Spotlight: Women of AppDynamics

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Welcome back to our Women of AppDynamics series, our showcase of the female talent at AppDynamics. Here, we celebrate the women who serve as both architects for modern technology and role models to all young women. What is it really like to be a woman in tech? Is it possible to achieve success without being pegged as “too aggressive?” In our recent When She Speaks: Women in Leadership meetup, our panelists encouraged us to be courageous enough to first know then speak your mind with clarity, to be strong and open enough to learn how others respond to you, and to coach and support others around you to do the same.

Each of our panelists reflected these admirable brand traits:

  • A results orientated mindset
  • A strong, centered, perseverance that can move mountains
  • An authentic, trustworthy, passionate communicator
  • A courageous, curious, learning-agile, and humble leader-under-development
  • An others-centric mentality which makes them great listeners and communicators

When She Speaks: Women in Leadership: (L to R) Linda Holroyd – CEO FountainBlue, Nandini Ramani – VP Engineering Twitter, Steph Douglass – VP People & Culture OpenTable, Gwen Tillman – Head of People Development AppDynamics, Shannon Eis – VP Corporate Communications Yelp


Taking the time to learn how you’d like to be perceived, and also the strength and curiosity to understand how you’re showing up and how you’re perceived by others are fundamental to successfully establishing your professional brand. Surrounding ourselves with a support network, a ‘board of directors’ that would help us succeed – ranging from mentors, friends and colleagues who will support us unconditionally and to help us keep true to ourselves. Please welcome our next three incredible female leaders who have developed their own very different brands and established themselves as key players in tech. From PR to Recruiting, to our engineers, each contribute in establishing AppDynamics as a leader in the APM field. PR puts our company on the map to drive recognition and sales, while Recruiting helps us hire the top engineers that build our products.

The Communications Catalyst: Laura Spaventa – Senior PR Manager

Q: What do you do as the Senior PR Manager?

A: I work with stakeholders throughout the company to get the word out about AppDynamics through various formats— product news, customer stories, press releases, media placements, thought leadership pieces, etc. Essentially, the communications team is the mouthpiece for the company and we work to give the public/potential customers perspective on what AppDynamics does and why they should care.

Q: What is your proudest accomplishment at AppDynamics?

A: Last quarter I won a Q4 Top Performer Award and a spot on Club. It’s always an honor to be recognized in front of peers, especially at a company like AppDynamics. However, I had overcome several challenging obstacles that quarter, so it made the moment all the more sweet and was a lesson in perseverance.

Q: What excites you about working at AppDynamics?

A: Hands down, the customers. From day one at AppDynamics, I’ve been amazed by how passionate our customers are about AppDynamics’ platform. I work closely with our sales team to share our customer stories, and not only is it exciting to work with some of the top brands in the world, but it is so impressive to hear how big of an impact our platform has had on these companies and their businesses.

Q: What advice do you have for young women who want to pursue a career in tech?

A: It won’t be easy. Tech is still an evolving field and you will run up against situations that will challenge you personally and professionally. One of my former managers told me a Steve Martin quote that has stuck with me— “Be so good they can’t ignore you.” I think it’s important for women in tech (and people in general) to make this their mantra. Keep your head up, keep working hard, and block out the distractions. Your work will always speak volumes and no one can take that away from you.

The Knowledge Sponge: Yoko Li – Software Engineer

Q: What were you doing before you worked at AppDynamics?

A: I just graduated from Rice in May 2015.

Q: What is a typical day at work like for you?

A: Get in the office in the morning, standup meeting, code a bit and then go for lunch with my team. Take a nap after lunch and enjoy a block of focused coding time.

Q: What is something you recently learned that’s really cool or interesting?

A: Three JS! Building 3D UI in js is very interesting to me.

Q: What is your proudest accomplishment?

A: Learning new things every day.

Q: What do you think is the biggest misconception about working in tech?

A: Tech is all about computer science — not true. I found that you don’t necessarily need a CS background to develop awesome features, but the skills I learned at school come in handy for solving various problems.



The Trailblazing Go-Getter: Heidi Newiger – University & Diversity Programs Manager

Q: What do you do in your role?

A: I have a few main responsibilities – first: university recruitment (finding and recruiting interns and fresh grads to the company, and making sure their experience here is full of learning and fun); pretty standard sourcing and recruitment role coupled with employer branding. Second: diversity programs – namely, Women in Technology and Pride in Technology. For these, I try to build a safe community for folks to network and engage with, and provide events that will be interactive, educational and enjoyable.

Q: What initially interested you in this field and how did you get here? Explain.

A: I honestly kind of fell into recruitment. My first job out of college was at a small start up where I was a jack of many trades, one of which was recruitment coordination. When I got to AppDynamics as a coordinator and sourcer, the UR position became available, so I asked if I could take that on in addition to my other roles, and instead, I was able to focus just on University programs. Same thing with Diversity Programs…I have always been passionate about bringing people together and building things, so I just kind of made up work and did stuff until people looked to me as the point person. I find if you’re passionate and proactive about something, and go after it, your hard work will end up paying off.

Q: What excites you about working at AppDynamics?

A: Gosh, cheesily, so many things! The people are definitely my first thought–there are so many smart, passionate, motivated, and just good people here, the make work fun and exciting. Another huge factor is the support these wonderful people give. Was I qualified for any of the job I got when I started it, maybe (probably not – mostly stubborn with a lot of determination), but people believed in me, encouraged me, and supported me. Finally, I love how people recognize and value each other’s hard work and communicate their appreciation for it. It’s not even just managers or leads, individual contributors really care about one another, which goes a long way.

Q: What advice do you have for young women who want to pursue a career in tech?

A: DO IT!! But, only do it if you’re passionate about it (not for the money). It will be hard, but if you want it, you can do it. No matter what career path you choose, make sure that you are choosing it for the right reasons, because you spend a lot of time working. Confucius said it best – “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

Nadeen Hui

Nadeen Hui

Nadeen is the Social Media Coordinator at AppDynamics. A San Francisco native and UC Berkeley graduate, she joined the AppDynamics team in June 2015. Offline, catch her reading Science Fiction, exploring the city's hidden gems, and laughing at her own jokes!