Q&A: Stephanie Friddle – Junior Software Developer
For the months now, our software developer intern Stephanie Friddle has worked diligently as part of our devs team to help add new and improve existing features to our ever-evolving SaaS-based suites. A believer that sustainability is critical to a better tomorrow, join us in welcoming Stephanie to the Virtual Peaker team!
How did your previous life prepare you for Virtual Peaker?
Right before the pandemic, in 2020, I decided I wanted to change industries. I was in retail banking and had worked my way up from a part-time teller to branch manager. I never really felt content though, I never felt like I chose to have a career in banking, it just happened. So I went back to school and got my associate’s degree in IT. I wanted to be exposed to several areas of IT, and in that process, fell in love with programming. I also attended Code Louisville where I was introduced to an amazing community that eventually led me to apply at Virtual Peaker.
College and Code Louisville taught me the basics of the skills I need for my position here. But in my previous positions, there are so many things I learned I value in a work environment. I love that there’s such a big focus on culture at Virtual Peaker. I believe that’s one of the most, if not the most important aspect of a job.
I also have a decent understanding of business as a whole. I’ve had to run all aspects of a banking center, from ensuring employees are following policies, to getting new business in the door, to employee hiring and management. I think having that understanding hopefully makes me a better employee and coworker because I also try to think about how I, and my work, can impact the company.
Tell us about your role at Virtual Peaker.
Currently, I’m being exposed to a lot of different areas of our codebase. I get to work on the front and back end of it to help me understand it as a whole. I’m continually learning and building on my skills to prepare me for life as a developer.
It blows my mind to think about how much work has gone into the company and it’s so cool to be a part of it. I’ve already come a long way with my knowledge and I learn more and more each day through my assigned tasks. I help write code to add new features, enhance current functionality, fix bugs, and do backlog maintenance.
How do you personally engage in sustainability efforts?
I’m so excited to be able to say my boyfriend and I are getting solar panels installed on our home in the coming months. We’ll be one of the first in the neighborhood and I hope it urges others to follow suit. For Earth Day I was lucky enough to snag a tree from Louisville Grows that I can’t wait to plant. I also plant a garden each year and set up a timed irrigation system to save on water.
I try my best to use reusable bags when shopping and have for a long time. The county I used to live in banned plastic bags, so keeping up the habit isn’t something I have to even think about anymore. I also try to be smart when I shop and look for sustainable items and items that I can use for a long time without having to replace them; if they’re from a local business, even better!
I’m thankful to be working for a company that cares, and with other employees that care. The team here continually shares great ideas and ways they’re personally engaging, which in turn makes me want to do even better. It also allows me to continue to learn about different ways I can make an impact. I think one of my next projects will be to start a compost bin.
What can you tell us about yourself?
I’m adventurous and love new experiences. I challenge myself regularly to step out of my comfort zone. It’s helped me grow as a person an incredible amount. After saying that, I’m really happy to call Louisville home. I’ve moved across the country a couple of times, and I find myself content and happy here. There are a ton of cool things to do and places to go – it’s wonderful.
One of my favorite things to experience is food – my boyfriend and I both love to cook and create delicious meals. We also enjoy the amazing food scene Louisville has to offer. One day we hope to take a food vacation in a yet-to-be-determined country.
I’m a pretty crafty sort of person, too. I’d say my favorite art mediums are flowers and glass. I’ve worked in flower shops for about ten years as my main or as a side job. Over the last year, I’ve gone a little ham re-landscaping and just couldn’t be happier watching the plants grow and thrive. Glass is a little harder to do without a ton of equipment, but this summer I’m hoping to make some stained glass pieces with my Dad as a fun project together.
Other than eating and doing art projects – I’ve been spending a lot of time outside with my cat, Pica. She hunts for lizards, I do home improvement and gardening projects. I also enjoy nature, traveling, spending time with family and friends, and most of all, I try to be present at the moment and enjoy myself no matter what.