Featured Tamer: Tara
We're turning our Featured Tamer spotlight on a very creative member of the tamer team. Meet Tara, our Senior Product Designer.
1. You were one of cloudtamer.io’s first hires. What's it been like to watch the company evolve and grow?
I’ve been working on cloudtamer.io for about three years now and it’s been an incredibly rewarding experience. Seeing our company grow from a small group in Maryland to an organization with employees in multiple states has been inspiring. The fact that we were able to grow so quickly while maintaining and building a positive company culture is the result of having an incredible leadership team.
2. For our readers who don’t know, what is your position at cloudtamer.io?
As a product designer on a small team, I’m involved in all aspects of the UX/UI design process from discovery to implementation, so I get to rotate between many hats and what I’m doing can be different from day to day. I have the pleasure of helping to shape the user experience throughout the app and the way the user interface looks visually, all while helping to solve interesting and complex problems. By the way - I'm looking for a new team member!
3. What advice would you give a new designer entering the field?
The design landscape is always changing so my best advice would be to learn as much as possible by seeking out best practices, but more importantly, by doing.
One thing that I wish I had done earlier in my career is listen to more design podcasts. Getting the perspective of those in the industry, at companies both large and small, is really insightful. Simply listening to designers talk to each other about issues they’ve encountered or ways that they’ve solved a problem has been really valuable.
Two design podcasts I like are the New Layer podcast and the Design Details podcast.
While I don’t advocate that designers work for free in most cases, I know I learn most by doing. If you’re just starting out and unsure whether your skills are up to par or you can’t land a paid gig, consider doing design work for nonprofits. Nonprofits need branding, marketing collateral, web and mobile app UX/UI design, and more - so you can do something great for your community while honing your design skills!
Lastly, get yourself a design mentor. Finding someone to whom you can show work and get constructive criticism can be invaluable!
4. What’s a recent project that you’ve enjoyed working on?
Recently, we added a new feature to cloudtamer.io called continuous compliance. This was a large and challenging undertaking (and the feature is still evolving and progressing). I’ve really enjoyed collaborating with many different people on the team and across departments to understand the constraints, identify the user needs, and provide viable solutions.
5. You’re back in school currently, what are you pursuing?
Yes! I’m currently in UMBC’s Human-Centered Computing masters program and I’m two classes in! It’s been fun to learn more about guiding usability principles.
6. You’ve been spearheading cloudtamer.io’s community service efforts. Tell us a little about those.
I’ve had the pleasure of coordinating some of cloudtamer.io’s first community service activities. One way that cloudtamer.io has given back was through an event called Make a Mark Baltimore, a 12-hour marathon that provides non-profits with design or development work. Some volunteers from cloudtamer.io and myself were part of a team that redesigned an entire website for the Women’s Law Center of Baltimore.
Another community service activity that we did as a company was partner with the Patapsco Heritage Greenway to help clean up the Patapsco River. I love working for a company that cares so much about the community.
7. It seems like cloudtamer.io is full of animal lovers. How are your four-legged coworkers adjusting to having you work from home during this time?
I have two kittens, Lorde and Lydia. They are very spoiled and are loving having my husband Justin and I work from home!
Justin, Lorde, Lydia. But no Tara!
Ashley is the operations specialist at cloudtamer.io.