Episode 33: Tessa Kriesel

34:30
 
Share
 
Manage episode 196769675 series 1452699
By Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio streamed directly from their servers.

Hallway Chats: Ep. 33 - Tessa Kriesel

Introducing Tessa Kriesel

Tessa Kriesel is an agency and community engineer at Pantheon and she’s been a web developer for over 10 years. She’s the founder of Outspoken Women, she’s passionate about diversity initiatives and teaching people to code and mentoring new developers.

Show Notes

Website | tessak22.com
Website | Outspoken Women
Twitter | @tessak22
Website | Girl Develop It

Episode Transcript

Liam: This is Hallway Chats, where we talk with some of the unique people in and around WordPress.

Tara: Together, we meet and chat with folks you may not know about in our community.

Liam: With our guests, we’ll explore stories of living – and of making a living with WordPress.

Tara: And now the conversation begins. This is episode 33.

Tara: Welcome to Hallway Chats. I’m Tara Claeys.

Liam: And I’m Liam Dempsey. Today, we’re joined by Tessa Kriesel. Tessa is an agency and community engineer at Pantheon and she’s been a web developer for over 10 years. She’s the founder of Outspoken Women, she’s passionate about diversity initiatives and teaching people to code and mentoring new developers. Hi Tessa, welcome.

Tessa: Hi, Liam.

Tara: Hey, Tessa. Great to see you, welcome. Why don’t you take a little bit of time and tell us a little bit more about yourself than what Liam just said?

Tessa: Yeah, there’s definitely a lot to know. I have a variety of passions and skills, but I would say things that are probably interesting to know, I am married, I have three kids, they’re pretty awesome. Really love web development and anything that it has to do with, as well as anything that has to do with bringing in new developers to our industry, as well as basically including more diversity in tech in general.

Tara: How did you get started with WordPress and coding?

Tessa: Oh, that’s a really good story. This could be a very long story but I’ll try to keep it to bare minimum since we only have half an hour. I actually got into coding a little bit in high school, I was just really interested in computers and programming. I was kind of that person that was sitting in the little– at our school, we kind of had this computer and networking club that would help with actual computer issues that teachers might have or other students, or whatever. So I joined that, I just really liked to do it. I had like a game programming class that I did and I really liked it. But I thought that my passion was actually restaurant management. I went to school for business management, then some restaurant management. I did a lot of staff management, creating menus, a lot of really cool stuff actually. But just realized that when you’re putting in a new point of sales system, that I really loved my job at that point. I kind of looked back then like, why did I really love my job during these few weeks and now I feel like I’m kind of in a slump again? And it was the computers, it was setting up all of the new point of sales, setting up the new system, getting them actually physically setup. And realized that my true calling was actually tech. My dad owned a small business so I built him a pretty basic HTML website. After that– kind of a tidbit about me is I used to be obsessively in love with Guitar Hero. I would play it like crazy, that was before I had kids of course, when I actually had time. [laughter]

Tara: You actually played the real guitar or just the Guitar Hero?

Tessa: No, I’m not a musician at all. Not even one bit. I have no idea what brought me to Guitar Hero but I really liked it. As I was playing Guitar Hero, I realized that there was no way to actually– you could play Guitar Hero with other people at that time, but you couldn’t actually set up tournaments or any type of thing like that. So I decided that since I had these new web development skills, I was going to use them. I ended up setting up a Joomla site at the time and so people would come to the site, they’d register, they’d put in their Guitar Hero screen name, and then they could say, “I want to have a tournament with this person.” And then we’d have like a hierarchy of players. Then basically you came in, it was just PHP, really quick, pretty simple, you validated your scores, and then that validation ended up in this chart of like, “Oh, this person is at this level, and this person is at this level.” And it was so cool that Activision, their community forum reached out to me and said, “We want to put your tournaments on our website.”

Liam: Woah.

Tessa: Yeah. It was amazing. It was like this Guitar Hero heaven, it was awesome. We ended up doing that, my tournaments were listed on their forum, I got a whole bunch of swags, I got sweatbands, guitar stickers, and pins. It was probably one of the coolest nerdy things I’ve ever done.

