4 Questions with Madelin Woords
An exciting interview with Square Front-End Engineer Madelin Woods.
Written by Katie.
We know you love the technical details of how we run things at Square, but we thought you might also love to meet the amazing people behind it. Meet Madelin!
What were you doing before Square?
Before Square, I was a designer at a local development agency, and previously worked as a web developer at Make Magazine. It’s an interesting and tough transition between design and code, but has ultimately shaped the way I approach problem solving.
I usually have a few personal side projects as well, to keep both sides of my brain sharp. Some of my previous side projects have included co-founding a design organization in college, building a resumé app with a designer friend, and more recently some smaller letterpressing, laser-cutting, and illustration projects.
How do you think your experience as a designer contributes to your work at Square?
Coming from the design world, you have to create and pay attention to all of the tiny little details. So, when you’re building things that come from other designers, it helps a lot if you know where to look for those details, and know how to deconstruct a design document.
As an engineer, it’s important to be able to understand how all of the pieces fit together. This isn’t just the technology, but also how users interact with your products, and how you interact within your team.
Our team has some of the most detail-oriented people I’ve ever met, and I think it really shows in every pixel we put out.
What’s your favorite part of being an engineer?
I get to build really exciting products all day! It’s really empowering to be able to sit down and build out your own ideas, and have a working culture that enables that.
Square’s focus on pair programming has also been an eye-opening experience. Having that kind of open environment allows for so much opportunity to learn from other people’s strengths. I’m still amazed at how much I’m actively teaching, learning, and getting done in any given day.
What are your favorite things to do when you’re not building amazing things at Square?
I love dancing. I’ve done a lot of salsa, and have recently dabbled in ballet and mixed dance classes. I also really love traveling, I try to get out of the country whenever possible. On weekends when I’m not wrapped up in a project or out of town, I usually find myself wandering around San Francisco, getting into all sorts of mischief.