Buffalo Boss Babe: Quintessence Anx
Today’s Buffalo Boss Babe is Quintessence Anx, the Developer Advocate for Logz.io as well as a Buffalo Chapter Leader for Girl Develop It. She travels and provides workshops and classes to the developer community. Read below to see what her path has been like leading to her career and how she is helping to shape Buffalo.
What made you start or brought you where you are today? Tell us your Story. What makes you a Buffalo Boss Babe?
I've been on a bit of a non-traditional path. My bachelor's degree is actually a double major in mathematics and physics. After leaving undergrad I actually took a couple of jobs in technical support that allowed me the freedom to explore what career options. When I was working at Frontier Science & Technology Research Foundation a few jobs ago, in a fantastic working environment by the way, I stumbled on the Buffalo Open Coffee Club. They were running networking meetings at coffee houses and similar to help people starting out in their careers meet the incumbents. It was through these meetings that I eventually landed a job as an intern that turned into a full time position. While networking in the community I also met Lena Levine, founder of Girl Develop It Buffalo, and joined the chapter leader team. One of our goals with our monthly Code & Coffees is to provide a similar opportunity that the Buffalo Open Coffee Club meetings provided: a chance for our members that are starting our careers to meet people that are established in the area and start making their own connections. All of these things have helped me earn and maintain my current role as a Developer Advocate for Logz.io, another company with a wonderful working environment and I really love the details of this job.
What does being a Buffalo Boss Babe mean to you?
In professional life, there's so much more than just the technical aspects that most people tend to focus on. It's important to be able to have a lot of flexibility, compassion for both the self and others, communication, and establishing walking power. To expand on the last two a little: it's important to be able to communicate with others what you want and need of them - to be in a place where you can ask questions and give answers. If you are not in that place, it's important to "vote with your feet" and find a better working environment. (Or, if you're not in a situation to walk today, work toward being able to do so.) Only you can decide when you should walk and it's been my experience that when I have that safety net it helps reduce my internal response to anything else that might be going on.
Have you experienced any challenges from being in a STEM career? If so, what did you learn from them?
There have been many challenges along the way, that's for sure. Some have been my own, and some I've helped members at Girl Develop It work through when they encounter resistance in their own career paths. Coming through it, it's important to find your voice and be able to communicate what's going on for you personally. Being able to ask questions of those you're working with and work with others in a respectful way even when you feel they aren't respectful toward you. It's also important to know what your personal limitations are so that you can set reasonable goals for yourself and with your immediate supervisor / mentor (whomever is responsible for helping you grow at your current place in your career). The quickest way to burn out is to want to do *everything* and end up completing nothing, or completing things inadequately, by spreading yourself too thing.
Who are your favorite people to follow ?
I mainly live in Twitter for this right now / in my current role, and with that in mind right now I'm following: CatherineQ, ChristineLSloc (also has an awesome newsletter), DeveloperTea (also has an awesome podcast), iamjameshunt (who also has an awesome technical blog), mary_grace (runs / maintains DevRelWeekly which is great), Mortystinks, and Popehat (who has a law blog).
What are your favorite things to do in the area ? Buffalo and greater WNY
I actually really like astronomy, so for me it's less WNY specific and more "please, please gimme a reasonably cloud free night". That and reading, which thank goodness for libraries. Outside of that, I typically socialize by meeting people at local coffee shops or lunch places, which I adore.
Tell us about your favorite collaboration or dream collaborations ?
I think it would be great to have "code in space" and work on a rover, shuttle, etc. - it would be a great way for me to combine interests. I also like taking notes and always wanted to start a "digital school" the likes of Khan Academy and similar.
If you could have coffee with anyone in the world who would it be?
Terry Pratchett or J. K. Rowling. I love authors and the worlds they created are just fantastic and positive.
What are your hopes, dreams, goals. Big or small?
I would love to live in different places all over the world and just acquire languages (spoken or signed).
FEEL GOOD FAVORITES
Food: Currently I'm all over sparkling iced tea.
Super Power: Empathy
Animal : Cat?
Season of the year: Winter, even though I don't like cold.
Favorite thing about Buffalo: Low cost of standard of living - allows for greater exploration of hobbies and interests.
Thanks Quin for helping women in the coding community reach their goals and potential. Keep up with Quintessence on Twitter @QuintessenceAnx!
Until next time babes!
Buffalo Boss Babes is a woman run blog series featuring women in and around the city of Buffalo N.Y.
If you know someone doing amazing things for our community, past and present, young and old..... send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org
Be kind to everyone you meet.
Here's to strong women! May we know them. May we be them