TSW #8 - Kristina Narusk

19 March 2013


How would you describe yourself in 5 sentences?
I’m extremely curious, especially about larger scale systems, principles, patterns and behaviour.
I breathe everything that has potential to create high value. Integrity, straightforwardness and British type of sense of humour are probably the first three characteristics I appreciate the most.
I could not live without travelling, books, good coffee conversations and friends with years of history (yes, sounds cliche, but so true). And yes, I do think Instagram was bought for ridiculous amount of money that should have been donated to 3rd world projects.

How did you discover and first become engaged with technology?
By accident. I got my first job in a software development team because
(not despite!) I was a girl. I knew nothing about code, but learned the basics of HTML and scripting during the first week of work. It was a ‘downfall’ from there :) It felt pretty nice to build stuff for other people and to come up with solutions that would affect the work of many.
I also did quickly learn to work in a male dominated environment that is pretty standard in IT, got too used to that and even until today can not imagine working full time in any other type of team.

Start-ups, apps, projects you recommend to follow or are especially fond of?
As a first thing, I would actually recommend to be very receptive to news from any industry. IT is just a tool to communicate innovation, a language that enables to think in ways that previously were unheard of.
At the same time, I tend to check out new Kickstarter projects and I keep an eye on services just to learn how they change their functionality or target customer or pricing. I’m a huge fan of Vimeo, just because they have succeeded to grow into serious product, to keep the content incredibly high quality and it’s interesting to follow their revenue model experiments.
Anything related to 3D printing is exciting to follow, not just because of my GrabCAD background, but also because of the possibilities it creates for so many industries. My latest discovery was FlightFox - crowdsourced flight tickets search site. It’s a startup and amazingly, it works.

What characteristics have helped you to succeed in the tech world?
Having good intuition, multitasking skills, focusing on results instead of relationships. I once wrote a longer brain dump on that topic on Quora.

What is the biggest problem you have ever come across concerning technology?
I consider myself an early adopter, so to be honest, the biggest problem has usually been having to drag the friends and acquaintances along to adapt the new stuff as well :) Only a couple of days along I taught one of my long-time friend how Skype group calls work and I’m not joking.

What was the last interesting technology event you attended/participated?
It must be any of the geeks networking evening events in Boston last year. When you have environment where all the next Facebooks and LinkedIns office buildings are constructed, that means a LOT of tech people around. Americans tend to share experiences significantly more than we over here which means you hear many interesting stories about platform building, issues with Rails, how to scale enterprise solutions and what not.

 What is the best advice anyone has ever given to you?
Those who endure, reach the furthest.

The best advice I have given myself is that the morning you wake up and hate the thought of spending the next 5 years like yesterday, it’s time to make changes.

What is the most exciting part of your work?
People and the opportunity to change things.
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