Insights / Meet Our Team

Meet Our Team: Elsa Brown

One of our newest teammates, Elsa's calm, friendliness, talent, and expertise have already made her invaluable around Southleft! Elsa delves into her journey at Southleft so far, opens up about her life outside of work, and shares some valuable advice in the latest "Meet Our Team".
3 min read

What keeps you going? What’s your favorite thing about the work you do?

My favorite thing about this work is how the internet is a deep web of not only code, but people, relationships, and decisions. I like to read W3C documents and learn about the history of tech and how we got to where we are now. It’s exciting to be part of this living, constantly evolving constellation of people and technology that influences pretty much every aspect of our lives.

These are a few interesting web pages I’ve found related to tech history and culture:

Valiant Turtle robot from the mid-1980’s. (Source: Roamer Robot)

How have you evolved over your time at Southleft? What have been some key milestones?

In my short six months at Southleft, I’ve had the opportunity to take on co-ownership of an entire codebase, with Altitude, the design system framework that we have been building. I like understanding how the builds, dependencies, and configs all work together and have been improving my skills in that area. For example, updating our libraries and debugging breaking changes gave me a great sense of accomplishment. Altitude is beautiful inside and out, from the design to the way the codebase is organized and written. Shout-out to Kelsey and Ben who have been mentoring me and also working hard on this project.

If you weren’t a web designer/developer, what career do you think you’d have?

I used to work as a photo art director and stylist. Sometimes I miss the active, physical nature of that world—moving objects around in space, being outside, and working with light. If I wasn’t in web design and development I might work in film, photography, or fashion. I also dream about being a hairstylist or makeup artist, even though I’m not particularly skilled in those areas.

What advice would you give to someone just starting their career in web design and development?

I read a book called The Missing README that was super helpful, especially the first section, about how to work on a team as a new developer.

Beyond that, figure out what interests you and pursue those interests. There are so many directions you can go in tech, specializing in something that excites you will keep you motivated and help you stand out.

A version of the classic “Game of Life” that Elsa designed to evoke the feeling and sound of nature.

If you unexpectedly had a day off to only relax or do things that make you happy, and you were not allowed to do chores or be productive (unless that’s what makes you happy—unless you’re secretly a dishwashing aficionado), how would you spend it?

I would walk around in the woods near a river, go thrifting, sing and play guitar, play a soccer game, and then go to a techno show.