I’m Jen. I’m a mom, engineer, scientist, psychologist, triathlete, learner, thinker, leader, and someone who finds great satisfaction in the challenges encountered in progress and achievement.
In her viral Ted Talk, Carol Dweck outlined two types of mindsets: The Fixed Mindset and The Growth Mindset. We should teach our children that potential and success is not in any one innate quality, but rather within the processes of the growth mindset. Growth, being an iterative process, is constant.
I identify with such a mindset. Every decision we make brings us another opportunity, we only need to know where to look. One is not “wrong”, rather one is “not quite right” or “it didn’t quite work out”. With the results of that experiment ran, we can iterate, tune, and refine our understanding until we reach our desired goals.
I enjoy experimenting with this approach in my everyday life — I cannot deny it! It runs my thought process. Mind follows body, and body follows breath. With practice, we “automate” and program our brains with effective heuristics so that we may spend time on the things that matter and the things that will help us reach our goals.
It is these thoughts I try and instill in my children.
I’ve a PhD in Visual Neuroscience and two masters degrees (Computer Science and Psychology). I taught statistics for almost 10 years at the university level. The takeaway from all of that education is that, we should trust the data, and not our psyches. In data and science we can find truths, and in psychology, we find human understanding, compassion, and effective leadership.
Give me automation. Give me data. Give me infallible processes, or if they are flawed, let’s iterate until we find our optimum. Give me your candid feedback and you’ll be my new favorite. Without data, how can we improve? Without feedback, how can we ever grow?
In a previous life, I successfully built out a complete department of Software Engineering from the ground up. I am an extremely hands-on leader — how can I understand what my engineers encounter on their day-to-day if I am not in the weeds with them? This type of understanding is fundamental lest you risk finding yourself in a leadership bubble (and completely out of touch). I have experience in nearly everything including: Product, Project Management, SCRUM master, Front-End and Back-End development, Database queries, API consumption, QA, and DevOps.