Five questions for Fanny Andersson
Polestar Software Engineer Fanny Andersson on diversity, technology, and befriending Google.
What is the best part of your job?
I’ve now worked as a software engineer for about four years (two of them at Polestar) and I would say that the best part of my job is that I get to learn new stuff every day, since people are more than happy to share their knowledge. It really motivates me.
We’re working with something I find really, really interesting and we’re doing it all from scratch. It’s complex and requires a lot of problem-solving, which I love and hate at the same time. It’s safe to say that patience is needed when working with a task you’ve never done before. Another thing I love about my job is that we’re working in a code stack that is new compared to what I used to work with before. And I also love the fact that we always strive to make the code cleaner and better.
In this line of work, it’s good to remember that Google is a friend, always. If you’re an expert at Google, it will help you a lot. So be patient, and learn to love Google, and the job is yours!
How does the reality of your job compare with what people think you do?
When I talk about my job lots of people assume that I am a hacker. That all I do is drink coffee and do code. Or that I can help out with IT support stuff and build your computer. But that’s not what I do. As a software engineer, you sit in technical meetings with stakeholders and businesses, to make sure that everyone involved is working toward the same goal. I’ll describe it a little bit so that you’ll get a better understanding of what it looks like.
Every morning we have a ‘’stand-up’’ with the dev team. This means we go around the table and tell everyone what we did yesterday, what we will be working on today, and if we have any blockers. After that, we’ll work on some tasks. In some cases, we’ll try to do some pair programming since sharing knowledge is key here. Then we have something called User Acceptance Testing (UAT) demo, which means we present what we have built or worked on so that our tech lead can approve the changes and see that everything works as it should. We mostly try to show the frontend cases, but if there are backend tasks that might be easy to show we try to do that as well. Then we have a retrospective (which is a favourite of mine). It’s a team session where we share reflections on our sprint.
What makes you hopeful for the future?
What makes me hopeful for the future might sound like a cliché, but humans and technology. To see people help each other out and stand up for what is right. We need more of that. And I believe we’ll get it in the future. And also, technology. Since we’re working more towards sustainability, I believe that technology will have a bigger impact on the future.
What’s your favourite way to spend a day off?
I’m a weird morning person who loves to spend my mornings watching Nyhetsmorgon and having a good cup of coffee. And I love to swim in the ocean, I do it once a month (yes, I’m a crazy person who loves winter baths). I also love to spend time with my family. No kids, but two cats and my soon-to-be wife, Matilda. Other than that, I have a big interest in beer, and I like to brew my own. I also create my own music. I think I am a restless, creative soul. But right now, most of my spare time is spent planning my big wedding.
If you had a superpower, what would it be?
Oh, tough question. There are so many of them. But if I could have any superpower I want, it would be the power to create a world where everyone can be who they are, without feeling any fear of showing their love or just showing themselves. There are so many people that can’t be open with who they are today, and that makes me really sad when I think of my own journey. So, I would create a diverse and inclusive world.
Design Fest Ghent: caramel, corn, and circular creations
When visiting Ghent this spring, one may have caught the smell of caramel, sugar cane, and corn. Especially around Brabantdam 31. Not because the circus was in town, but because of another event. Design Fest Ghent, a new biennial design festival, showcases ground-breaking designs and sustainable innovations. Like the sweet-smelling, circular creation BreaZea.