Welcome to another edition of Inside Drift, where we introduce you to the amazing people that make Drift such a great place to work.
I know you’ve already met Shannon Donovan, Mary Mitchell, Catherine LaMacchia, Nadine Shaalan, Kahlil Trocmé, Britnee Laughlin, Allison Betito, Carolina Caprile, Michelle Ai, Frank Schepps, Tate Knapp, Alexa Nguyen, Zareena Javed, Chrissie Cronin, Jason Richman, and Stacy Chen.
Today I’d like you to meet Lillian Frost, Software Engineer. Lillian joined the Drift team in 2019 as a Software Engineer Intern and started working full-time in November, 2019. She and her team are responsible for building new features that keep all our Drift products exciting and fresh. When she’s not working you can find her hiking with her wife, training for a half marathon, or eating lunch with her dog Bubbles, who is a favorite in our #driftpets Slack channel.
Ready to meet Lillian? Let’s go ⚡
Editor’s note: The following has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Kaitlyn Martins: We’ll kick it off with an easy one! Can you tell me a little bit about what you do at Drift?
Lillian Frost: I am a backend engineer on the Meetings team. My team handles all of the scheduling flows – including connecting calendars and setting up availability, booking meetings through profiles, bots, and email, and sending confirmation and reminder emails.
Kaitlyn: What does your day-to-day typically look like?
Lillian: First, I see if we have any open bug reports and do what I can to mitigate those. Then I’ll get into some dev work – planning and building out the new features we’re working on, or helping our team keep up with product-wide initiatives. Once or twice a week, I’ll participate in a storytime or kick-off meeting with my team to go over designs and requirements for upcoming work.
Kaitlyn: Now that Drift is a Digital First company, how has your routine changed?
Lillian: I’ve really enjoyed the flexibility of working from home, and the time saved from no longer commuting. My work routine is relatively unchanged, beyond the setting. I love having lunch with my dog, Bubbles, though! And a few times over the past year, I’ve spent a week or more working from my parents’ or one of my siblings’ homes. That has been really nice.
Kaitlyn: How is your team structured and how do you share roles and responsibilities?
Lillian: My team consists of two other engineers, a designer, a product manager, and a customer advocate. Typically the PM is responsible for figuring out what to build, the designer plans the layout and how the feature will be used by our customers, and the engineers implement the designs. Our customer advocate acts as a liaison between our team and the customers; she makes sure we know what problems our customers are facing so we can design appropriate solutions.
Kaitlyn: What is your favorite part about your job?
Lillian: It amazes me how fast we can go from an idea, to a fully implemented, polished new feature. I love working with so many incredibly talented, brilliant people at Drift. I know that the mentors I have here, and the feedback I get from them, make me a better engineer every single day. I’m grateful to learn from them.
Kaitlyn: You are on the planning committee and one of the founding members of our LGBTQ+ ERG, Rainbots. Can you tell me a little bit about Rainbots, its mission and goals, and how you execute on those at Drift?
Lillian: Our mission is to serve the LGBTQ+ community, whether they work at Drift or are connected to our team in some way. It’s important that our team sees the Drift environment as safe spaces – somewhere they can feel they are both visible and included. That’s why all of our efforts are in service of education, building community, and serving the needs of the broader community. We know that through the inclusion of LGBTQ+ people, we will add the value of different perspectives to our overall culture. Our goals include creating visibility and awareness of LGBTQ+ people at Drift (and in tech in general), educating our team and the external community on salient LGBTQ+ topics, and giving back to the local LGBTQ+ community.
Some ways we have engaged Drifters and fundraised for the LGBTQ+ community include trivia nights hosted by one of our product designers (through which we suggested donations to Boston Alliance of LGBTQ+ Youth), drag shows (with all payments and tips given directly to queer performers), and this month we will be hosting a Pride Panel on furthering inclusion in tech.
Kaitlyn: What’s a fun fact that people might not know about you?
Lillian: I can unicycle! I saved all summer for a unicycle when I was 12 years old. It took me a couple weeks to learn how to ride it, and I had to deal with some very bruised ankles, but I still have it now and take it out every once in a while.
Kaitlyn: Have you picked up any hobbies or discovered any hidden talents since we went remote?
Lillian: I’ve spent a lot more time outside this past year. I’ve been an avid hiker for years and recently spent a week backpacking 75 miles on the Appalachian Trail with my wife and dog. I’ve also started running again, with the goal of running my first half marathon this fall.
Kaitlyn: Finally, what advice do you have for prospective Drift candidates?
Lillian: Things move fast here! I started as an intern, and a few months later I had a full-time position here. Since then I’ve seen a lot of change within the engineering department, and even within my team, so be prepared for rapid changes. We are continuously growing and iterating, so you need to adapt quickly, ask questions often, share feedback early, and accept feedback humbly.