PLANOLY People: Meet Kristel Teng

    March 19 2021

    PLANOLY People: Meet Kristel Teng

    March 19 2021  |  Interviews , PLANOLEADERS , People

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    We are excited to introduce our new blog series: PLANOLY People. PLANOLY wouldn’t be anything without the multi-faceted people behind it. Everyone is smart, inspiring, and fun to work with and we wanted to highlight that in this series. 

    Our first PLANOLY person is Senior Software Engineer Kristel Teng. Kristel is a fearless and progressive leader in our engineering department. She embodies each one of our core values by empowering her team to build smarter each day to bring a new product or feature to our customers. 

    Kristel sat down with us to share more about her software development experience, her team’s culture, and how she balances her work and personal life while raising two young daughters. Hint: It has something to do with turning lemons into lemonade. 

    What drew you to a career in tech, specifically software development? 

    I started as a graphic designer who helped build brands, along with designing products and packaging. It was a lot of fun dealing with manufacturers – brands like Mattel and Nickelodeon – and exercising my creativity to make innovative products to sell at Walmart, Sears, Bed Bath and Beyond, and more. 

    Despite it being fun and challenging to captivate customers’ minds with valuable products, I still wondered how I could reach more people and do more. I love creating and building things, and when I discovered what you could do with software, I knew it was the path for me.

     

    Tell us more about the engineering team. What do you like most about engineering culture? 

    At PLANOLY, we continuously seek to improve the product’s user experience and capabilities so that our users can thrive.

    The engineering team is very collaborative, both within engineering and with other teams. Creating great user experiences involves working intensely with Product Design, Quality Assurance, and Project Management and is a creative process that leads to a reliably good product.

    What makes us great and different at PLANOLY is that we care about each other and value everyone’s opinion. Strong connections and friendships are our strengths. We empower each other (truly) and we work together as a team – and that tight-knit collaboration enables us to create an excellent experience for our users.

    Our motto is “we win as a team.” It's important to check-in at the end of the day before signing off to make sure no one is drowning. That’s what makes me proud to be part of the team, and want to create the future of PLANOLY alongside my friends and teammates.

    I think it’s important to stop and spotlight your teammates’ accomplishments, whether it’s giving kudos on Slack or just taking a small moment to thank someone privately. What we also do is look back and recognize our accomplishments as a team at the end of every sprint. I’m glad we do both because it makes it a more appreciative environment.

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    Let’s pivot to some more personal questions. You have two daughters. What have you taught them about following their dreams and career goals? 

    My husband and I often remind the girls to be kind to others, and most importantly, to be kind to themselves. We tell them that they can achieve anything they set their minds to and not give up when things get tough.

    Our girls are now 7 and 9 years old. When they were younger, sometimes they would draw and make a mistake. This would get them frustrated and even get them crying. We would take that opportunity to turn that mistake into a new creation.

    This is another thing we teach them: to turn lemons into lemonade.

    We make sure to tell our children that even we, the parents, are humans just like them. We show them that it’s okay to be vulnerable, to have emotions, and to have ups and downs. Sometimes when things are hard, something as small as a hug or a smile can make a world of difference. 

    Every day, my children ask me how my day is going. And then if I say it's a bad day they say, "Do you need a hug? Do you need some hot water?" And it's the best feeling.

     

    After work hours, how do you unwind? What are some tips for having a healthy work and life balance? 

    I love spending time with my family, watching TV, or just hanging out. Sometimes we spend a quiet moment as a family: we stay close, and everyone reads their book together. 

     

    What are you most proud of recently?

    I am most proud of what my daughters taught me. Every evening, during dinner, the girls have a tradition of getting everyone to say what they are thankful for. It makes us be in the present and appreciate every little thing in life.

    In life, everyone is at times a student and at times a teacher.

     

    More to come from the People of PLANOLY.  Check back in soon to hear more and in the meantime, meet our new CEO, Christina Martinez! 

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    Learn more about Carrie Boswell, on PLANOLY

    Carrie Boswell

    Carrie Boswell is the Digital Marketing Content Specialist at PLANOLY. She is always finding ways to include pop culture and the Gen Z perspective into the content we create for marketers and small business owners.

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