Tara: How old were you at this time?

Tessa: I think I was 22, I want to say. I had kids pretty young, I am from a very small town and it’s normal to have kids when you’re very young. My first was born at 23 and I was pregnant when Activision ended up showcasing our website.

Tara: That’s awesome.

Liam: That is so cool.

Tara: What’s your favorite Guitar Hero song?

Tessa: Oh my gosh, there’s so many. I really have to actually listen to them. There is a song that includes something with black and my brain is failing me as to like, who actually sings that song.

Tara: That’s a tricky question.

Tessa: I used to have it memorized.

Tara: Yeah, we were just talking about that game with my family over break because we were recalling when we first got a Wii and we had this Guitar Hero game and loved to play it. Of course, it doesn’t see the light of day anymore but yeah, that was really– but I remember that we had the Beatles version.

Tessa: Oh, fun. My husband actually just bought me one of the latest, I don’t think it’s the latest but one of the later versions and a new guitar because I have since gotten rid of everything. And he’s like, “I know you’ve loved it so much so I thought you’d enjoy this.” And I played it that night and I haven’t touched it again.

Liam: Did you pull an all-nighter playing it?

Tessa: I didn’t but I did play for four hours.

Tara: Wow, that is a really cool story. I’m curious, that Joomla site, how did you get the word out about that? It sounds really complicated.

Tessa: Yeah, actually I’m really surprised it got to a level that it did because I, at that point, was definitely not good at marketing stuff. I feel like I’ve gotten a lot better with those skills as I’ve gotten deeper into web development because I’ve kind of come naturally. But there was just a variety of community forums. Like, Activision’s forum, there were a couple of other gamer forums. I would just go out and be like, “Hey, GH jammers, we’re going to have a tournament, come join us, just play, it’s really casual.” Somehow it blew up. I don’t remember the actual member count by the time that I left but it was into the 1000s for sure. Tens of thousands, yeah. It was so cool.

Tara: Is it there, does it still exist?

Tessa: If you actually go– the person that I passed it on to once I had kids and I kind of still loved to play but it was like a point where I was like, I’m going to move on to my mom life and I just don’t have the time.

Liam: Life.

Tessa: Yeah, life. The person who took over, he named it GH Shredders, I think. If you google GH jammers or GH shredders, I think there’s a version out there. It’s definitely not as pretty as how I had it but it is still up there. you still can play with the original group of people.

Liam: What a wonderful backstory to getting in development. How did you transition from that initial site and kind of building that out and getting some skills and the like, to thinking about how that would become a career or a job or some way to put food on the table as you transitioned out of the restaurant management business?

Tessa: For sure, I think that’s definitely a struggle that a lot of people had. I was actually in a very lucky situation that my husband was working. We had just had a baby. Babies sleep a lot so it was really–

Liam: Some do.

Tessa: Yeah, that’s true. Mine was amazing. He was to date one of the best babies. He slept a lot, super great baby, even if he was awake, he was always happy. I just spent a lot more time during that kind of maternity leavish period, just learning new things to code. Because I had kind of gained these new Joomla skills, I decided to just kind of look for a couple Joomla projects, would very casually work on something light. Back in the day, Craigslist was a great place to find work, actually. There was no spam, lots of people who are just looking for websites, they were good people. I would just casually respond to ads as I kind of stumbled upon them. Then it sort of snowballed. I wasn’t super busy and I wouldn’t say that I, at that point, ever got to a point of like, “This is a full-time job and I own a business.” But I did get to a point where I was probably doing about 20 to 30 hours a week, just very casually grabbing these projects. I realized that forcing myself to take a project that I felt a little uncomfortable with actually was the best thing to help increase those skills. Yeah.

Liam: That’s really neat. You went during that time of your maternity leave when you might have other tasks and activities in an addition to all those new motherly activities, you learned this new skill set. Then, how did that transition to where you’re at now in what kind of time frame here? Did you work on Joomla projects for a couple of years and then looked at this, or did something else happen? Talk us through that just a little bit more if you wouldn’t mind?

