What do you do at Amium?
My name is Karen and I’m a software engineer at Amium. I spend most of my time building the user interface for Amium on desktop and web!
What is the most interesting thing you’ve done at Amium?
Before there was Amium, I got to investigate ways to revamp our old desktop client, since our previous application’s UI was far out of date. I built a proof-of-concept using Electron and ReactJS, back when the former was bleeding-edge new and we learned that this kind of development was viable for the kinds of tasks we wanted to support. That prototype went through several iterations: it became “aeroIM”, then “Eyja”, and finally Amium!
What kind of challenges have you faced at Amium? How does the team support you when working through a challenge?
For some reason, almost every time we update the backend container architecture or tooling, the developer environment on my laptop explodes. While I used to do backend development, the intricacies of Linux and Docker containers are definitely not my forte! Fortunately, the engineering team at Amium is full of helpful folks who hang out in our #help chatroom and will happily come over to diagnose and treat my gremlin-induced container issues. So, I’m able to get back to work putting pixels in the right places without too much delay!
What’s your favorite thing about working at Amium?
I like that the engineering team has people with a variety of backgrounds, who care about things besides just computers. I think being a well-rounded team helps us be more product-focused; everybody’s willing to think about what users need and ask whether we’re building the right thing.
How do you use Amium and what makes it different from other tools you use?
I lurk in a few different projects — it makes it easy for me to e.g. get tagged in #design on a mockup file for something relevant to what I’m working on at the moment and provide quick feedback. Most of my chatting happens in the chatrooms–#help, #team-feedback where we report bugs and suggest feature requests, and our “random”/off-topic chatroom, #strictly-curated. I’m also a member of a chatroom for my current project with just a few other developers. I like how easy it is in Amium to access project files–to reference the latest design mockups, for instance. I’ve used Slack for chat, but I never found its file features useful.
What excites you the most about new Amium features/what is your favorite feature?
Teams! I kind of like that the default in Amium is to only see the chats that you’ve been invited to–it cuts down on the noise and uncertainty of which channels are “important” and which ones are kinda dead. However, I also like the idea of being able to see what chatrooms and projects exist that I can join, rather than having to wait for an invite. I think the new Teams will strike a nice balance between finding the most interesting channels and cutting down on unnecessary noise.
What do you like to do in your time away from work?
I like to do puzzles and go hiking with my seven-month-old, Bjorn. I’ve also been playing a lot of “Breath of the Wild” lately, which is kind of like both at once.
If you could do anything you wanted (not for a job), what would it be?
Probably hole up in a cozy forest cabin, draw cute cartoons, and register stupid domain names and put single-serving sites on them.