Meet the Team: Sara Pope

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June 13, 2022
6 min read

"We are truly flight and travel experts here and it drives some serious love and care for what’s going on around here."

Tell us about you! (Where are you from, hobbies/interests, things you do outside of work!)

Hail comrades! I’m a born and raised New Englander originally from Massachusetts (don’t tell anyone), now in Maine and enjoying every minute of living simultaneously in the mountains and on the ocean with my wife and 2 dogs. When I’m not slapping a keyboard for several hours a day, I’m usually outside doing some kind of seasonally appropriate sport: skiing, kayaking, mountain biking, hockey, kan jam, hiking, etc. When indoors you can find me slaving over a hideously expensive Lego technic kit, building more keyboards I don’t use, playing annoying songs on the piano, and pretending to be a pilot on FlightSimulator.

How did you get in to Engineering? Why mobile?

I started programming when I was a kid and wanted to make a mod for Microsoft FlightSim 95 (it was not successful). I spent my formative years breaking the family computer and fixing it. After a year and a half of service with AmeriCorps, programming and I decided to make it official after several years of on-again-off-again commitment. Programming has always interested me, challenged me, and been exciting to me so I feel pretty hashtag blessed that I get to do it every day.Becoming a mobile developer was a right-place-right-time thing for me. React Native launched in 2015 and I started learning that before most other things. I’ve stuck with RN ever since, having come in and out of web development as well. My original love affair with mobile came from my other love affair with electronics; I love building physical devices that I can then build an app for. While most of my career has been as a mobile IoT engineer, I also just love apps in general and solving problems for app users.

What's your favorite thing about your role here at SCF?

Do you love something so seemingly innocuous that you have to learn every single thing about it? That’s everyone at SCF and travel. We are truly flight and travel experts here and it drives some serious love and care for what’s going on around here. Something I love about mobile is the need for direct relationships with other teams and being surrounded by people who truly embody what it is they’re doing makes me better at my job and I learn so much every day.

What’s the most complex problem you’ve solved at SCF so far?

Well, we’re building an app from scratch which opens a litany of things in and of itself 😅

The most complex thing so far has been making architectural decisions that are easy to back out of. When you’re building from scratch and there are a lot of ever-changing parts, die-hard commitment reaps tech debt (there’s a metaphor to real life in there somewhere) when you inevitably need to adjust. Being able to not only be flexible about the decisions we make, but also being able to implement flexible decisions, is really important in this territory.

We’re hiring a new member of the Mobile Engineering team - what are you most excited to work with this person on?

Whatever they’re excited about! I love learning what parts of app development engineers really enjoy doing because it gets me jazzed about doing it too. Shared enthusiasm in a project is what keeps me going when we hit road blocks or slogs. I also love to see how other people approach a shared problem. Being in an echo chamber is great and all but I need someone to blame tech debt on tell me I’m wrong once and awhile.

What brought you to Scott's Cheap Flights in the first place? What's your why (why SCF?)?

Airplanes and geography regularly compete for my most hardcore special interest, so you can imagine that seeing an opening for the job I love doing that revolves around those two interests made up a holy trinity for me.

What travel experience moved you the most?

The Italian Dolomites are really something to behold. The land formations are so crazy that it’s slightly uncomfortable. The bodies of water look fake. Driving there is the most frightening thing an average human can experience in a car. I both feared for my life and felt more comfortable than ever when I was there. Highly recommend. Oh and there are cows.

What always makes you laugh, no matter what?

There’s this video of an African grey parrot that asks Alexa to add pulled pork to a shopping list, makes a “bleep” sound when Alexa says it’s already on the list, and then laughs like Hank Hill. Gets me every time (I have watched it 50 times today).

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