Tessa: Yeah, of course. I’m 32 now, willing to admit that. I’d like to just stay at 32, though, and not getting any older.

Liam: Good luck with that.

Tessa: [laughs] I know. I would also like to do that with my kids so if anyone knows how to do that, let me know.

Liam: Yeah, that would be nice.

Tessa: Agreed. I was 22 when I first created that Joomla site. 32 now, so 10 years in, really it progressed from, I did the Joomla self-employed type of thing for a couple of years. Again, my husband was working so I wasn’t forced to have any financial income to an extent. After that, I ended up working with a couple of different clients. I actually lived in Northern Minnesota at the time. I think I said this earlier, I’m from a very small town. Finding any type of tech jobs outside of being self-employed was basically non-existent. I did end up finding one that was probably about 30 miles from my home, pretty great company. It’s called ChamberMasters, Member Zone now. They do some really cool stuff with chambers, they offer a software that allows you to kind of have a business directory, and calendar, and all that stuff. My job there was to integrate their software into hundreds of different CMSs, which was awesome because I think I’ve touched everything at this point. That really pushed my skills to kind of troubleshoot and dig into things that I felt very uncomfortable with or I didn’t know. That was super great, that was a really great kind of entry-level first job after I self-taught web development.

Liam: Tess, can I ask you, was that a, “Here’s the deep end of the pool, let us know how it goes.” And you just had to learn and, “Okay, how am I going to do this?” Or were you lucky enough to have a team around you that, “Okay, Tessa’s new here. Let’s get her up to speed, let’s teach her this.” How did you learn every different CMS and, obviously, be more proficient with one than another, but even just looking at all of that can be daunting? How did you think about that or manage that, if you can recall?

Tessa: Yeah. I did have a couple of people around me but they were also in the same boat that I was. They might have been at the company longer, so they may have have been doing it a little bit longer to be able to say, “Oh yeah, cool. I touched this Concrete5 site, I actually know how to go in there and get a new page created, and a template, and whatever.” Every once in a while, if it was one that I felt was like, yeah, this might be common, they might have touched it, I’d ask someone. But a lot of times I get crazy stuff like Kinetico, if you’ve ever heard of that. I remember that one sticking up to me. There’s so many out there. I think Google was my best friend at that point. And a lot of that job really was just figure it out. But to be honest, it was fairly easy because all I had to do was go in and get a new page created and then figure out where that source was coming from and maybe add some CSS or some Javascript. It wasn’t overly difficult, it was just like getting through the process of figuring out what that CMS was doing.

Tara: I’m going to transition into a question about, well, it kind of takes off in that a little bit, teaching yourself all that you know and learning all those different CMSs transitioning as a mom at the same time, from the career that you thought you wanted into something different, and where you are 10 years from where you started now, we talk about success on this show. So, if you can share with us what your definition of success is personally, professionally, combination of the two, and if it’s a journey for you, where you find yourself in that journey path plan for success?

Tessa: This is kind of a different question for me, or maybe it’s a different question for everyone because I feel like I have the personality where nothing is good enough. I think that that’s a good thing because it’s gotten me where I am today, it’s gotten me through the, “Let’s switch job paths when I’m a new mom.” It’s gotten me through, “I have no idea what I’m doing but I’m going to figure it out anyways.” And it’s also gotten me, obviously, to the role that I have today, being at Pantheon. I work with a lot of very smart people and I’m just overwhelmed with happiness about my role there. I think to measure success is quite difficult for me, what I feel like is my level of success is, am I doing something better today than I did it yesterday, or am I doing something better this year than I did it two years ago. So far, it seems to be working because I keep getting better and I keep doing better things. I keep looking back and saying, that year was really great but I know I can do better. I think that’s really what’s helping me be successful in my mind.

Tara: That’s excellent. I wonder when you define yourself that way as things never being good enough. How do you come to terms with things that you did two years ago not being as good as what you’re doing now, and are you tempted to go back and try to spend the time to fix them, or do you just move and say, “Well, that was then and this is now”?

