Employee Spotlight

Kelsey Baker

Designer // Associates Degree in Liberal Arts

How did you discover Krumware, and what attracted you to the company?

In 2017 I came across Krumware purely by chance.

I was in college full-time for graphic design and illustration, and the closest I had ever gotten to working in the UI/UX field was an unpaid internship the previous year where I was in charge of marketing, graphic design, and website maintenance for a small modeling company. I had no idea what I was doing back then as far as the website went, and it was created through a site builder, so it hardly counted as actual UI/UX design.

Part of my degree requirement was completing a three-month design-related internship, except all of the internships that the design department recommended were unpaid and hardly related to what I wanted to do. I was looking for a challenge and this position seemed perfect. I was just about to accept one of the other, lesser, internships, so this opportunity arose at just the right time.

Most people hire graphic designers as freelancers, so the stability of an office job was appealing, but the company culture was the deciding factor. It wasn’t a boring, stuffy, stiff office. Everyone who worked for Krumware was bright-eyed, laid back, and extremely excited about their work. They seemed to genuinely love their company and I was fascinated by the different types of software they were working on. I had never seen anything like it, nor had I ever been given such a life-changing opportunity. I knew I couldn’t let something like that slip through my hands.

Statistically, women comprise only about 25% of the workforce in the tech industry, and that percentage has continually declined in the past few years. Until recently, you were the only woman employed at Krumware. Why do you think there are so few women in tech, and what advice would you give to young women who may be hesitant to pursue a career in tech due to the overwhelming lack of female representation?

It’s interesting because when I was in college my design classes were (usually) made up of predominantly women, but when I began working for Krumware I saw that all of the employees were male, specifically the developers. This was true for the other software companies at SOCO as well; while the devs were mostly male, many of the designers at SOCO were female. So, in my experience, it’s more common to see women in design roles than development roles, and I’m not convinced that only one reason can be to blame.

Job preference is strongly swayed by societal and cultural norms, and this could  be one of the fundamental reasons why designers and developers are generally made up of opposite genders. It could be that society’s expectations, gender roles, and stereotypes separate the majority of people into certain career paths. These norms are ingrained into us from the day we are born, and I believe that no matter how hard we fight against them, they’re difficult to fully overcome. Fortunately, as a collective, we have made incredible progress over the last decade or so, and gender norms are becoming more and more obsolete. I never minded being the only female in the office though. The guys that I work with are really funny, genuine, and good-hearted people. That being said, I do have to admit that I enjoy having another woman in the office, especially since she’s also a designer. We make a really great team, and I think we compliment the development squad (who are all guys) quite well.

My entire life I knew that art made me happy, but I was convinced and determined to work in the medical field because it was the field that my family expected me to enter even though, deep down, I had no real desire to and was in denial about that. Obviously, that decision backfired and wasted a lot of my time and effort (and money)...so I have personal experience with choosing the wrong career path simply because it was expected of me, rather than the career path I wanted to take because it was what I loved. So, my advice to women, and really to everyone, is to honestly evaluate what you want to do with your life. What brings you joy? What do you love to do on a regular basis? What absolutely fascinates you? Forget everything you’ve been told about what you should do, and listen to what your heart tells you you want to do. Although I am highly appreciative and humbled by the journey it took to get me here, I wish I had listened to myself a lot sooner.

I’ve been told that you have quite a variety of pets, including snakes, so I imagine your home can get pretty hectic. Can you give us a quick rundown of all of your pets? And do they all get along with one another?

I always love this topic! My boyfriend has a cat and two dogs and when I moved in this past August I brought along a dog, blood python, jungle carpet python, ball python, Kenyan sand boa, and three cats. All of our animals, except for my blood python, have been rescued or given to us by people who were trying to rehome them over the years, so we have a really good mix going.

With three dogs, four cats, and four snakes in the house it can definitely get a little hectic at times but we got incredibly lucky with our babies. They’re all absolute sweethearts, including the snakes. I’ve even brought my blood python, Gimli, into the office before.

It took a couple of months for all of the animals to adjust to living under one roof, but they all get along now and we really didn’t have any problems during the process. We’ve established a routine every morning and every afternoon so we can make sure that everyone is fed and gets their meds on time. We also make sure that everyone gets the attention and space that they need. The cats have a cats-only room that they can go to any time they get tired of the dogs; and the snakes have their own individual enclosures in my office, to which I keep the door closed most of the time so that they have a stress-free and quiet environment.

Obviously, my boyfriend and I are both animal lovers, so it’s really hard for us to not want more pets. Just the other day we discussed bringing home another dog and I told him he has to be the responsible one in the relationship because I can never say no to an animal lol. As much as we love dogs and cats and snakes though, our next pet will most likely end up being a cockatoo. He’s wanted one for years and I think it would be a great addition to the family as well as an interesting experience, as I’ve never owned birds before.

Since we are quickly approaching the start of a new year, do you have any goals or exciting plans for 2021?

I definitely have some big goals for this year. My boyfriend and I have been improving our home recently and we have some great plans for what we want to do next which is really exciting. I’ve also been working hard towards being a better designer, expanding and improving my skill set, and doing my part in ensuring that our products are top-shelf. Krumware has grown so much in the last year and we’ve established a really dynamic and powerful team. I know we’re only going to keep improving and succeeding from here on out. All I can do is work towards a better life personally and professionally, and I’m extremely excited and optimistic to see what the future holds.

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