Have you ever thought about how much time you spend with your co-workers?
Let's think about this for a second. Most full-time employees spend at least 40 hours a week in the office — that's 160 hours a month and 2,080 hours a year. And this doesn't take into account any overtime or out-of-office events!
There are 8,760 hours in a year, which means you spend roughly a quarter of your year with your co-workers. That's a LOT! Suffice it to say, your co-workers take up a pretty large chunk of your life.
Luckily for those of us at Yik Yak, we have the pleasure of working alongside brilliant people like Project Manager, Tracey Marshall.
Tracey came to Yik Yak in June of 2015 and has added tremendous value to our product team. Not only is she a great employee, Tracey is also the type of person you can go to for advice on just about anything. In fact, I'm fairly certain my first home-buying experience wouldn't have gone as smoothly without her guidance.
Q: What inspired you to work as a Project Manager?
A: I enjoy the process of driving great concepts into reality. It brings me satisfaction to help teams free themselves from the chaos and confusion of a project in order to focus on the part of their work they enjoy the most. My job is to make sure we are all clear on what needs done and when and ultimately to deliver incremental value to the business.
Moving into technology project management several years ago was a fantastic evolution for me in many ways. I really love working with development teams. Many incorrectly believe that agile development means there is no structure. That’s not true. The right type of structure allows clarity. One common theme throughout my career has been my belief in leveraging transparency in the organization to allow everyone to understand what we are doing, why we are doing it, how they can contribute and when it will be done.
Q: Why did you decide to work at Yik Yak?
A: I honestly had so many reasons for deciding to work at Yik Yak. First and foremost, I am so proud to work side-by-side with an engineering team of this caliber. I remember realizing during my first few weeks here that this team was world class. At any given point in time, they are working hard in the moment but also thinking 10 steps ahead to how our approach today will affect us down the road. They continue to constantly amaze me.
Beyond engineering, I would say I love what we do and who we are. There aren’t enough words in the thesaurus to describe just how supercalifragilisticexpialidocious my herd is! Everyone brings such passion and talent to what they do here. Individually they are all forces to be reckoned with. However, when you bring us all together, that is when the magic happens! The beautiful thing is that we are constantly collaborating and delivering spectacular results.
Q: Who inspires you at Yik Yak?
A: Two people come immediately to mind: Chris and Daniel.
Chris led the charge on building the web version of our app. I sit next to Chris and have watched him work tremendously hard on this effort. There are no words for what a beast he is. His focus, drive, and frankly his GQ level wardrobe are always in style.
Daniel is such an inspiration. He is hugely talented and drives the look and feel of our brand design. The first thing that strikes you about Daniel is that he is a creative genius. The second thing that strikes you is how down to earth and humble he is.
Q: Who’s the funniest person at Yik Yak and why?
A: I get to work closely with the development team so I would say Richard, Steve, the Mikes and DR. They all are wickedly sarcastic. *Honorable mention to Jared and Sean for their Herd Meeting coffee cup cheers.
Q: What are your hobbies outside of work?
A: Travel is my ultimate passion. I’ve been all over the world and loved every minute of it. In the past few years, nearly all of my travel has been focused on scuba diving and snorkeling. It is the most incredible experience to encounter and observe the creatures under the surface.
Two standout experiences in this last year have been a chance encounter with a whale shark in Bonaire and interacting with a baby manatee in Crystal River.
I also really enjoy cooking and baking. I love the challenge of learning how to use new techniques and unknown ingredients. If you drop me into the middle of the Buford Highway Farmer’s Market, I am in heaven.
Q: What’s the best life advice you’ve received, and who was it from?
A: I would say the Golden Rule (Do unto others as you would have them to unto you) was the best advice I have ever received. My mom taught me this and held me accountable by it. It has withstood the test of time. It’s a classic and it covers every situation.
Q: What is the highest number of upvotes you’ve received on a yak?
A: I believe I had a ~380 upvotes on a peek once. In terms of my own yak, I got 53 upvotes once when giving a traffic update! In Atlanta, that information is highly appreciated.
Q: What’s a fun fact that no one would guess about you?
A: I have what could only qualify as an urban farm. We have backyard chickens, a Senegal parrot, 5 dogs, 2 cats, a king snake, a tokay gecko, a fish pond, and an indoor aquarium. Next up: We are getting honey bees!
Q: What songs are included in the soundtrack to your life?
A: “Alabina” - Alabina, “3AM Eternal” - The KLF, “Lovely Day” - Bill Withers, “Sabotage” - Beastie Boys, “Rainbow Connection” - Kermit the Frog, “Warning Shots”- Thievery Corporation, “Bad Girls” M.I.A., and “Run the World (Girls)”- Beyonce. Every woman needs power anthems. These are mine.
Q: If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
A: I would learn to cure motion sickness. The struggle is real folks.
Q: What is your favorite part about living in Atlanta?
A: Atlanta is a truly beautiful city in a forest. The constant evolution of who we are and what we are about is riveting to watch. It is ‘home’ and you feel it immediately when you arrive here. The people are authentic and the diversity here makes the city so exciting. When I think of Atlanta, I think of all of the artists & musicians, young (and not so young) professionals and students. I think of how we are a city with industries converging- technology, healthcare, film/broadcasting and education. We have the best food, festivals and by far the best neighborhoods.
Q: If you could give one piece of advice to someone looking for a job in tech, what would it be?
A: I think a lot of people shy away from tech because they think they don’t know enough or are not qualified. I say go for it and prepare to work hard! Always be confident in what you know and can do. Always seek to grow and learn. At the same time, be honest about what you do not know or understand and seek to fill those voids. Be authentic. Be honest. Be supportive. Get involved in your local tech community. And if you are a member of a community, be inclusionary.
Q: Would you rather be a tiny elephant or a giant hamster?
A: A tiny elephant, because I would be part of a HERD!