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

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Mandy Michael

Phil’s guest on this episode of the IT Career Energizer podcast is Mandy Michael. She 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.


Mandy Michael


Code Open – Check out Mandy Michael’s contributions on the Code Open website!

Medium – Check out Mandy’s articles on Medium!

2 Top Career Tips

1) 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.
2) 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.

Show Notes

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.

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.

The Future

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.

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 is the best career advice you’ve ever received?

Express your ideas and opinions and do it in a confident way.

What is the worst career advice you’ve ever received?

If you are yourself, nobody will take you seriously.

If you had to begin your career again in today’s world, what would you do?

Mandy comments that if she had her time over again, she would have paid more attention during science and maths classes.

What career objectives are you currently focusing on?

Becoming a good public speaker and using that skill to make herself a better communicator in the workplace.

What’s the number one non-technical skill that has helped you in your career so far?

Being able to pick up on other people´s behaviours and feelings.

What do you do to 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 in your spare time 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.

Contact The Guest

Contact Mandy Michael through the following social media platforms:



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