Let your interest be your driver

lunaceee profile image Luna Yu ・2 min read

It feels like years ago when I shared my story about How I Joined a San Francisco Startup as a Software Engineer. Now, still only a few months in at Netlify, I'm convinced that I've chosen the right career at the right company.

One of the most interesting projects I've been working on lately is reinventing our outbound email ecoystem. There were a few factors (shhh! launch announcement coming soon) motivating us to redesign all the email templates so they’d stay consistent with how the app works. We also wanted to establish a new mailing architecture that incorporates Hugo, Heml and Netlify CMS, three awesome open source projects, to create three layers of abstractions. We used Heml to generate multi-client compatible email templates without hacking through nested tables. Hugo partials come in handy to allow different templates to share reusable code, e.g., email header and footer. Last but not least, integrating with Netlify CMS helped abstract away the code and allow content editors to create new email content using the existing templates.

As the owner of the project, I've been exposed to both technical and non-technical challenges, including project scoping, cross-departmental communications, static site generator workflows, templating languages… there were more, but you get the idea.

But with each challenge, there was enough motivation to keep me going. One specific example is taking on the challenge of working with Netlify’s open source CMS project. As a marketer-turned-software engineer, it's been my dream to make technologies that favor story telling. Enabling content editors to create and edit the email templates without touching a line of code, and preview the changes in real time, gives them so much more room to help tell users a great story.

One of the reasons why I was so motivated to work on the Netlify CMS integration is because the documentation is so well written, making the project really accessible. Side note: big shout out to the project’s docs team, who is actually a one-woman band led by the awesome @verythorough.

My journey to becoming a veteran coder still has a long way to go. I look up to all the fantastic women who have stayed in tech and helped other women getting into the space. To other women and non-binary folks who are just getting started in code, I'd suggest finding out what you love and you're good at, set up your own goals and keep practicing. Also, don't hesitate to reach out to the communities surround you cause that's what make us grow together.

Happy International Women's Day! <3


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