Connector Spotlight: Shannon Klett
Thursday August 1, 2019
Tell us a little bit about what you’re working on.
I’m working on an Alexa voice skill for a leading American media organization. This is my first time working with Voice technology and it’s fascinating. Voice skill development as a whole is relatively new, so there’s lots of work to do to figure out best practices around user experience and automated testing. It’s really exciting to be working on a platform that’s still in its early stages and trying to discover and set these standards.
Any achievements or awards you can brag about?
I graduated top of my class in Computing at Queen’s University in 2016! Soon after that, I landed a job as a Software Engineer at Google from 2016 to 2018.
Wow, those are some great accomplishments! What did you do at Google?
I worked on Files, a storage management app built for the Next Billion Users. It was really exciting to help launch an app at Google and see it quickly reach millions of users. The most rewarding part was reading the app reviews and seeing how our work actually helped people. They could clear file space, which made their devices run smoother, and they loved our delightful touches as well!
During my time at Google, I learned a lot about user research and product development. I even travelled to India to participate hands-on in user research and experience the issues our users faced. This project really sparked my curiosity around how to build successful products, which ultimately brought me to Connected to explore further.
What are your two favourite things about working at Connected and why?
The people at Connected are amazing, but what’s really unique is how well the company connects people across the organization. There are so many opportunities to meet people, like Houses, socials, Donut friends, Thursday Roundtables, and knowledge sharing sessions (like Web Test Club and Discovery Clinic). Engaging with smart and passionate people definitely makes you excited to go to work, but it also means you have multiple resources and perspectives to pull on. Every person and project benefits from the collective knowledge and experience of the entire company.
I also think the work we do is really exciting. We have a huge variety of projects across industries and at various stages of the product development lifecycle. Through weekly demos, Delivery Clinic, and Discovery Clinic, we hear what everyone is working on and the challenges they face. It’s really exciting to learn and think about Voice Tech, XR, broadcasting, and micro-mobility, to name a few. At product companies, you tend to focus deeply on your specific sector; I really appreciate the variety of challenges that we tackle at Connected.
Those all sound amazing! So, after work, how do you personally like to disconnect?
I love dancing! I attend dance classes every week, like jazz, heels, and barre. It’s a great way to get your mind off the day because you have to focus on what you’re learning, plus you’re having fun! I also enjoy going for a walk and stretching my body through yoga. Thanks to Connected’s Run Club, I recently started running. I love enjoying the summer weather, increasing my endurance, and getting a company-provided smoothie after our group run.
What song is on repeat?
I love musicals, so that’s what I listen to most often. Next to Normal and The Last 5 Years are definitely my most listened to soundtracks. I also love singing along to In My Life/ A Heart Full Of Love from Les Miserables and One Day from Groundhog Day. I recently saw Jeremy Jordan perform Modern Broadway with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and have had Why Go Why? from Miss Saigon stuck in my head ever since!
What’s your favourite Toronto restaurant?
I love Dumpling House in Chinatown. It really blew me away the first time I ate there. The pan-fried pork and chive dumplings are an absolute must!
Aside from restaurants, what’s your favourite place in Toronto?
I like walking along the waterfront and watching planes take off and land at Billy Bishop airport.
Stay tuned for more profiles about the great people here at Connected.