Tell us a little bit about your background before you joined Cadmore.
I’ve been a software engineer since 1999, with heavy focus in the Microsoft stack. Originally, I worked for the Federal Reserve Board under Alan Greenspan, but shifted to consulting pretty quickly after. I was in consulting for a long time and ultimately shifted from a broader client base towards working specifically in the publishing sector. That was what led me to Cadmore. At Cadmore, I have the opportunity to merge my technology skills with my publishing industry knowledge, which allows me to produce the most useful and relevant functionality.
What has working for a video publisher this past year been like?
This past year has been a whirlwind! With so many conferences shifting to the virtual realm, we’ve been really expanding our offerings to take advantage of what a video publishing platform can provide. It’s been an incredible honor to rise to the challenges we’ve been presented with and provide solutions that our clients are able to feel proud of offering to their members.
I feel particularly proud of the work I did integrating with Zoom to allow the programmatic creation and maintenance of thousands of Zoom calls for a virtual conference. It was a really neat experience to do something new and every time I got to watch it successfully execute gave me a little thrill!
What is happening in video publishing that you’re most interested in/excited by?
I am so excited by the focus video publishing has been putting on accessibility for those with visual and audio impairments! After a trip to Israel, where I met a deaf family, I became enthralled with sign language. It was the beginning of my passion for accessibility, and I have been so lucky to be able to work on making the Cadmore platform more accessible to all users. Along with providing transcription, so that the deaf and hard of hearing can access the content, I’ve employed tools to help ensure that those who are blind or visually impaired can access the content as well.
Being the one leading the charge to make our sites more useable by all gives me an immense amount of satisfaction! But perhaps my biggest moment of pride thus far was having an independent accessibility reviewer give us this feedback: “We were remarkably impressed with the level of functional accessibility and technical compliance of your product, especially given the level of complexity of some of the user interactions! In particular, the extended descriptions and context for non-visual users are amongst the best we’ve encountered. And the focus on keyboard accessibility is nearly perfect. We anticipate that…your product will be an exemplary model of inclusive design.”
You were working from home prior to the pandemic. Any tips for working from home successfully?
In terms of tips for working from home successfully, it has been critical for me to have a dedicated office space in my home that I use only for work and that has all the tools I need to work effectively. For me, that includes a large monitor, a real work desk, a real work chair, a printer, pads of paper (I’m old school!), and pencils and pens allow me to perform at my peak. Also having little pictures or cards my kids have made make it feel like a personal space, just like I would do if I were in an office.
And absolutely key to my success working from home is making sure I have a well-stocked pantry, including my favorite coffee, creamer and snacks! It really makes up for those Starbucks or CVS runs I would have done in the middle of the day.
Lastly, making sure to take intermittent breaks, like stepping outside to get the mail or taking a moment to enjoy the sun in my kitchen or even reaching out to a colleague for a non-work related conversation, are true moments of Zen in what might otherwise be a long day in front of the screen.
Finally, you’re a woman of many talents. What do you do when you’re not coding?
When I’m not coding, I have two elementary aged boys, along with a kitty, whom I love to pieces, even when they all drive me crazy. I have a really eclectic set of interests: I love to run, in the past few years I’ve taken up knitting, and I’ve been such a massive fan of a cappella since college that I volunteer with an Internet-based a cappella radio station, where I host 3 different shows! If you like a cappella music, I highly encourage you to check out Acaville Radio at http://acaville.org where you can hear me on The Pulse, Competition Countdown, and Vocal HERspective!