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Meet Andrea

Steve Gilles
Jan 24
 - In 

What's your background? Where were you before joining Lookahead?

Most recently, I was working as a full stack developer in San Francisco, helping build government apps in Golang and React. Before that, I worked with Python/Django and JavaScript at an augmented reality game company, which was my first gig out of coding bootcamp. In a past life, I taught English as a foreign language in southern Spain at a university for 6 years, and also worked as a server and barista in restaurants and cafés in California.

Why did you join Lookahead?

I was looking for something a bit different, but adjacent to, the roles and responsibilities that I'd taken on over my years as an engineer. I've always enjoyed talking to people and learning about their backgrounds, and everyone I met at Lookahead during the interview process was so interesting and impressive, that I felt like it would be a wonderful team to join to learn the skills of technical recruiting.

What are you passionate about?

Music (playing/writing/listening) and sewing.

What was the last book you read or podcast you listened to?

The last couple of years have got me thinking a lot about individual and collective trauma, so I started reading "The Body Keeps The Score" by Bessel Van Der Kolk, which is a fascinating exploration into the psychology and biology of trauma (both complex and PTSD). It draws from years of research to show how our brains and bodies are literally reshaped by traumatic events and suggest links between mental health issues not usually believed to be associated with one's developmental history. I love that it takes a holistic view of health, that it not only outlines the problem space but goes into depth about alternative types of treatment, and that it questions commonly-held and frankly inaccurate assumptions about the causes and treatments of physical and mental health issues.

One of my favorite reads this last year was "Crying in H Mart" by Michelle Zauner, the lead singer of the band Japanese Breakfast. Having grown up on the west coast of the U.S. as the product of a first generation Taiwanese mother and a white/American father, whose very first love was music, I couldn't help but be swept up by Michelle's life story and how she got to where she is today.

Finally, I'm halfway through "Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants" by Robin Wall Kimmerer, which is a great book, and has made me realize the complex ways we as a species relate and need other people, plants, and animals. It also makes me really appreciate trees.

If you were not at Lookahead where would you be working or what is your dream job?

A recording/performing musician and quilt designer (doing each part time :))

First Car?

A 1992 Toyota Corolla with manual transmission. I'm happy I learnt how to drive a stickshift first, and on the very flat, unhilly streets of Los Angeles.

Proudest Accomplishment?

Moving across the world to Sydney from California during the height of the pandemic in 2020.

What piece of technology seems like magic to you?

The internet. Having grown up (partly) without it, it's still hard to grasp the enormous impact it's had and how much it has transformed the way we engage with each other.

What's on your Bucket List?

I would love to see Uluru, go to Tasmania, travel throughout Southeast Asia, learn Italian, remember how to speak Mandarin, and make a queen-size quilt by hand.

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