Tessa: I think it depends on the situation. If there are things that I can go back and do– let’s say, every once in a while I do some side work, whether it be WordPress or whatever. I may have a Joomla website that I’ve built and it was three years old and they kept just adding stuff to it and changing things, and I was like, “Hey, if it’s in the budget, we should really freshen up your site and change some things and make it a little better.” When it comes to that kind of stuff, I think that’s client-based because if they have the budget, then great. I’m not going to spend my free time making their website better, but it’s kind of a win-win for everyone. I get to make the project I did four years ago a little bit better, also get to make a little bit of money, make it a better site. In terms of maybe a blog post I wrote or something, I think it’s important that everyone learns from the things that they’ve done so I’ve done a variety of things and I’ve changed where I wanted to go, and lots of life things. And I wouldn’t take anything back at all. I think you do things, you learn from them and you move forward. I think it’s all good, just be better today than I was yesterday.

Liam: Yeah, success as a journey is great and it sounds like it’s a very marathon type of focused approach versus a sprint is, I can have a bad month or a bad quarter but if I reflect on the entire year, I’m in better shape than I was, so to speak. Whatever shape we’re trying to measure. I think that’s a very valuable approach and it’s a healthy approach.

Tessa: Agreed.

Liam: You have mentioned, when we first met you at the start of the conversation, that you are the founder of Outspoken Women and that you are a big advocate of diversity and you work actively both professionally, and it sounded like, personally to increase diversity to community around you. Can you speak to that a little bit? Why does it matter to you and what is the value of that, and maybe a little bit, what does that mean to you in terms of actual work? How does one go about building a diverse community?

Tessa: Yeah, that’s a very loaded question.

Liam: It is, sorry.

Tessa: [laughs] It’s okay. But I can give you some tidbits about my opinions of it and how I feel. Before I moved to the Twin Cities, I said I’m from a small town, we moved here about four years ago now, I think. When we moved here, I got involved in Girl Develop It. Girl Develop It is a nationwide organization, they had a Minneapolis chapter. I TAd for one of the classes, one of the chapter leaders was like, “You’re awesome. You have been so helpful. Can you please teach the next class?” I was like, “Oh, I’ve never done that before but why not?” I had spoken at a couple of conferences, I have done some involvement with Joomla but never really stopped down and taught someone something. Did my first class, fell in love. If I could have done that every day, all day, for the rest of my life, I would have died a very happy person.

Liam: That would have been it, huh?

Tessa: Yeah. I still feel like that today. I love, love, love teaching people. That really ignited a fire in me to get more involved in teaching and bringing more developers into the world, especially women. I think that we all know that there’s a lack of diversity when it comes to women in tech and I think that a lot of times there’s a variety of ways that can solve that. I only have a small amount of opinions but I think that the best or what I can do to help them get into the industry, I want to do that. Whether that’s teaching someone something through Girl Develop It or if that’s starting an initiative like Outspoken Women. Just to kind of take a minute to just chat about Outspoken Women, that’s actually an organization that I founded over this summer. It’s about six or seven months in, and the goal was– is that with my job at Pantheon, I’ve actually started speaking at a lot more conferences. At those conferences and with getting to know event organizers, I just see a lot of, “I wish we had more submissions from women.” I think that’s true, I think there’s not a lot of women in tech to begin with. And then when you take the number and optimistically cut it in half with the women that are willing to speak in front of people, you’re really cutting your pool of applicants down to a very small amount.

Liam: Agreed.

