Meet the Team: Audrey Ann Wright
“The Engineering team is the most diverse I’ve ever worked on, and the diversity of perspective pushes us to create better than we ever could in silos.”
Tell us about you! (Where are you from, hobbies/interests, things you do outside of work!)
I grew up in the Philadelphia area but currently live in Orlando, FL, with my husband and rescue pup, Scout. When I’m not at work, I can usually be found traveling (mostly eating), cooking, being an amateur mixologist, playing racquet sports, in the gym, exploring all that central Florida nature has to offer, crafting, playlisting, cheering on Philadelphia or Pitt sports, or picking up yet another hobby.
What does a Software Engineer do anyway? How did you get into Engineering?
The usual image of a Software Engineer is a developer sitting in a gaming chair in a dark room and hacking on a dark screen. While a lot of my job does indeed involve coding, and I am a sucker for dark mode, there is a lot that goes into being a Software Engineer beyond developing or writing code. Our primary focus is to comprehend human challenges and develop software that facilitates collaboration between human programmers and computers. Solving problems that meet our users’ needs takes a lot of understanding the problem and delivering something usable and maintainable. Engineering a good solution requires working a lot with other members of the team like Customer Success, Product, and other engineers. I often compare coding to writing because it’s inherently a creative discipline, and no two developers will write the same code for the same problem. But I think Software Engineering is more akin to editing. You’re writing with other writers, reading and understanding their work so you can add to their work and mold it to tell an even better story. I was always into just about everything: STEAM, writing, and reading. I got into engineering because I couldn’t choose what to do, and being a Software Engineer, I get to do a little bit of everything.
What's your favorite thing about your role here at Going?
It’s cliché to say, but I love the people. This Engineering team is the most diverse I’ve ever worked on, and the diversity of perspective pushes us to create better than we ever could in silos. From my specific role on the Platform-Services team, we sit primarily on the backend and interact with just about every Engineering squad to help deliver on their goals by getting, transforming, and packaging data, arguably most importantly, Deal data. Not only is my immediate team brilliant to learn from and work with, but we also collaborate a lot by pair programming, and I never feel stuck alone on a problem. That culture extends across the Engineering team; we always jump in to pair and work together.
What advice would you give to a candidate interested in working at Going?
My advice would be to show up and be yourself, including on the open-ended questions on the application. One of our core values is “Be human,” so it’s important to evaluate if our culture is the right fit for you, and showing up authentically in your answers gives us that much more of a window into who you are. If you’re interested in travel, solving problems, and delighting members, you will fit right in!
What brought you to Going in the first place? What's your why (why Going?)?
I’ve actually been a passionate Going member myself since 2016! My first trip abroad was a Going deal to Paris for $248 roundtrip. I was a college student-athlete with extremely limited funds and time off. The trip was 36 hours in Paris and one of the most memorable of my life, even as I’ve traveled extensively since. I already loved travel, but Going made International travel accessible for me. With degrees in Computer Science and Anthropology and a Masters in IT, working for Going is the best of both worlds for me. I get to create cool tech to enable other people to explore the world and experience other cultures.
What prompted your love of travel?
My love for exploring and learning about the world started young because my parents are PhD Anthropologists. They’re polyglots and travel widely, so I was interested at a very young age in experiencing other cultures. I traveled widely domestically thanks to being fortunate to play tennis at the National level. By the time I went to college, I had been to 36 states. After college, I went on the ITF pro tennis tour full-time for a few years, which is when I got to travel the world, expand my passport catalog from 3 to 10+, and finally experience cultures I’d only read about or experienced in art and other media. The low levels of the ITF tour are mostly aligning travel planning (what’s cheap) with the tournament schedule (where I can get in). I used Going Deals heavily to make that happen. I would argue that travel planning is my favorite hobby, narrowly beating out traveling itself!
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
As a kid, I really wanted to be an Astronaut, Aerospace Physicist, or Aerospace Engineer (depending on how old I was). I looked up to Sally Ride, the first American woman in space who was also a tennis player, great at Math and Science and loved space just like me. I traveled to multiple NASA flight and science centers over the years, got my first telescope at 13, and could always be caught identifying whatever planets were out to play in the night sky.
Published December 12, 2023
Last updated December 28, 2023
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