hi - i'm alaina
i am a former teacher turned software engineer who loves funky challenges, whimsical user experiences, and being the best personality hire i can be (jokes, jokes).
my path to becoming a software engineer was certainly a bumpy one. starting off as an english teacher, i quickly realized the classroom wasn't for me (i would not have liked the current alaina, who loves all lower case, but we live and we learn). i learned so, so, so much, but more on that in a bit. after leaving the classroom, i became a loan processor. the company i was with created a technology bootcamp of sorts that i was a part of, and the rest is history.
i started off in the fin-tech world, but was focused on building internal tools for our engineering teams, allowing them to build and ship code safely and quickly. then, i transitioned into the wonderful world of email marketing, where i am still at today. i started out working on projects that helped users onboard onto a very robust platform, transitioned into a growth team focused on experiments throughout the entire platform to expand understanding in the platform and reduce churn, and now i build internal tools to help technical support work through very challenging problems.
reflecting on my time in my classroom with my 12th graders, i will be honest, i was not the world's best teacher, no matter what my coffee mug tells you. but the one thing i did very well was foster relationships with my students and guide them through the next step in their lives after high school. talking with my students and learning about their hopes and dreams and goals and wishes was the best part of any day. now, as an engineer, i use that skill and mentor as many people as i can, especially those who are transitioning into technology in a non-traditional way. diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging is also a passion of mine. as someone who doesn't always look like what one would picture when thinking "engineer," i care so incredibly much about building diverse teams with even more diverse voices, fighting for equity in the workplace, and trying to foster the most welcoming culture i can to make sure everyone feels comfortable and that they belong.
i am originally from toledo, ohio. i know, i know, ohio is the butt of a lot of jokes, but give me five minutes to talk to you about cincinnati (go bearcats!) and i think i'll change your mind. i moved to detroit after college to teach and have stayed in the mitten ever since. my fiancé and i are now building our dream house in ann arbor (go blue, etc. etc.). if i'm not building stuff and things, i am collecting another cookbook, scrolling through tiktok, obsessing over my perfect cat, and trying to convince my fiancé to learn how to play pickleball.