Tessa: Outspoken Women is a mission and a resource to be able to provide mentorship to someone who wants to be a speaker, or maybe just to showcase of the fact that, like, “Hey, I am a speaker. If you’re looking for women, you can come and ask me to speak at your event.” Also kind of another side of that is the events piece. Event organizers can add their events, they can also add like a call for papers, they’re looking for speakers, and get a little bit more exposure to the women that are a part of Outspoken Women. It’s very beginning stages but we’ve gotten a lot of really awesome feedback, we’ve got quite a few speakers on there now, a lot from the WordPress community, of course. But the focus is to be open source tech in general, so bringing in Drupal, and Joomla, Ruby or whatever else that’s out there that’s open source. Check it out, Outspokenwomen.io. But in terms of diversity, I also have gotten to be– I’ve just dedicated a lot of time, especially in the Minneapolis area, to kind of put myself out there and be known as someone who is helping with that. I actually am having lunch with someone today who is a junior developer, they just want to pick my brain, get some ideas, just chat about how they can get involved so I can give them any information I can, maybe help them set up some training times, whatever that looks like, whatever I can possibly do, I want to do it.

Tara: That’s the spirit of WordPress too, not just WordPress but I appreciate what you’re doing. Did you have anyone that did that for you, where does that come from, Tessa? Obviously, your passion is clear in the fact that you tried teaching and loved it, but do you have anyone who had that impact on you?

Tessa: I actually didn’t and I think that that’s why when I taught the first class, it was a kind of– what was supposed to be an intermediate level HTML and CSS class, and after the class, I was like, “Could you imagine if I would have had this class when I was trying to learn this?” I would have been so much further ahead. I could have dug in a lot quicker. And that part resonated with me, the struggles that I went through to try to learn web development, in terms of like, I’m teaching someone this and they’re getting this because I’m physically there helping them through this problem. And it just made me realize, this needs to be a thing, this is how if someone wants to dig in, just like I wanted to dig in, I’m going to help make this happen.

Tara: Wow. You love teaching. What would you say is your favorite thing that you do every day?

Tessa: I actually get to teach people stuff at my job and that’s why I love it so much. My role at Pantheon, agency and community engineer. What that means, I know it’s kind of a long complicated role but what means is that I’m helping agencies, I’m helping developers, I’m helping anyone in the community that wants to learn something on Pantheon. Great thing about that is like, sure, I do a lot of actual Pantheon teachings where I help you through the dashboards, and our workflows, and our environments and all that awesome stuff, commands line and whatever. But it also gives me an opportunity to teach topics that might not be very specific to Pantheon. For example, I put together an introduction to Git. We had some agencies that were coming in, there were like two to three-people agencies, they’ve been working with SFTP, they’ve been working right on the server, which is totally great. But once you start to introduce other people, I think that having some version control is a really great asset to have, very helpful. In that role, I’m able to put together that stuff. I’ve offered the entry level to Git, offering it multiple times and it’s been very helpful to those people. I would say, every day I get to teach someone something, every day in my job, and I love it.

Tara: That’s awesome.

Liam: I like that. That ability to do that regularly and clearly, from the tone of your voice, you really do like it. You’re not making that up. If that’s the highlight, let’s talk a little bit about the low point. Can you tell us what your least favorite thing to do is every day?

Tessa: Let’s see, least favorite thing to do. From a personal standpoint, I would say the dishes but my husband stays at home with the kids so I don’t have to touch the dishes, that’s lovely.

Liam: I love doing the dishes.

Tessa: Really?

Liam: I totally do. I find it therapeutic but this show’s not me. Go ahead, carry on.

Tessa: I actually really love organizing. I don’t want to do the dishes but I love going into the bathroom and being like, “Oh, people have destroyed the cupboard, I’m going to reorganize this.” I love doing that. I would say, in a professional capacity, probably just the logistics of going and creating calendar events and adding Zoom links and just the little intricate, “I have to do this in order to do the thing that I really love.” And it’s a part of it so you just have to deal with it.

Tara: Yeah. Building the time for these things.

Liam: Let me ask you about challenges. We like to talk about big challenges and clearly you’re not afraid of them, and from what you’ve explained about your life and your career, you’re more than willing to tackle what will be difficult if you want to do so. I wonder if you can speak to what might be your biggest challenge to date or some of your biggest challenges, whether it is personal or professional on the Pantheon office, maybe before that, maybe even around diversity, any one of those kind of topics, or maybe it weaves in some way that takes them all in? I don’t know.

