Savas Brings on Another Front-end Developer

Who am I?

Hello Savas Labs fans! My name is Madeline Streilein, and I am one of Savas’ two brand new Junior Front-end Developers (Alex Manzo also joined our burgeoning front-end squad under the tutelage of Anne Tomasevich - keep an eye out for their introduction). Some random facts about me: I love stone fruit, humidity, satirical news, and using Slack notation on all messaging platforms. I also opened a day spa in my home when I was in elementary school. It wasn’t _not_ profitable.

Where did I come from?

Project Shift, if you haven’t heard, is a software engineering fellowship here in Durham. I am a proud graduate of Cohort 5. Prior to Project Shift, I came from the land of electoral politics, a field that relies heavily on technology (from data analytics and predictions to voter contact and volunteer recruitment) to mobilize voters and volunteers in the days, weeks, and months leading up to an election. In my most recent role, I ran a statewide peer-to-peer texting program to get North Carolinians to the polls. I experienced first hand how thoughtful technology can catalyze civic engagement, and on the flip side, how platforms that weren’t built with the user in mind could cause enough frustration to dissuade volunteer participation and annoy an on-the-fence electorate.

Why am I choosing to sit behind a computer when I could be hitting the pavement or training organizers?

So, I ask myself, possibly more frequently than I’d prefer, what is the best use of my time and potential skills? Am I contributing enough to causes that matter? Am I contributing in a way that is actually helpful and not harmful?

The answer at which I’ve finally arrived is this: I believe technology has the potential to alter our habits as individuals, as a society, and as a species positively, more quickly, efficiently, and sustainably than through other means of change that may come to mind. I knew I had to switch industries to help build better solutions. Using technology to maximize positive impact, I learned through the interview process, is also part of a developing vision at Savas Labs. Stay tuned for an upcoming announcement with more specific articulation of those goals from team leadership.

Why did I choose Savas?

I chose Savas for many reasons — especially the team. I’ve seen my coworkers practice and exemplify the values we define on the website, ones that drive me as well. How can one _not_ feel welcomed, empowered to excel, and ask for what they need in the onboarding process when they receive Slack messages like this from remote colleagues?

Slack screenshot Senior Project Manager, Ro Wang, greets me warmly in a private message on Slack.

My teammates bring to the table many things, in equal parts tangible and intangible, resulting in a highly productive, respectful, creative, and collaborative environment of humans who work diligently for our clients. I recognized that before I started.

After my last campaign wrapped up, I knew I would only be fulfilled if I went to work each day for a company that considers the community it operates within, and the unique responsibility it has to contribute (beyond the paid services it came into existence to provide). I was pleased to learn that at Savas Labs, every full-time employee is afforded one day of PTO for community service at an organization of our choosing.

While not as significant a factor in my job search, humor in the workplace is definitely a plus. Savas incorporates dad jokes (and other actual humor) into our weekly meetings, so I’ll just leave these here . . .

Question: Why did the functional component feel lost?

Answer: Because it didn’t know what state it was in!

Question: Why did the child component have such great self-esteem?

Answer: Because its parent kept giving it props!

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