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ellen wondra

software engineer. pet herder. crafty.

My Values at Work: Iterate on Processes, Not People


This is the second in my series on my values at work! To read the first, go here

I'm looking for a job. This means that I am going through the job interviewing process, and talking with a lot of different people about myself, and which values I embody and need to share with my employer. One value that I embody to action, and that I often repeat, is this: iterate on processes, not people. But what does that mean?

Sometimes, in a group or an organization, it can be tempting to iterate on people until you get things right. By this, I mean, feedback loops are tied primarily to individual performance, and when the outcome is negative or the system fails, an individual is fired or removed and replaced, ad infinitum, until the right...

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My Values at Work: No Tech for ICE


What are my values at work?

Well, it's 2020, and I'm looking for work.

I'm a software engineer, in the field working since 2014, so theoretically the options are pretty endless. This, plus our political climate, mean that I have been thinking extensively about what I want in my next position. What are my values? Where do they begin and end? What are my values at work, and where do I embody them to exclusion--meaning, I do not want to entertain people or companies who do not share these values--vs. where do I embody them to action, places where I can do the work of helping make the world a better place by speaking truth to power, having difficult conversations, building tools to help people help themselves?

The truth is, I am...

my values at work no tech for ice ethics in tech
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Strange Loop 2019: Complexities of Color in Computing


Many, many months ago, I was lucky enough to give a talk at Strange Loop!

I truly didn't understand how great the opportunity was until I was there, talking with the other speakers about what they had gone through to get there. I am so grateful for the opportunity to share my perspective on the world for a little while. Since then, I've learned even more. I hope to have more opportunities to speak and share, to open minds and influence the tech community.

Please take a look at my talk below: Complexities of Color in Computing

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QR Cross-Stitch, Part 2: NOW WE'RE COOKING WITH GAS!!




Just wanted to update you all, since the last QR post has so many hits and I am having such a ding-dang good time creating more QR code art! 

After the last post, I did a little more research into QR codes. I learned a few things. First, the margin of error in a QR code is about 10%. This is how some artists will put pictures and things in their QR codes--you should see the beautiful works out there! This also means that most stitched QR codes are fine with a normal cross-stitch; you get a reliable scan without having to outline all of the boxes.

Secondly, I researched the border that is recommended for QR code scanning. The actual border they recommend is a quarter of an inch. I've...

qr code neat and nerdy cross-stitch crafts
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QR Cross-Stitch


Hey all! Last week, I sat down on my couch with my laptop (well, technically, a friend's laptop--THANK YOU, KERRI!!!) and made a lovely little QR code cross-stitch project! When you scan this QR code within the reach of my wifi network, you are logged on to my WiFi network! This is my write-up of that experience.

What is a QR code? 

QR code is an abbreviation of Quick Response code. It's an incredibly efficient way to store information, similar to a UPC barcode, but it scans more quickly and it can hold a lot more information. The information is stored as an image, typically a series of black squares on a white square background, though artists have been creating multicolored QR codes for years.

Squares on a white background...

qr code neat and nerdy cross-stitch crafts
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