This spotlight is part of a series of posts to amplify exceptional Latina talent in the workplace and tech industry, in collaboration with our partners.
Spotlight Partner: Hopin
Featured Talent: Christina Hess
What inspired you to pursue a career in the tech industry?
I always loved dabbling with the internet and taught myself HTML, CSS, JS, and PHP basics to create personal websites growing up. After college, where I double majored in English and Spanish with a Business minor, I was teaching myself more on the side so I could add on to the company websites I managed while working in marketing.
I had my AHA moment when I was working at the MIT Leadership Center. A common theme I noticed at MIT across students, staff, faculty, and external speakers was how many used their technical background and expertise to make a real difference. So, when my husband and I were moving to Vancouver BC – it seemed the perfect time to do a coding bootcamp to become a software engineer and throw myself into the tech industry. I did a local bootcamp, Lighthouse Labs, which I loved, and haven’t looked back since!
Looking to the future, what inspires you and what initiatives are you most excited about right now?
In general, I work with passionate smart people who are always trying to improve things and they definitely inspire me, along with Hopin’s mission of helping people feel closer through shared experiences. My team is specifically working to improve the event creation and management experience for organizers and I’m excited for some of the features we have planned for next year that should really improve the organizer’s experience.
I also have been transitioning from an Individual Contributor engineering role to an Engineering Manager role and I’m excited for that next phase in my career journey. I’m also helping build a program to help others who want to make the same transition in the future and I’m really excited to improve that process for others.
What’s one piece of career advice you’ll NEVER EVER forget?
“Why does what we are building matter for the business?” and not being satisfied with simply knowing your domain, but understanding the different layers that you are working with as well, so you have a deeper understanding for the solution you are working on.
How do you reset when you’re in a funk? (ex: What song do you play? Do you go for a walk? Do you take a nap? Do you call a friend?)
Moving my body always helps – big fan of long walks, yoga or workout classes to name a few ways. It helps me to reset. Talking or spending time with friends is also a super helpful way for me to process and fill my cup.
Is there anyone you’d like to shout out for their support along your career journey?
While there are so many who have positively impacted my career journey, I specifically wanted to shout out my former manager Mike Nikles for all you taught me, Sam Lazuras for coaching me at a key time in my career journey, Shivani Berry and the amazing Ascend community you’ve created, and my all star manager James Clark. My career wouldn’t be where it is today without their insights and support.
Lastly, I couldn’t write an article for Latinas in Tech without shouting out my Mami. She came to the US from Colombia in her late teens without speaking a word of English and she is one of the hardest working people I know. I wouldn’t be where I am today without her support and example.
Hopin is the leading all-in-one event management platform that makes planning, producing, and reliving event experiences easier than ever. Hopin exists to make the world feel closer. At Hopin, we believe all of us should have access to the people, moments, and experiences we care most about — no matter where we are