Tessa Kriesel

Tessa Kriesel
Building community and teaching come naturally to dog-lover and Developer Outreach Manager at Pantheon, Tessa Kriesel. She wears many hats in her life — all with sass and finesse — including the founder of Outspoken Women and Coders of TMRW.
Tessa has spoken on many topics, including helping beginners with their development workflows, mentorship, building communities, and shedding light on continuous integration and deployment. She has also been a panelist on a wide range of topics at Conferences and Meetups.
When Tessa isn’t working on her development chops or mentoring junior developers, she is using her extroverted superhero skills to make people feel welcome and included at whatever event she attends.


Where do you work, what is your current role?

Developer Outreach Manager @ Pantheon

How do you use PHP professionally?

I have been a developer in the open source space for over 10 years.

How and when did you get involved speaking or writing in the community?

I have always had an interest in sharing the things I know, but most of my speaking experience started after joining Pantheon a couple of years back.

What’s your best conference memory?

I have so many, but my favorite ones all include situations where I met amazing new people from the PHP community — get out there and meet people!

What advice do you have for someone going to their first conference?

It’s easy to attend sessions independently and sit alone at lunch but try (the best you can) to venture out and meet new people. Most conference materials can be found online, what sets conferences apart is the people you get to meet in person.

What’s your primary OS: Windows, Mac, or Linux?


What keeps PHP relevant in today’s web development landscape?

I think the growth of PHP CMS’s and frameworks like WordPress, Drupal, and Laravel will keep PHP relevant and valuable.

What would you tell someone looking to grow beyond copy-pasting PHP from the web?

Find educators you like—there are plenty online and in-person. Find a mentor & make goals around what you want to accomplish to grow your skills.

Is a degree in Computer Science critical to be a professional programmer?

Nope, although it does help!

In your experience, what skill or ability do excellent programmers practice?

Troubleshooting skills—these can be used in many places outside of code, like video or board games, puzzles & other day-to-day hurdles.


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