: codepen.io Probably still my favorite playground and place to get to see new awesome people and friends sharing really rad work. Otherwise,giphy.com for the sheer amount of silliness I can provide in a day to friends and colleagues when we are taking ourselves far too seriously.
Favorite book: Island by Aldous Huxley
What inspired you to pursue a career in IT?
I’d had the privilege of being raised in a family that always had a computer to share–my dad had built the family computer before I had memories of anything but it being there. I was always curious and had destroyed the new upgrade we agreed to give up Christmas presents for, by trying to use an incompatible game I’d loved so much from our prior OS. In every office job I had after I stopped delivering pizza(which was a hilarious green screen system), I was tasked with being a superuser, making software and hardware decisions(because I was the one who understood them), and educating others on adoption. I worked in healthcare administration at an Addictions facility in NYC and continued my admin work in Seattle. In both cities, I had to choose the software we’d adopt when the deadline for tax incentives to adopting electronic medical records was drawing near. I was faced with systems that were impossible to use, barely relevant to the work we were doing, and so overpriced it was difficult to see how we’d be able to maintain them without an IT department. I grew so frustrated at the lack of empathy for the user and that those building the software were detached or uninformed from the software they had toiled to build. I knew I could help contribute to a sea change.
Do you have a hero, or someone who inspires you?
My mom and dad without a doubt. She’s a public defender and raised some pretty stellar kiddos prior to her prioritizing herself and going to law school. She’s an incredible, quiet force. He’s a lifetime DOE manager working to clean up nuclear waste and posed awesomely deep questions such as whether his life work fulfills life priorities and seeked volunteer efforts outside of work to balance. Both parents taught me that you can have what you want in life and fight to do good things. Explore it!
I think the tech world can be like a private sector academia. Where else are you paid to learn things you don’t know how to do on the job every day? We are hired because we are willing to solve problems–not that we already necessarily know the answer.