<When we first interviewed Jenn in 2000 she was fresh out of Fine Arts and looking for a job, any kind of job that was somewhat related to her studies and passion; being creative. We looked at her portfolio (which was mainly drawings and sketches), asked her what she knew about the internet (not much) and promptly hired her. We needed someone creative and she clearly fit the bill. Over 10+ years later, she’s has grown into one of the most important and respected members of the Plank team.
Plank: Thanks Jenn! Here are 5 questions for you.
You were one of the original Plank employees and ended up in Taiwan from 2002-2006 until you rejoined us. How was the experience?
Jenn: It was absolutely wonderful. I fell in love with the place; the climate, the culture, the people — so many people!! Few are lucky enough to see first hand just how beautiful it is in Taiwan with its mountains and hot springs. I tend toward warm climates so it was paradise for me. I’m also grateful for the travel opportunities living there afforded me. I had the chance to get to know places I never thought I’d see: Australia, South Korea, Hong Kong, Vietnam, and Thailand, to name a few. But what I miss most was working with the kids. I was at an international school so I had the chance to learn about many different cultures — and kids are just wonderful. I still think about them often and wonder what they’re getting up to.
Plank: How much has your job changed since the early Plank days?
Jenn: When I left we were still building sites with table layouts, so you can imagine it was unrecognizable after 4 years away in Taiwan and it’s been 8 years since then. I basically had to relearn everything from scratch after being away that long — I owe much of that to the team — but it was exciting to see how much had changed.
Plank: What is the most recent CSS technique that has floored you? What are you most excited about with front end development?
Jenn: It would be difficult to identify any one thing. I am mostly floored by how quickly and broadly the game changed with CSS3/HTML5 — so much innovative potential. Now it’s just a question of what we will all do with it. It would obviously be a lot more fun if we didn’t have to consider support for certain relics (I won’t mention any names), but I suppose it could be said that it just adds to the challenge. In any case, I couldn’t live without SASS and SUSY grids frameworks — both huge time-savers.
Plank: Over the past 2-3 years you learnt how to play guitar and are damn good at it. What are your favourite songs to play?
Jenn: I can hardly claim to be any good at it, but I do enjoy it an awful lot. This month, I am mostly wrestling with The Man Who Sold the World — the Nirvana version, of course. Nothing against the Thin White Duke — it goes without saying, he is a musical god — I just prefer Nirvana’s unplugged. I also like to play a lot of Folsom Prison Blues and a couple old Stones tunes. But I’m always looking for new tunes to pick up. I love discovering that I can play an old favourite.
Plank: Vegetables or Poutine?
Jenn: Hmmm, 80% vegetables / 20% poutine. I wanna live for a little while longer, you know.