December 16, 2021

6 Questions with Hannah Juett: The Internal Projects Team, Coding While Traveling, and Being a Lefty in a Right-handed World


Felipe Espinosa

I promise this isn’t a blog series to spotlight all my work friends, but coincidentally, today’s feature happens to be a teammate who I’ve had the honor to work with before.

At Nexient, she’s very well-known because of her hard work, adventurous mind, and passion for supporting and empowering women in tech.

Please join me in welcoming Hannah Juett, the third and last 2021 feature of our blog series, six questions with Nexient team members who you really need to meet.

Give us a quick summary of who you are, what you do at Nexient, and how you got here.

My name is Hannah Juett, and I am aSenior Developer I in the Internal Projects team at Nexient. Here, I am the back-end team lead, and I help keep our developers engaged with interesting work.

How I got here? Well, I got to Nexient after working in a very diverse set of industries.

I spent 15 years seeking adventure and travel, so I was basically working whatever job suited my fancy. In fact, I had dozens of jobs during that time – ranging from a ski instructor to waitress, or organic farmer, to bike mechanic.

I like to think of this period in my life as a journey of lifelong learning where I gained a bunch of skills and was able to apply myself in a wide variety of situations.

But as for how I landed in software development, there are a few reasons that influenced my decision to pursue this career. I think my main motivation, in the beginning, was that I wanted to have a good job which I could do remotely so that I could travel and spend time with my sister and her kids who live in Spain.

I always wanted to have a close relationship with my nephew and my niece, but because of the distance and work– I wasn’t able to spend enough time with them. So, I made it my goal to have a job I could do anywhere and that didn’t require me to have more than a computer and an internet connection.

And now, here I am. And I'm stoked that Nexient took a chance on me.

What kind of problems are you and your team working on and which one has been your favorite one so far?

My team and I work on developing a couple of different tools to help manage Nexient's interaction with clients.From the agreement stage all the way through to staffing a project.

We're also working on revamping our internal employee portal.

I don't know if I can choose, like, a favorite project – but I will say that I love the process of what we do.

Our team follows the Agile methodology – and I love how I get to be a part of the process of understanding the problem, designing the solution, writing and testing the code, and then working with the end-users to find and fix any bugs.

Also, thanks to the fact that our team is so connected with our stakeholders, we are able to keep a pretty fast pace of development – which is something I really like and appreciate.

I love how I get to build depth in my understanding of the frameworks that we use. I also enjoy how we work with dozens of internal micro services and how we're regularly developing new ones.

We code in Java while using SpringBoot, Hibernate, and MariaDB. Then, we serve it up to the frontend by integrating the APIs through GraphQL.

What's the toughest part of your role?

I think in my role, the biggest challenge is to keep up with the constant shapeshifting of our team.

By design, most of the developers who work on our team are doing so while they wait to be allocated on a different client project or as a new hire before being placed on their first client project. That means that they can be on our team anywhere from, like, a few days to a couple of months. 

So, keeping up with this constant flow of meeting new devs, learning about their strengths, and working hard to build trust and camaraderie with them requires a lot of energy.

Luckily, I can draw on the skills that I developed as a solo world traveler, or bartender, or river guide to quickly and accurately assess people while building these work relationships.

I also think this aspect of my job is awesome because we get so many different skill sets coming through the project. Working with so many different people is an amazing way to learn quickly. Those are things you don’t always get the chance to experience when working in a traditional team. 

You’re also the coordinator of ourWomen in Nexient (WIN) resource group. What motivated you to step up to this role and what do you like the most about it?

While I've worked in many male-dominated industries, I've always managed to find my own crew of ladies in each one. And in each scenario, having the support of my women peers was an invaluable driver for my growth and also my passion.

So, coordinating WIN allows me to help ensure that other women at Nexient are experiencing that positive impact and the support they need to grow their careers.

As for what I like the most about this experience, it is the fact that while we come from different levels of the organization, we are all peers in WIN. This makes our WIN community a great source of different perspectives and experiences, which we can draw on for support and advice.

So, you love to travel a lot and get to do it more often now that Nexient supports remote and hybrid jobs. What has been your experience so far?

I love to travel, and I did a lot of traveling before – but I never had very much money when I did it. I’d also have to travel between seasonal jobs. So, now that I have a stable job that I don't have to quit even if I want to travel – it's a huge deal for me. It's a total game-changer and a dream come true. 

Last summer, for example, I was able to pick up a couple of portable monitors and fly off to go work from HoodRiver, Oregon. So, I spent about five weeks out there. And my team works on East Coast time, so that worked out really great for allowing me time for adventures.

Each day, I would wake up and work under East Coast time hours. That meant I was working from 6:00 a.m. to 2:00p.m. local time, which left me around seven hours of daylight to go kiteboarding in the Columbia River, hiking on Mount Hood, and visiting with other friends who live out there.

What’s your most useless talent?

I was trying to come up with something useless, but now that I think about it – this is a very useful skill.

Anyway, I think my most useless talent is being able to navigate this right-handed world as a left-handed person.

This whole world is set up for right-handed people: buttons, zippers, door handles, scissors, sports equipment, etc. Like, good luck finding a left-handed hockey stick at the pickup game. So, I feel very proud of my ability to get by as a lefty in this world.

“6 Questions With” is a Nexient monthly blog series that spotlights some of our best and most talented team members who are doing great work. If you missed last month’s edition, you can check it out here.

Be sure to keep an eye out for our next feature to learn more about the #NexientTeam!

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