Show and Tell: Elizabeth Kelly

A Q&A with an IXL Senior Engineer

December 6, 2018

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Life at IXL

Meet Elizabeth Kelly, a senior software engineer at IXL! We talked with Elizabeth about why she joined IXL, what a typical workday is like, and the pursuit of peaceful solo hobbies. Read on to learn more:

The Basics

Name and title: Elizabeth Kelly, Senior Engineer II

Has been at IXL for: Almost 4 years

Hometown and current city: From Illinois. Currently lives in Foster City, Calif.

 

Life at IXL

What do you do at IXL? Give us a taste of what a typical day at work is like for you.

I’ve done a lot of work on the Continuous Diagnostic and I’m currently managing a project to update our Help Center. A typical day for me includes coding, code reviews, and answering questions from new hires. There might also be a team meeting; every month we give presentations on things we’ve worked on recently or learn about something that another team has worked on that affects us. We also have a monthly hangout where we play games and get boba tea.

What skills/qualities does it take to do your job?

The ability to adapt to actual code that’s used by lots of people is really important, and it’s something a new grad might not necessarily know. When I came to work at IXL, I didn’t have a lot of experience writing code that was maintainable and readable, especially when you come back to it months later. I learned to leave comments that are actually helpful and organize projects so that other people could work on them down the line.

What do you like about working at IXL?

I like that I make real changes that people use every day. When you see blurbs from people saying how much they like IXL a lot of times they mention IXL Analytics, especially the Real-Time Center, which I worked on. I also just like the people here. They’re friendly and they know what they’re doing.

 

Life beyond IXL

What do you like to do in your free time?

I like peaceful solo hobbies like sewing, reading, knitting. And I volunteer at church.

Tell us about someone you admire.

I admire my mom, who’s an incredibly patient and forgiving person. I once took her wedding veil, which had been her mom’s wedding veil, and cut it up to make doll clothes. She looked mildly distressed, and took away the scraps to hide somewhere safe, but she didn’t get mad at me. I was 20 years old.

What’s the best piece of advice someone has given you?

I’m a pretty introverted person and my dad told me recently that I should start scheduling time for hanging out with people, so that I have to get out and make friends. So I signed up for the IXL ski trip. A bunch of people rent a house and go skiing or snowboarding. I don’t do either, but I’m in for the board games!

 

Just for fun

If you were an animal what would you be and why?

Does a dragon count? I’d get to fly everywhere. Plus, I get cold very easily so breathing fire would help.

Let’s play “this or that”! Answer as quickly as you can:

  • Coffee or tea? Tea.
  • PC or mac? PC.
  • Dogs or cats? Dogs.
  • Phone call or text? Text.
  • Early bird or night owl? Moderation in all things.
  • Pizza or burrito? Pizza.
  • Summer or winter? Summer.

 

Want to join Elizabeth’s team? We have engineer openings! Apply here.

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