Tessa: Yeah. I think I definitely could take on all of those different things. I would say from a personal standpoint, I love the town that I’m from, I really love going up there. I’m like a big outdoorsy person so I like fishing, and hunting, and four-wheeling, and snowmobiling, I shoot archery and stuff like that. I really love doing that stuff but I don’t like actually physically living there. There’s a lot of toxic drama that goes on with everyone knowing everything about your life. You do make a mistake and everyone knows about it and you have to hear about it for years to come. I would say that I think one of the biggest challenges for me was getting out of that town. My husband and I are both from there. He’s four years older than me, we didn’t go to school together so we don’t have the cute little high school sweetheart story, but we’re both from there and have met after the fact, and ended up together. It was really hard for us to leave. My parents are there, they own a business, his parents are there, his mom’s a little bit older, it’s nice to help her with things. It was really hard for us to physically leave the town and get out of there. But I needed to, I needed to expand my career, there just wasn’t work there that was going to push me to where I wanted to be. We talked about level of success and kind of setting those personal goals, and my personal goal was to get better, get out there, get more experience, put myself in corporate situations or agencies, or other places where I was working with teams that could teach me things that I can’t teach myself because I don’t know what I don’t know. I would say that was a personal one and, obviously, we made it, we’re four years into living in the Twin Cities. But we compromised, we ended up living in a suburb of Minneapolis, it’s about 30-40 minutes out, so when I come in Minneapolis, it’s a good drive. But my backyard is a farm, not my yard but the yard behind me is a farm. We found the compromise and we’re still there. I would say, professionally, I think that I am actually very good with challenges. I don’t know how, I don’t know what I do, if it’s just my aggressively passionate personality or what it is, but any time that I’ve been faced with any type of professional challenges, whether it be someone talking down to me, that’s happened, or whether it be getting a new job for something I want to do. I just do it, I don’t know how, but somehow I figure it out, I move on, I persevere, and I get out of any situations that I feel uncomfortable in. [CUT THIS: To speak about the situation where I was kind of talked down to, it’s actually crazy because I know that there’s a lot of diverse conversations about men speaking down to women but this is actually a woman speaking down to me and being very– I don’t really know the best word for the way that she was acting but it was just like putting me in the situation where she was better than me, she was the boss, whatever she said goes, and that’s just not a personality that works well for me. I’m very outgoing, I’m very opinionated, I definitely can take other opinions and I think that it’s great to work together on those things, but to be told that I have to do something and my opinions aren’t valued, that’s an issue for me. That was definitely a major professional challenge, it’s actually the reason that I left the job that I had up north, the one where I was working with lots of CMSs. It is what it is, it’s challenges that we all have, and] I think that in terms of the diversity one, the team that I’m on right now, I’m the only woman. But it doesn’t bother me because I know that I’m out there doing things to change that. I know that our future applicant pool is going to include more women because there are initiatives like Girl Develop It. Other things that I try to get involved with and I think that it will take some time but we will get there, our pool of applicants will become more diverse.

Tara: Good for you for standing up for yourself and I’d like to ask you where you think that part of personality comes from but I also want to ask you about advice. We ask people a lot to think about advice they’ve received that’s been helpful, that they take with them, whether it’s personal or professional. Any single piece of advice that you can think of that you’ve been given that may have influenced that you approach challenges in such a positive and ‘can do’ way?

