Interview with Leah Culver – The Social Networker
Leah Culver proves that girls can be geek smart too. At age 25 she:
- is the co-founder and lead developer of Pownce
- acquired a Computer Science degree from the University of Minnesota
- created the Teddy Bear Remote Control
- was a Software Engineer at iLoop Mobile, Inc
- was a Host at CNET Networks
Despite her successes, she admits to past failures and even being rejected by Google. But these minor setbacks only proved to be stepping stones to her greatest accomplishments.
What challenges did you face in your line of work, and have you ever felt like giving up?::
It’s very difficult to keep a large site running performing well and that is probably my biggest challenge. I really believe in the concept behind Pownce so I’ve never really considered giving up on the project.
The other challenge deals with information overload and management. Lots of email, news to keep up with and so on.
What does your work environment look like?::
What do you consider your greatest failure and why?::
I’ve failed at so many things! I never became a supermodel
Actually, my greatest disappointments have probably been not qualifying for National Honor Society in high school and getting extensively interviewed by Google and rejected. It’s funny because instead of National Honor Society, I joined a group for doing weekend volunteer work which was great. And if Google had hired me, Pownce probably wouldn’t exist.
What do you consider your greatest achievement and why?::
Pownce is definitely the best thing I’ve ever built. I’m very proud that Pownce supports open standards and that so many great people are part of the Pownce community.
How have you thrived despite negative comments from others?::
If you do anything interesting, you’ll get criticized. If people aren’t saying anything negative about you or your work, that’s actually a bad sign.
Who (and or what) inspires, motivates you?::
I’m very motivated to be a great developer. I’m certainly not very good now, so there’s plenty of room to grow. I’m inspired by a lot of people who are doing cool things on the internet like the Django developers.
Do you have any favorite quotes, pictures, internet links that you would like to share?::
Ping Pong at work:
What are the most important things you have learned in your life so far?::
Bravery, ambition, and resilience matter more than pride.
What are your strengths and weaknesses?::
I’m very bad at answering email in a timely manner. I’m quite good at crossword puzzles.
What are you goals for the future?::
Play around with CouchDB, Erlang, GIT, and Beanstalk… those are on my list of odd projects to check out in the near future. In the long term I’d like to play a small part in changing the way people interact online. Certainly it’s a lofty ambition.
What are some things that people might not know about you?::
I love black licorice.
“Leah Culver” – jdlasica on Flickr [Online Image]