Staff Spotlight: Amanda Pettenati

Q: So, tell us more about yourself. How did you end up working in tech?

I spent my first career in Investment Banking. I always knew it wasn’t a good fit. I wanted to do something else, but wasn’t sure where to start. I partnered with IT on a project written in Python, which inspired me to explore programming. Once I started, I immediately fell in love. I found solving complex problems extremely rewarding and enjoyed the element of always learning something new.

Q: How did you first hear about TechChange?

I first heard about TechChange through the Recurse Center. After reading numerous job postings, TechChange stood out to me because their job listing read, “you could work at top tech companies, but making a difference in the world is more important to you”. That line deeply resonated with me and I knew immediately that I’d found the place for me.  It’s important to me to spend my time and energy leaving things better than I found them. I’m excited to wake up each day knowing my work has a positive impact on the world, and  love knowing that I work alongside people who share a similar mindset.

Q: What are some of your favorite parts of working at TechChange so far?

The positive attitudes and humility. Everyone is excited and passionate about what they do, which shows in their work. Colleagues are willing to lend a hand and share their knowledge. I feel appreciated and trust that my work is viewed as important. Failure is encouraged. Slowing down to learn is prioritized over delivery.

Also…the commute! I love working from home and having the ability to curate an environment that works for me. I am more productive when I have access to my kitchen where I can prepare healthy meals, and when I can take a break to walk around my neighborhood.

Q: What excites you about this role?

I’m excited about the emphasis on psychological safety. I feel strongly that long-term success requires sustainable efforts. Rather than the focus being on completing tasks as fast as possible, I’m encouraged to take the time I need to learn, take breaks, or shift gears if needed. I am viewed as a whole person who has obligations outside of work. I’ve found that having a proper self-care routine helps me thrive in the workplace.

Q: Anything you look forward to working on or learning at TechChange in the next year?

I’m looking forward to improving my skills as a developer and leaving my banking culture behind! My colleagues’ backgrounds in education shine through with a strong emphasis on pedagogy, which speaks to me and my method of thinking. I’m confident I will succeed because of the support network available to me. I’m thrilled to learn from the role models I’ve found at TechChage and continue to grow.

Q: Lastly, what’s something that not a lot of people know about you?

I’m super shy. Most people who know me seem surprised when they learn that I am an introvert who struggles with social anxiety and small talk. I’ve pushed my comfort zone my whole life, especially during my time managing multiple teams. After absorbing all I could from this experience, I’m on a journey to embrace my true nature and utilize the strengths of my natural temperament. My true happy place is thinking quietly and solving problems, sprinkled with philosophical discussions and meaningful connection.


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