Melissa Keller

Frontend Engineer, Denver, Colorado

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Melissa Keller

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How did you get into engineering?

The short answer is that I love solving puzzles, and programming is basically just solving a puzzle that’s constantly changing and breaking and getting put back together again in different ways. The long answer is that a professor recommended that I take his Programming 101 course in college to fulfill a Gen Ed requirement. After trying my hand at majoring in Neuroscience (turns out I hate biology) and Math (turns out I really hate math), I figured, why not? Software engineering ended up being a great match, so thanks Professor Novacky!

What is your day to day?

Coffee -> Code -> Create. Repeat. As much as I aspire to be an early bird, I’ve accepted that I’m a night owl through and through. I generally start my day around 9:30 a.m. and go to sleep between 1 and 4 a.m. the next day. I’m a frontend engineer, so during work hours you can find me writing React components and attempting to wrangle the charts in Shortcut into submission. I’m also a big believer in the rejuvenating power of naps, so there’s a pretty good chance I’ll grab a quick snooze before I start the “Create” portion of my day.

What do you do in your spare time?

What don’t I do? I’m a “jack of all trades, master of none" type of person in regards to anything creative. It’s anyone’s guess what I’ll be hooked on tomorrow! There are a few hobbies that I always return to though: drawing/painting, voice acting, and (true to the software engineer stereotype) video games. You can also catch me hanging out outside or playing with my dog, Zuko, and my cat, Iroh. (You might be wondering how I managed to get them to sit for the picture below, and the answer is string cheese.)

What does your workspace look like?

Um… You don’t want to see it. Or rather I don’t want you to see it and realize I’m a harbinger of chaos. You know the joke that the only thing that’s organized is what’s visible on a Zoom call? Maybe I’ll just tell you that I don’t have a desk! Working from home means that the entire house is my office. Yeah…let’s go with that.

What music do you listen to and why?

Literally anything except freeform smooth jazz. I like to listen to a little bit of everything, but the genres that pop up the most in my playlists are EDM (especially melodic dubstep) and Indie. I also really dig anything that combines two or more genres in unexpected ways, and listening to radio stations from around the world is a guilty pleasure of mine.

Playlist by Melissa K

Potpourri

A random selection of songs I had to pick quickly that aren't terrible.

Lacrimosa

Apashe

3:37

Tiny Love

MIKA

4:04

Tieduprightnow

Parcels

4:09

Goodbye

Imanbek, Goodboys

2:24

If you could compare yourself with any animal, which would it be and why?

If I’m having a left-brain kind of day, an owl. If it’s a right-brain kind of day, a raccoon. Both are nocturnal, so we’ve got my sleep schedule covered. The owl is more analytical, thoughtful, and detail-oriented — that’s me when I’m calm and collected. The raccoon is curious, playful, and a bit mischievous — that’s me when I’m surrounded by the mess of my latest project at 3 a.m. and rooting through the refrigerator for snacks.

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