#WorkItWednesday featuring Amy Lashley, Sr. Software Engineer, Backend
Meet Amy Lashley (she/her), a Sr. Software Engineer, Backend working with Grindr since February 2022!
Amy came to Grindr from the college advancement industry where she worked on building relationships of a slightly different variety. She is currently a part of the revenue squad at Grindr where she collaborates with other engineers and product managers to find ways to add value to our current and future features in the Grindr mobile app. Beyond work, Amy enjoys filling her free time with renovating and researching the history of her early 1800s house with her wife and performing in a local guitar orchestra!
Check out Amy’s Grindr story below, and take a look at our careers page to learn more about our open job opportunities.
Have you always worked in the software industry?
Yes and no! And both at the same time, sometimes. I graduated with a B.S. in computer science in 2003 and spent the next few years doing programming in the advertising industry - Java web applications, PHP, and even some ActionScript (RIP Adobe Flash Player). I went back to school and earned a B.A. in Music while also opening a small music lesson studio in Atlanta Georgia. For almost 10 years, I worked simultaneously as a freelance web developer, small business owner, and musician. Those years were very busy, but also so fulfilling on many levels.
When I decided to return to full-time work in the tech industry, I was looking for a place where my work still felt meaningful and impactful. That is one reason that working here at Grindr is such a great fit. Not only do I get to flex my technical skills, but the work that I do directly impacts a community that I feel passionately about serving.
Tell us why you joined Grindr. What do you love most about our mission and our culture?
When I started looking for new job opportunities, I knew that I wanted to work for a mission-driven company whose values aligned with my own. Once I started researching Grindr and reading blog posts on Grindr for Equality, as well as some of the technology challenges the company was tackling, I was all in. I was really struck by the work that goes into providing safety and connection for the queer community worldwide, and I wanted to be a part of that.
Grindr is part of the framework that connects the global LGBTQ community and they take that place amongst the community very thoughtfully. It is inspiring to work with passionate, fun, and collaborative professionals who are experts in their field and really care about the work that they are doing. From a technology perspective, the work here at Grindr is both interesting and challenging. From a culture perspective, it is such a relief to know that you can come to work daily as your authentic self.
How have you grown professionally while on our team?
Working in Kotlin and learning to solve issues at the scale we have here at Grindr were two of the main reasons I was excited about this job from a technical perspective. And in the short time I’ve been here, I have had plenty of opportunities to hone those skills. I had never used Kotlin before, so learning a new language has been fun. The way that our teams are structured gives a lot of room to collaborate and learn from each other. Our syncs are almost always comprised of developers from different backgrounds. There is so much varying expertise on the team and a humble approach to collaboration, it makes it easy to take on new challenges knowing that you have a great group of people to reach out to if you run into any roadblocks.
I’m also grateful for the professional development opportunities that Grindr provides. This year a small group of us are attending the AWS reInvent conference. This will be such a great learning opportunity and I am so glad to work for an employer that is supportive of my growth.
What interesting problems is your Grindr team solving for and what are you looking forward to for the future?
One of the more interesting projects that my team is tackling, is improving the Boost feature which was launched earlier this year. We’re currently working on algorithms that make the Boost experience more meaningful to both the boosted user and the other users who see them in their grid. Implementing these algorithms, and using some of the more advanced ElasticSearch features has stretched my knowledge and usage of the tool. It has been fun to collaborate with the product and engineering teams while getting to learn and become a better engineer myself. I look forward to seeing the impact this project has on both the user experience and the company.
The inspiring thing about Grindr is that they really do care about making the app a better experience for the user. A lot of companies will look at revenue teams with just the lens of how to make more money. But Grindr really wants to ensure that the features we produce add value for the people using them. We are constantly evaluating, testing, and iterating features to make them stronger. I look forward to seeing how that work continues to make the app better for the global LGBTQ community.
Do you have a favorite memory of working at Grindr so far or a moment that stands out to you that really captures what it is like to work here?
Grindr is a remote-first company and while some teams meet somewhat regularly in person, it is rare for the whole company to be able to get together. That all changed at the end of June 2022 when we had a company-wide retreat at our headquarters in West Hollywood, CA. That entire week was amazing - I got to meet folks from all over the company, some of whom I don't always get to chat with every day. We had engaging talks and sessions throughout the day and I finally got to see some of those legendary company parties that more tenured folks talked about. I left the retreat with even more excitement and passion for the organization and our culture, as well as some new work friends. Being able to connect with coworkers in person cannot be beaten and I will cherish that memory!
I also always look forward to our weekly All-Hands meetings. We have a tradition of our weekly 5-star winner (equivalent to the employee of the week) picking the soundtrack that intros the following meeting. It's fun to hear new and familiar tunes jamming at the start of the call. We also have a semi-regular DJ hour where anyone can volunteer to DJ on Slack- it’s a lively co-working time and the chance to bond with folks over music.
If you are interested in working with collaborative and insightful engineers like Amy at a company that is mission driven and fun to be a part of, you should consider applying for open roles today!