Tessa: I don’t know if I really have any advice that someone has given me. My dad’s personality is very much like mine. If he is faced with the challenge, he just overcomes it, tries to keep a smile on his face and just kind of pushes through. I think that I saw that a lot in him and actually being older, I see that in him more. I’m not sure if that had any influence on it but I think that being a lot like him, I’ve obviously had some of those influences. But there is one thing, in terms of advice, I would say it can be very hard to do, especially if you’re put in a situation where you financially need to keep that job. But I think that no one should be treated in a way that doesn’t make them feel successful. It doesn’t make you feel comfortable, whether that be financial or not, you shouldn’t be in the situation. Whatever it is that you need to do to move forward with that, I think that people have done it, you can do it, you just have to take that leap, I guess. I think that you’ve asked another piece of– oh, I remember what I was going to add. Sorry, had a little brain fart there. There’s one thing that I want to share and I think that I’m very lucky that I have this person in my life, but my manager at Pantheon, amazing person. He’s just like the best manager I’ve ever had. When I first started at the job, I actually went to San Francisco for my first week of training and it was very coincidental that they were already having a team training. That’s when I joined. Him and I went for a walk, I think it was the second or third day, maybe first day, I don’t recall for sure. We went for a walk in San Francisco, so we were just kind of walking around and he’s like, “What do you think? I know this is a lot to take on your first week. How are you feeling?” Just a very open conversation about my feelings, how I felt, it was awesome. But then he added into this conversation, and I wish that I can remember the exact words that he said, but he made a comment about, “I can see that you’re very outspoken.” And he goes, “I don’t want you to ever change that.” I thought that that was the best thing that someone could say, especially to me, because that is my personality, I’m very outspoken. I’m not aggressive in a bad way but I can be very persistent and opinionated. For my manager to tell me like, “I love that you’re like that and I want you to keep it up.” Was just the most reassuring thing in the world. If you’re a manager, embrace your employees’ awesome personality traits and tell them about it.

Tara: Great. Sounds like you’ve found a good place to be, that’s wonderful to hear. Awesome.

Liam: That must have been really rewarding, you said it as much, but in your first week or two at a new job and the individual to whom you’re going to be reporting, and in some ways to whom your paycheck depends, right? Not the company owner but if that person says, “She’s not cutting it here.” There goes your paycheck. To have them embrace who you are in the way that you’ve brought yourself to the job. That’s just must have been a massive comfort too, aside from just nice to hear but just like, “Okay, yeah, this is going to work, this is going to be great. Rent, mortgage, and bills are covered. That’s awesome.”

Tara: Yeah, right off the bat, that’s really awesome.

Liam: That’s so neat, it speaks a lot about your manager. Thank you for sharing that.

Tessa: Yeah, he deserves the recognition, he is fabulous.

Liam: Certainly sounds like it. Well, we have run out of time on our little hallway chat here and it’s been a fantastic time that flew by.

Tara: I know, I wanted to hear more about your kids but we’ll do that next time or offline.

Tessa: Yes, we can definitely do that, they’re adorable, I’ll share some photos.

Liam: That would be great. Before we say officially goodbye to you, can you let us know where people can find you and can find again Outspoken Women and maybe even, if you’re actively involved and a part of the GDI community up there in the Twin Cities, where people can find them too, as well?

Tessa: Of course. You can find me at Tessak22.com. My username pretty much everywhere on the internet is Tessak22, so if you just google that, you’ll find me. Outspoken Women, I would love if you would check it out, join if you’re a speaker, join if you’re an event organizer, even just become a supporter. That’s Outspokenwomen.io. And then in terms of Girl Develop It, there is definitely a chapter here in Minneapolis. I think the best way to go out and do that, I think all of you are going to be from all over the place, is go to Girldevelopit.com. They’ve got lots of different chapters listed there, and you can go and find your own chapter, there are lots of kind of women tech initiatives but that’s the one that’s really out there actually offering classes and teaching women how to code. Strongly recommend that organization as well.

Liam: They’re a great organization. The Philly chapter is great. I’ve TAd a class or two and it’s just fantastic. Thank you very, very much. It was a wonderful pleasure to spend some time with you, Tessa.

Tara: Thanks for joining us.

Tessa: Thank you for having me, it’s been really great.

Tara: Thanks for being here, see you soon, hopefully.

Liam: Bye.

Tessa: Bye.

Tara: If you like what we’re doing here – meeting new people in our WordPress community – we invite you to tell others about it. We’re on iTunes and at hallwaychats.com.

Liam: Better yet, ask your WordPress friends and colleagues to join us on the show. Encourage them to complete the “Be on the show” form on our site, to tell us about themselves.

The post Episode 33: Tessa Kriesel appeared first on Hallway Chats.

36 episodes available. A new episode about every 7 days averaging 32 mins duration .