How would you explain what you do at Scout24 to your children?
Kristin: My kids have recently reached the age where they are actually curious about what their parents do other than take care of them. I explained that Scout24 builds software, like an app (they are avid iPad users), that helps people find, sell or rent a home. My team builds software that helps other teams build the app that people use and my job is to help the people in my team work together to build what the other teams need.
What has been your biggest achievement at Scout24 so far?
Kristin: Successfully managing a large part of the programme for migrating out of our Berlin data centers into AWS, culminating in ImmoScout24 being completely in the cloud. We worked on that for a couple of years and everything I’ve done since has in a large part built on that.
How has your work changed because of the Covid-19 pandemic?
Kristin: I’ve almost exclusively worked from home since March 2020. I’ve had to figure out ways to collaborate and coordinate with my team completely online and live and own the fact that my kids will interrupt meetings at the worst possible moment. While I’m really looking forward to being able to see people and collaborate more often in person and go somewhere else other than my house, I’ve really come to value the flexibility working from home offers.
What is the greatest risk you have taken?
Kristin: Quitting a computer engineering research Master’s degree and moving to Europe from Canada with no real plan. It sounded crazy on paper at the time, but I knew then, and I stand by it now that it was the right thing for me personally. I thought I’d stay a year, but it will be twenty years this summer.
Who is your role model?
Kristin: I’ve always been inspired by people, in particular women, who have persevered despite various barriers. Greta Thunberg these last few years has been hugely inspiring. My good friend of over twenty years, Tiffany Conroy, who is also in engineering leadership, is my sounding board, sanity check and role model in many things. Over the years I’ve watched women in Tech constantly reinvent themselves and that is one of the ways that Tiffany stands out.
What energises you about your work?
Kristin: When I see a team come together and really enjoy working together and feeding off each other’s ideas to accomplish or create something.
How do you unplug from work?
Kristin: I love escaping into stories. I read a lot of fiction. I usually switch between modern literature and sci-fi/fantasy. The two most recent novels that I also highly recommend were Matrix by Lauren Groff and Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro. I love movies and a good tv series too. The series Dickinson was a recent surprising discovery that really tickled me.
Is there any advice you would want to give to other women?
Kristin: Know that, while the topic of Women in Tech does affect you, you get to engage with the topic on your terms, as little or as much as you want to. Don’t let anyone tell you how or in what way you need to do that.