Employee Spotlight: Mary Morrison

Today we’re launching a new addition to the Wicket Labs blog, the Employee Spotlight. With a diverse team of people working on a variety of data analytics and insight solutions for the video industry, this series of spotlights aims to highlight the talented individuals here at Wicket Labs. We hope it helps readers get to know them better and maybe even give them a sneak peek into how things operate a bit behind the scenes.

Mary Morrison, Software Developer

Mary Morrison, Software Developer

So, to kick off the series, we’ve asked one of our Software Developers, Mary Morrison to give us the inside scoop on her background, what her day-to-day is like, and why she decided to solve complex issues in the OTT video industry.

Mary has been working at Wicket Labs for just over “three fabulous years.” She started in August 2017 after she completed the program and internship at Ada Developers Academy, a non-profit, tuition-free coding school for women and gender diverse adults.

A Little Background

Prior to her time with Ada, Mary pursued a degree in Psychology with a focus on working with children with atypical development at the University of Washington. “While I really enjoyed that track, by the time I graduated, I felt like it wasn’t the career path for me.” Then, in 2015, she stumbled upon the program at Ada Developers Academy, “Well, okay, technically my mom found it,” and was lucky enough to be accepted into their 6th Cohort. After completing a year of classroom time and a 5-month internship with Indeed, she graduated in July 2017.

At this point, Mary was ready to tackle her “first real tech job.” “The thing I loved most about Wicket Labs was the team. Even during the interview process, I felt comfortable with my interviewers, which for me was rare. Even when I stumbled, they were kind and great at pointing me back on track. I had a feeling that this would be a great company to work for because, based on the interview, there would clearly be strong mentorship for my growing skillset,” Mary added.

Working at Wicket Labs

Besides the fact that Mary says she has a great group of teammates, she also loves working in the video industry. “I’ve always loved analyzing and determining data patterns, and at Wicket Labs, I get to do that with my other great passion, television. Everyone here is passionate about our industry, and TV talk is work talk!”

So, you may be wondering what is a day in the life of a Software Developer at Wicket Labs is like. Obviously, BC (Before Corona) things were a bit different. But now with the company working fully-remote, things have changed a bit. “After making breakfast and coffee at home, I typically check my Slack messages and email first to see if there are any errors or messages I need to address.” She then works for about an hour before the company-wide stand-up. After all of the updates are finished, Mary attends a more specific Customer Scrum meeting. During this meeting, the Data Team and Client Services teams discuss active work for new and existing customers. After lunch, she hunkers down for some hardcore coding. “I spend the majority of the afternoon hours heads-down on my own work, mixed in with occasional meetings with other engineers.”

Collaborating with Teammates

Since the beginning of the lockdown, Wicket Labs has been working remotely but according to Mary, her collaboration with teammates hasn’t changed much, it’s just virtual now. “We use many Slack channels for transparent communication across teams. For 1:1 collaboration, we typically DM one another or hop on a screen share call via Slack or Google Meet.” Mary particularly likes Slack because the whiteboard feature when a coworker is screen-sharing allows you to draw on the screen to help navigate. “I probably have these calls using the screen-share functionality at least once or twice a day.”  While this isn’t the same as sitting next to someone pointing at their computer, it’s really the next best thing. She added, “I was worried about communication when Corona lockdown began but it’s been seamless and easy to collaborate in this remote work world.”

Career Growth

Since joining Wicket Labs, Mary said her career has grown immensely. “It was my first real tech job (besides my internship at Indeed), and due to the great mentorship and collaborative environment, my skillset has really developed. It’s weird to look back at how many questions I had, and how much I didn’t know when I first started. I love helping to train new coworkers in the things I’ve learned, whether it be AWS, Spark, Javascript, or Python; I really enjoy passing on my knowledge in the same way my more tenured coworkers helped me when I first started.”

Words of Advice

For current of future Software Developers that may be interested in joining the team at Wicket Labs, Mary had this to say, “Our stack includes React JS, Node JS, Pyspark, and AWS. If you are interested in learning more about any or all of those technologies, Wicket Labs is a wonderful place to develop expertise. We get to touch all parts of the stack and pursue new technologies that interest us. If you’re interested in a fun, fast-paced environment with a thoughtful and bright team, Wicket Labs is the right place.”

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