At Kazoo, we take diversity seriously, and today we’re giving you a prime example: Alyssa Venere Braun. It might seem unlikely to go from nonprofit fundraising to software development (what?) but Alyssa shares why she did and what she loves about her job, Kazoo and the HR tech space.
On LinkedIn, you call yourself a “nonprofit fundraiser turned full-stack developer.” Tell us about your journey to software development.
A strange career transition, I know! I was originally drawn to nonprofits because I love museums and the arts. Both provide such unique and immersive educational experiences that are so necessary to who we are as humans and communities. As a fundraiser, I got to connect these organizations with people who wanted to make a difference through philanthropy. Though I loved being a part of that process, I discovered that software development was a way for me to use my creativity and problem solving skills to physically make my own difference in the world. I’m excited to see where this new career continues to take me.
What attracted you to Kazoo?
How much Kazoo values curiosity, grit and rolling with the punches. Those values are so important to pushing boundaries and doing great work. Also, the diversity. It’s awesome to work on an engineering team with so many different perspectives, backgrounds and stories.
Tell us a little bit about your role.
I lead our Strike Team, which is Kazoo’s first line of defense against defects and bugs that may pop up across our platform. Strike Team’s engineers investigate these issues and then strategize and code solutions. Essentially, we come in to work every day and solve puzzles. Challenging, but fun!
What do you love about working in the HR technology space?
The fact that the work we do impacts thousands of people’s day-to-day lives. We all spend most of our time at work, so feeling appreciated and valued is important to our happiness and wellbeing. It feels great to be a part of that.
What are you most excited about when it comes to the future of Kazoo?
This merger with Kazoo is incredibly exciting for all of us. Our combined teams, skills and passion for this kind of work is only going to make this company more fun and our product more robust.
What does personal success look like to you, in your current role and beyond?
Continuing to learn. There is so much to learn in software development that a software engineer’s education never really ends. I consider it a major win every time I conquer a new concept or build out some new skills.
What are you doing on your perfect day off?
Wandering around the Art Institute of Chicago, cooking up some Zuppa Toscana with my husband, binging something on Netflix and probably organizing my apartment (is that weird?).
What are you currently reading, watching or listening to?
I’m currently re-watching The Office for the 7th time. Steve Carell is a national treasure.