Team Q&A: Khyrstina Smith – Software Development Intern

Whether it’s her furry friend, her love of science and exploration, or her commitment to recycle as often as possible, our Software Development Intern Khyrstina Smith is eager to learn. Join us in welcoming  Khyrstina to the Virtual Peaker team!

How did your previous life prepare you for Virtual Peaker?

Over the years I’ve explored various fields, from veterinary technology to tech support. Eventually, I realized that I have been drawn to subjects where I would always have something new to learn. I didn’t know anything about Software Development when I was learning to code. I was working on Arduino projects with my friends and programming was always the part everyone dreaded, so I tried it. I would spend entire afternoons adjusting the code to get the components to react the way we wanted and though it wasn’t the best way to learn to code, I loved it!

I enrolled in Code Kentucky to see if I had what it took to learn “properly”, which I had so much fun with. After completing the software development course I immediately enrolled in the web development course as a follow-up. There, one of my awesome mentors who works with Virtual Peaker let me know that the internships here are great. I tailored my resume and sent in my application as soon as I saw that it would be a learning experience and that the company also believes in the same things I do!

Tell us about your role at Virtual Peaker.

I’m a Software Engineer Intern, which means the team here is starting me with some smaller bug fixes to our existing applications. As I familiarize myself with the tech stack and soak up some knowledge shared by the more experienced team members I’ll be challenged with more difficult/complex work. I’m excited to continue learning and growing in my role here, and hopefully contribute a feature or two in the future!

How do you personally engage in sustainability efforts?

Khyrstina Smith recycle 1A few years ago, I made the switch to an electric vehicle, and I have unironically become one of those people who brag about how efficiently I can drive to extend its range. I also enjoy ‘upcycling’ thrift sweaters and blankets that are out of style by unraveling them and using the materials to create more modern patterns. It’s incredibly fun to give the items a second life and prevent them from ending up in a landfill. Plus, it’s nice to know that something I made is keeping someone I care about warm.

For the last 7 years or so I’ve been able to keep my use of single-use plastics to a minimum and though it’s a bit of a drive to recycle out here in the middle of nowhere, I make it a point to recycle whatever I can. Next on the list is getting my garden up and running again!

What can you tell us about yourself?

If you talk to me for more than 10 minutes you’ll probably hear me mention Hollie (my pug) at least once. After working in the veterinary field I never thought I would have a pug, but Hollie wiggled her way into my life and now we are inseparable! When the weather is nice we hike together and spend our days off lounging in our hammock in the shade. When it is too cold for all of that we curl up by the wood stove and read. She’s an absolute dream!

I still enjoy building smaller robotics/Arduino projects, and currently, I’m trying to design a tiny version of my favorite BattleBot! It will never see any sort of battle, as I am already far too attached to the little bot to even think about putting it in any danger but it’s so funny to see a mini version of those destructive bots from tv. The community of people I’ve found who are so much more experienced in the hardware aspects of the builds are so welcoming and eager to teach anyone who wants to learn.

I follow a lot of the NASA missions, I paint, I throw pottery (poorly but I’m working on it!), and I love to cook! So, I like a little bit of everything!

Come work with us to help change the world!

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About The Author
Bill Burke blog author

Bill is a serial entrepreneur with a PhD from UC Berkeley in Controls and Artificial Intelligence and 10 years of experience with high performance residential energy management and connected appliances. He was previously at GE as an Advanced Systems Engineer in the Connected Home Software Group, but left that role in May 2014 to pursue entrepreneurship full time.

Bill grew up in Louisville and returned with his family in 2010 after a long stint in the San Francisco Bay Area. He loves Louisville and is working to make it a better and more attractive city for high tech startups.

More About Bill

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