Why We Serve: Amy Quispe

In this series you’ll hear stories from USDSers and learn why they decided to join, why they stay, and how their work is making an impact for all Americans.

Amy Quispe (she/ella), Engineer @ USDS HQ. Previously at Facebook. From Corona, Queens.

What’s your background?

I usually describe my career as “very Silicon Valley” — I’ve been at both large and small tech companies in San Francisco and New York City. I started programming as a kid, thanks to my middle school math teacher. I was lucky enough to go to Stuyvesant High School, which had an extensive computer science curriculum, and then attended college at Carnegie Mellon’s School of Computer Science. Despite being a lifelong nerd, I was not a stereotypical programmer, especially as a Latina from Queens — but being different has always been a strength of mine.

What inspired you to join USDS?

I remember hearing the story of Healthcare.gov back in the day. And when I was working at Google — this must have been 2014 or 2015 — Mikey Dickerson came to speak, and I remember being deeply inspired about this kind of work. There’s a lot of discourse in the tech world about impact at startups vs. large companies, but the kind of work USDS was doing? No competition. I almost joined twice in the last few years, but the stars never quite aligned. Then, the pandemic hit, and I knew it was time.

Now more than ever, it was imperative that government services work, and I had both the drive and the skills to help.

How has your experience been starting fully remote?

I started in May 2020, and it was a really rough start. USDS throws you in the deep end, and when you’re trying to connect to VPN and haven’t met anyone in person, the deep end gets just a bit deeper. That being said, it’s been about nine months and we’ve all had to adjust to working remotely, and many more people have on-boarded remotely after me. Learning how to be effective in this environment has also given me the opportunity to help shape the culture.

What are you working on right now and how does it help people?

One of the best things about working here is having clarity about how you’re helping people is a pre-requisite for any project. Before I joined, I was helping friends and family deal with navigating unemployment. Then I joined USDS and suddenly I was helping fix the very same systems that people I knew were relying on. Currently I’m working on a project related to vaccines, and I’m similarly excited to be fixing the problems in my immediate world. Technology allows you to scale. When I use technology to fix a problem in my life, I can simultaneously solve the same problem for the entire country.

The best of technology.
The best of government.
And we want you.

We’re looking for the most tenacious designers, software engineers, product managers, and more, who are committed to untangling, rewiring and redesigning critical government services. You’ll join a team of the most talented technologists from across the private sector and government.
If you have questions regarding employment with the U.S. Digital Service, please contact us at usds@omb.eop.gov or visit our Hiring FAQ.

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United States Digital Service

United States Digital Service

27K Followers

The U.S. Digital Service is a group of mission-driven professionals who are passionate about delivering better government services to the public.