The People Matter Series is a chance for you to meet the Talmetrix team. Join us each month as a new team member takes the hot seat for a conversation with our Director of Product Marketing, Emily Regenold.
Meet Amy Howes: Developer
How does a former research assistant, with an undergraduate degree in genetic molecular and cellular biology, become a developer at Talmetrix? Two years ago, Amy Howes took a coding class in her spare time. “For me it was this magic moment, where I started with a blank screen and turned nothing into something,” says Howes. “That’s what made it so different from science – it was so agile and fast, I didn’t have to wait weeks to see results.” Read on to learn how Amy became a full-time developer, as well as her life motto and perfect pizza.
Emily: Tell us about what you do at Talmetrix.
Amy: I’m a developer, which means I make our software user-friendly and slick. Our team makes complicated analyses easy to understand and puts meaning behind the numbers. My job is to make you not even realize that something in the software is a feature. Rather, you’ll just see that it as one part of the cohesive software experience.
Emily: What did you do before Talmetrix?
Amy: I was a research scientist at Children’s Hospital, researching FDA-approved treatments that altered brain chemistry and improved chemical and behavioral symptoms in developmental disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, Fragile X, and Angelman Syndrome.
Emily: Woah, sounds like you’re pretty smart! How did you transition into your current role at Talmetrix?
Amy: I knew I didn’t want to be a doctor, so my husband recommended that I take a class at our local chapter of Girl Develop It. That’s where I wrote my first line of code. I started taking a bunch of classes, getting involved in the local start-up community – doing a bunch of hackathons and whatnot. One of the instructors at Girl Develop It got my resume to the Talmetrix team, and I started here as a Junior Developer. That was more of an assistant role – working with other people on existing projects. But now, as a Developer, I get to own my own features and be involved in client research.
Emily: What makes you excited to come to work everyday?
Amy: It’s an agile work environment. We have a really great team that keeps it fun while we get a bunch of cool stuff done.
Emily: As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Amy: An actress…until I realized I get really nervous when I talk in front of others.
Emily: If you won an all-expenses paid trip today, and you could go anywhere in the world, where are you headed?
Amy: Harry Potter World in Florida. I’m a big HP nerd, and Butterbeer also happens to be the most delicious drink ever.
Emily: What actor would play the lead role in a movie about your life?
Amy: I would! No, I gave up on that idea. I would be played by Emma Watson. We don’t look anything alike and I don’t have a British accent, but I think she could capture my drive. She also played Hermione Granger, who is one of my favorite fictional characters of all time.
Emily: What ingredients make the perfect pizza?
Amy: Bacon. I’m a simple woman.
Emily: What’s one motto you live by?
Amy: “Live every week like it’s Shark Week” – just kidding, that’s from 30 Rock. My real motto is: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
Emily: Similar to how we combine two words to create Talmetrix – talent and metrics – what two words do you think should be combined for daily use?
Amy: Yamy. Yay + Amy…I’m a pretty passionate and enthusiastic person. Plus, Yam was my family’s nickname for me because I kept misspelling my name when I was learning my letters.
Emily: What would you choose as your superpower?
Amy: Being a developer is basically a super power. I can make something out of nothing.
Emily: Tell us about what you enjoy doing outside of work.
Amy: I like spending time with my ferrets, crafting, painting, doing origami, eating, and doing yoga. I’m also a Chapter Leader for Cincinnati’s Chapter of Girl Develop It. I still get that sparkly, wizard feeling when someone is new to one of our classes and they make their own website. Girl Develop It is all about finding people who haven’t been given opportunities in technology and letting them know they have something important to say. For me, it’s the act of bringing other women up with me. One person succeeding is not a real success – it’s the act of pulling other people up with you and creating empowerment. We use technology to empower women and minorities – but it doesn’t necessarily have to be that – we want to give people confidence to achieve their goals through technology education.