Meet the Team – Amanda Christiansen
At Punch Through, we encourage everyone to proudly be themselves and want you to know the people behind the work that we’re so proud of. That’s why we launched our “Meet the Team” series, where we introduce you to one of our team members each month.
Meet Amanda, a Senior Embedded Software Engineer and project leader with patience and a kind heart. She enjoys running, spending time with her dog and cat, and supporting animal rescues.
What were you doing before working at Punch Through?
I majored in Computer Engineering at Cal State Long Beach. During college, I interned at Medtronic in California, focusing on Android app development. After graduation, I was still interested in app development, but really wanted exposure to lower-level development, such as firmware and hardware.
I was hired into the Engineer and Scientists Development Program (ESDP) with the Department of Defense (DoD). It was a rotational program — where I worked on various projects for the DoD and did a lot of general software and automated testing. While there were numerous perks to working on a naval base, the work was slow-moving, and it wasn’t very empowering. There was a lot of documentation and everything needed to be signed off on.
So, I went back to Medtronic and found a job opening in Minnesota, where I could do app development. That was in 2014. Then, I worked at Boston Scientific, where I specialized in firmware design and development for their Cardiac and Rhythm Management department.
And, now, I work at Punch Through as an embedded software engineer.
What is your favorite thing about Punch Through culture?
Everyone is very supportive of each other, and it feels very genuine. People are truly interested in you as a person. In previous work environments, it was always amicable, but I didn’t feel like I made many real connections. People at Punch Through take a genuine interest in your life and career.
Tell me a story about your most memorable moment while working at Punch Through
At our last company retreat, a large group of us played “Sardines.” I was the last person each time to find the rest of the group. One minute, I’m with other people, and the next, they just disappeared. I knew they found the “sardine” because I was alone, but it still took me a good 10 minutes to find the group. That’s the first time I realized I’m not very good at Sardines… it was a little embarrassing… (shrug emoji), but also a lot of fun!
What cool or rewarding things do you get to do on a regular basis?
I’m getting exposure to a lot of things that I otherwise wouldn’t have. Often, in larger organizations, things are more functional–here’s a department for everything. Here, we can work on anything we want within the realm of a project. We can do firmware, test automation, hardware; there’s the option to work on what you’re interested in. That’s really cool.
On the cultural side, I like that there’s a lot of organized activities — we can participate in pool and darts tournaments, book club, and board game days. Everyone here is interested in doing activities with each other that aren’t always work-related, and it’s fun to be a part of that.
What is the most valuable part of your work to you on a personal level?
I think for me, it’s feeling accomplished at the end of the day. I know that I made something better than it was before I started working on it. Even if it’s a small thing, like a minor redesign, talking through it with my teammates and getting input helps me feel confident about my solution. The smallest tasks provide the opportunity to learn and better your skills. That’s really valuable to me.
What is different about Punch Through versus other places you have worked?
It’s a really empowering place to work. You feel like a part of the team, and you feel like you own your work. It’s not just doing the daily grind and taking off. Everyone encourages you to do great work and holds you, and themselves, accountable.
Interested in Learning More?
To meet more of the Punch Though Team, check out these interviews:
Meet the Team – Karel Kalthoff – Firmware/Software Engineer
Meet the Team – Louis Barrett – Engineering Intern, Summer 2019
Meet the Team – Erin Moore – Hiring Coordinator and Office Manager
Meet the Team – Alec Letourneau – Software Engineer
Meet the Team – Andy Lee – Senior Embedded Engineer
About the Blog Series…
Great culture builds great products. Some of the ways culture is expressed at Punch Through are through authenticity, autonomy, and experience. The individuals at Punch Through not only build great products, but they are the culture. The individual team members aren’t defined by their past or title. They’re encouraged to be true to themselves, learn from each other, and grow professionally and personally.
It’s essential to get to know the people behind the projects and to understand how culture plays a vital role in everything we do. To help get inside the heads of the genius behind the brand, we’re launching a “Meet the Team” blog post series. Each post will feature one of our talented team members where you can get to know them on a bit more personal level, and see how their contributions make Punch Through what it is today.