Episode 238 – Become More Organized and Spend Time with Others to Learn Fast with Mandy Michael

 In Podcasts

Phil’s guest on this episode of the IT Career Energizer podcast is Mandy Michael. Mandy is a community organizer, speaker, writer, and developer. Mandy is currently working as a Development Manager at Seven West Media in Western Australia. Her passion is front end technology and she’s a strong advocate for women in technology, volunteering at events such as She Codes and Muse JS.

She is also Founder and Organiser of Fenders, a local meetup for Front End Developers, co-organizer and director of MixinConf and was named as one of the Top 20 Women in Tech in Western Australia in its inaugural year.

In this episode, Phil and Mandy Michael discuss why it is worth taking the time to learn how to use organizational tools effectively. They talk about the best way to challenge decisions others make that affect you.

Mandy also talks a little about variable fonts, how they can be created and what you can achieve by using them. She explains how public speaking and becoming more empathetic have both helped her career.

 

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

(4.12) TOP CAREER TIP

Be organized. Mandy is not a naturally organized person, but she has found that making extensive use of tools like Asana has made a huge difference to how much she can get done. This has made it easier for her to take full advantage of the opportunities that have come her way.

 

(6.47) WORST CAREER MOMENT

A while ago Mandy switched from working exclusively on development and moved to also working on the front end. But a new boss insisted that she choose between the two. Mandy now regrets not challenging their decision, instead of just going along with things.

If you feel strongly about something, it is wise to trust your instincts and speak up. In the podcast, Mandy explains why this is good for your team as well as for you personally.

 

(11.03) CAREER HIGHLIGHT

The amazing reception the variable font she made and uploaded to CodePen got is Mandy´s current career highlight. When she created it, she did not really realize that nobody had used variable fonts in that way before. Coming up with something that had such a big impact felt great. Since then, quite a few big companies, for example, Google and Microsoft have used and shared her work.

In the podcast, Mandy tells the audience a bit more about variable fonts and what can be achieved using them.

(14.59) THE FUTURE OF CAREERS IN I.T

The fact that the industry does not have to be limited by what has already been created is exciting. It means that everything is still possible. If you want to do things differently you just code it to prove that your concept works. Within the IT industry, there is plenty of time and space to invent and develop new things.

 

(17.09) THE REVEAL

What first attracted you to a career in I.T.? – Mandy first got interested in IT by building fan sites on GeoCities.

What’s the best career advice you received? – Express your ideas and opinions and do it in a confident way.

What’s the worst career advice you received? – If you are yourself, nobody will take you seriously.

What would you do if you started your career now? – Mandy comments that if she had her time over again, she would have paid more attention during science and maths classes.

What are your current career objectives? – Becoming a good public speaker and using that skill to make herself a better communicator in the workplace.

What’s your number one non-technical skill? – Being able to pick up on other people´s behaviors and feelings.

How do you keep your own career energized? – Mandy finds that creating small demos and getting them out there via CodePen and CodeSandbox energizes her.

What do you do away from technology? – Mandy enjoys spending time with her dog Jello, reading comic books and watching anime. She also likes making costumes and props for cosplay.

 

(22.03) FINAL CAREER TIP

Make the most of the people around you. Mandy runs her own meetup group and volunteers at events. She finds that doing those things opens up more opportunities for her to be able to learn from others.

 

BEST MOMENTS

(5.34) – Mandy – “Be organized. Planning ahead enables you to focus, avoid overcommitting and get more done.”

(8.41) – Mandy – “If you feel really strongly about something, then you should trust your instincts and push for what you think is best for you.”

(16.38) – Mandy – “Don´t hold yourself back by trying to replicate what has already been done. Instead, try to do things differently.”

(17.30) – Mandy – “Express your ideas and opinions and do it confidently.”

 

ABOUT THE HOST – PHIL BURGESS

Phil Burgess is an independent IT consultant who has spent the last 20 years helping organisations to design, develop and implement software solutions. Phil has always had an interest in helping others to develop and advance their careers. And in 2017 Phil started the I.T. Career Energizer podcast to try to help as many people as possible to learn from the career advice and experiences of those that have been, and still are, on that same career journey.

 

CONTACT THE HOST – PHIL BURGESS

Phil can be contacted through the following Social Media platforms:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/philtechcareer

LinkedIn: https://uk.linkedin.com/in/philburgess

Facebook: https://facebook.com/philtechcareer

Instagram: https://instagram.com/philtechcareer

Website: https://itcareerenergizer.com/contact

Phil is also reachable by email at [email protected] and via the podcast’s website, https://itcareerenergizer.com

Join the I.T. Career Energizer Community on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/groups/ITCareerEnergizer

 

ABOUT THE GUEST – MANDY MICHAEL

Mandy Michael is a community organizer, speaker, writer, and developer. Mandy is currently working as a Development Manager at Seven West Media in Western Australia. Her passion is front end technology and she’s a strong advocate for women in technology, volunteering at events such as She Codes and Muse JS.

She is also Founder and Organiser of Fenders, a local meetup for Front End Developers, co-organizer and director of MixinConf and was named as one of the Top 20 Women in Tech in Western Australia in its inaugural year.

 

CONTACT THE GUEST – MANDY MICHAEL

Mandy Michael can be contacted through the following Social Media platforms:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mandy_kerr

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mandykerr/

Codepen: https://codepen.io/mandymichael/

Medium: https://medium.com/@mandy.michael

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