Blog | March 27, 2015

Meet the Team | Quick Tech Chat with Katie and Priyanka

by Matthew Hughes in Webdam Updates

Over the past year, Webdam has rapidly grown our team. In the spirit of Women’s History Month and promoting diversity in the workplace, we’re thrilled to introduce some of our newly hired women in tech. Webdam is committed to advancing men and women in tech by encouraging gender equality across roles. Gender equality in the workplace allows for more ideas and a greater range of skills, and as our CEO Jody Vandergriff says, “Gender equality also fosters the next generation of female leaders by providing like-minded role models and mentors that are often instrumental to one’s success.” 

So this week we sat down with software engineer Katie Verbeck and professional services project manager Priyanka Patil for a quick chat about tech and what it’s like to work at Webdam. Let’s start with Katie, one of Webdam’s PHP and Javascript developers. Katie attended Cornell University, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Information Science. Most recently, after joining Webdam, Katie worked on the latest release of our brand management product: Brand Connect.

What made you excited to join Webdam?

I was excited to join a growing team and I could tell from the interview process that this was a very encouraging work environment. After learning about some of the things the engineering team was working on, I was excited to play a role in developing the product. By recently joining the Brand Connect team I was given the opportunity to help build the product from the ground up.

What got you interested in programming?

I became interested in computers at a young age. My dad was a programmer and encouraged my siblings and I to use computers. I started coding in third grade by creating websites in HTML. I wanted to build pet pages for Neopets (virtual pets) and make my page look cooler than the other third graders’ pages. In middle school I wanted to customize the look and feel of a social networking platform my friends and I were using, so I learned more HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. I knew I wanted to do programming for most of my life. I enjoy learning new languages and I like the challenge of building a product. You learn a lot along the way and programming starts to become easier. There are always going to be difficult problems to tackle, but the more you learn, the faster you get at solving problems. Katie Verbeck

Any advice you’d give to new programmers?

Keep on practicing. Keep on building products and doing what you love. As a developer there are so many broad paths you can take. The more you practice, the more you begin to discover what you like. Next we’ll hear from Priyanka Patil, who works on the client services team. Priyanka attended University of Pune, where she received a Bachelor’s of Engineering in Electronics and Telecommunications. She later received a Masters of Science in Information Management from the University of Maryland College Park. Priyanka works with our customers to build customizations and gather feedback on product enhancements for our engineering team.

Why are you excited to join Webdam?

At Webdam, I’m able to wear many hats. I drive professional service projects, manage the pre-and-post sales lifecycle, and help with technical support. I interact with our customers and communicate their feedback to our technical team at Webdam. I get to collaborate with several teams, learn what they do, how they work, and gather a deeper picture of how our business runs, which will help me grow in my career. Webdam is a very fast growing company and everyone here, especially our CEO Jody Vandergriff and CTO Steve Rabkin, are always pumped about building our product. I’m very excited to work for them. Priyanka Patil

What interested you in the Webdam product?

In a digital age, marketing and creative teams are creating more and more brand materials to distribute to various stakeholders and channels. These teams need to work efficiently and it helps to have one centralized platform to create, collaborate, and distribute content. When I saw Webdam for the first time, I found it to be very easy to use and share creative files. I instantly saw why the cloud-based product would succeed. Webdam is a fast-growing product, with so much potential. I’m excited to work on the product and meet the needs of our customers.

Any advice you’d give to people who are starting in a technical professional service role?

Even if you want to go into a customer facing role, it’s extremely important to have a solid background in technology. You have to understand the technical basics of the field you’re entering. You don’t have to understand the backend in detail, but you have to know the basics and the high-level architecture of how the product functions to be successful. If you want to be a in a project management role, it helps to take project management professional (PMP) training courses where you learn the foundation of best practices in Project Management and learn how to assign tasks, when to have checkpoints, how to measure and gauge success, and so forth. By knowing the basics of project management you can put efficient and productive processes in place to help your team. And of course, it helps to get real-life project management experience.

Webdam is Hiring!

If you’re looking to gain experience in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment, where your ideas matter and your work has a true impact on the company, join our team at Webdam. We’re Hiring! We're Hiring!