In this blog post in our interview series, I would like to introduce you to Rikki Swetzof. She interned with us during the summer of 2016.
Meet Rikki. She is observant, tenacious, quick to learn, and easy to talk to. Before her internship ended, I had the pleasure of asking her some questions. Please see her answers below.
Name, Company, Title, City
Rikki Swetzof, Infinity Interactive, Intern, Lincoln City, Oregon
When did you first work with Infinity?
I began as an intern in June 2016.
What are six words you think of when you think of Infinity?
Nimble. Knowledgeable. Creative. Well-rounded. Responsive. Helpful.
Love that you chose “nimble”. Tell me more about why that came to mind.
Because of the way that Infinity is structured and the wide range of knowledge here. Infinity is able to very quickly tackle new and exciting projects. The first word that really came to mind was “agile”, but I used “nimble” instead.
In what ways do you find the ‘real world’ software projects different from your school projects?
They’re definitely more complex, with more moving parts, and a bigger impact. On a school project the impact of a mistake is only on me, but here the implications are much further felt. I’m thankful for the tools and processes Infinity has in place to ensure things are done correctly. And I love that I’m working on projects here that are actually used and helpful in the "real world".
Do you feel like you have learned new and useful skills while interning with us?
Absolutely! I think one of the most important things I have experienced here is working as part of a team and everything that comes with that ranging from version control all the way to teamwork.
Have you worked remotely before? How do you feel about working from home?
I have, in a limited capacity, as a Realtor, but it was a different and more solitary feeling. I enjoy working from home for Infinity, it’s the best of both worlds. I mean there’s no dress-code and I have the ability to chat with my co-workers any time I need to.
What made you decide to stop being a Realtor and study computer science?
It took me some time to figure out what I wanted to be when I “grew up”, and it just finally came full circle. I got my first taste of programming in junior high, when I moved to town too late for registration and was put into a programming class (Apple Basic). I still have my dot-matrix printed final project lovingly packed away with other precious childhood memories. Fast-forward to adulthood, and I mostly worked in office positions that would inevitably result in fixing computer problems or designing databases. I was a Realtor from 2006-2008 (during the housing bubble) and loved helping people find their perfect home, but I realized a couple of important things about myself: real estate is volatile and I prefer a little more security, and I should do what I had always loved, help people through programming.
What are six words to describe technology in your work? In your life?
Evolving. Fast. Necessary. Ever-present. Fun. Challenging.
What is your favorite mode of transportation and why?
Motorcycle! Riding a motorcycle allows you to actually experience the trip. You can ride slow and smell the flowers or ride fast and experience the rush of everything blurring past. Most importantly you choose the ride you want.
Here's my motorcycle (her name is Scarlet); she’s a Ninja 650R.
Is riding a hobby for you, or do you ride your motorcycle everywhere you go? Do you like riding fast or slow?
Riding is a hobby, I recently moved from Alaska where the riding season is very short. Also, very sadly, I sold my motorcycle before the move. Once we are more settled here, I will be looking for a new ride. Fast or slow? It’s hard to pick one. One of the best things about being on a motorcycle is experiencing life around you; riding slow through a town or neighborhood where you can smell the fresh-cut grass or what people are barbequing for dinner is pretty mesmerizing.
Are you a native of Alaska? What brought you to Oregon?
No, I was born in Oregon and spent my childhood between Oregon, Washington, and Alaska. My husband is originally from Alaska and we still have family there. We left because we were both ready for a change of pace, and some warmer weather. We have family here in Oregon as well. It’s actually a bit of a homecoming.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
The ability to manipulate time, whether it is to travel back and forth or slow down and speed up. Pet Peeve: when people “X” off days on the calendar as they pass. It’s like they’re serving a life sentence…one…day…closer…to what?! Embrace now! Go for a walk! Hug your kids! Sorry for the tangent, but if I could have one superpower, it would definitely be to manipulate time to properly appreciate every minute of it.
What is one thing you think people might not know about Infinity, but should?
I think that Infinity’s strength is in its employees’ breadth and depth of knowledge. The team consists of people with such a wide range of interests and expertise. It’s pretty incredible, really. If you were to put together some type of metrics on how many years of experience Infinity has in different technology categories, it would be an impressive sight. And equally as important is how genuinely nice and down to earth everyone is.