Welcome to the seventh edition of #FirebaserFriday!
We’re happy to introduce you to another member of the Firebase team, Andrea Wu! Andrea can be prominently found on the official Firebase YouTube channel helping answer questions on Remote Config and Personalization, getting started with various products for web, and much more. She has created a lot of content around Remote Config because she actually implemented new features for it (and other various products for engaging your users) on Firebase Console as a software engineer before she decided to try out Developer Relations Engineering. After trying it out, she decided to switch to the role because while she loves coding, she also enjoys interacting with people, and this role is a happy combination of both. Get to know Andrea below!
How did you get started with Firebase?
Well...shame on me, but the first time I heard of Firebase was when I interviewed at Google as a software engineer and was talking to a hiring manager of Firebase. I decided to join the team, and I remember my first few days just looking through our external documentation and learning about what all of the products do. The first time I actually used Firebase to build an app was during hackweek, which is our Firebase team’s week-long hackathon every half a year where we get to work with people we probably normally wouldn't work with on an aspect of the product we probably normally don't work on. I worked with some teammates to build an app that would catalog all of the informational boards we have around campus. Since then, I've done a few more hackweeks to get to know the product more and ironically, I initially learned a lot about Firebase through helping others by reading documentation (I've mentored at a ton of virtual hackathons). I'm happy to say though that I've now used Firebase for building apps too!
What's your favorite Firebase memory?
I sat on this question for quite a while...initially, my reaction was to think about all of the events I've been to, but then I realized my favorite Firebase moments are actually on my team day-to-day. The people I work with are caring, helpful, inspiring, and just really good at their job, amazing all around. The psychologically safe environment and the little things that make the culture great - from the openness about wanting feedback from others, to being able to ask questions without batting an eye, to being able to talk about diversity and inclusion (while helping and encouraging each other when we fall short) - are what I appreciate about being on this team. Yes, we get to work on a great product and we get to talk to amazing developers. I love attending events and chatting with people who use our product. But at the end of the day, when I get to spend every day with people I genuinely like and doing work I enjoy, all of these moments are my favorite memories, and I count myself lucky to get to work with such wonderful people.
How do you de-stress after a long day of work?
I don't get stressed at work, but to clear my mind and relax, I enjoy being outside, whether that means hiking, running, or walking - or some other form of physical activity. Being in nature and outdoors gives me mental clarity, time to abstract away from the details of life and reflect on a higher level. The endorphins keep my energy going for the rest of the day. And plus, some vitamin D is good for the body too! This assumes the sun is out, but since I live nomadically, I'm usually chasing good weather which means no snow and no rain unless I did something wrong.
What’s something that people would be surprised to find out about you?
I don't have a phone. Well, I technically have a brick phone that only does calling (no texting!), but it hasn't been charged for probably the last year or more. I don't need it and I don't want a smartphone, and my mind is a lot less cluttered without it. I have a GPS on the car to navigate, and I read paper maps if I'm walking around in a city. I have a laptop so it's not that I live without technology - I'm just not always connected, and my life is great. I still hang out with friends, get out into nature and adventure, go to events and meet people, travel, and live life mostly as any other person would. Plus, because most people who know me understand that I don't have a phone, I'm never expected to respond immediately because I literally can't, and I always live in the moment because there's no other option!
This monthly mini-profiles series features Firebase team members, aka “Firebasers”, from all around the world. Follow along to learn how these members of the team got started with Firebase, more about the Firebase products they work on, advice on how you can get started, and more. To read all the profiles in this series click here!