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Please introduce yourself.

My name is Louis Randall. I work at Wonolo in the San Francisco office as a back-end engineer. Currently, I’m working on the marketplace feature team. What we do is run different experiments and see how they affect the marketplace, such as how they bring in Wonoloers, how they retain Wonoloers, and how it affects the overall ecosystem of the marketplace. 

What events in your life have brought you to your current role today?

I went to college in Colorado, originally for biology. After graduating, I thought I wanted to get into biotechnology or something along those lines, as well as, ministry. I moved out to the Bay Area with a couple of friends. We got involved in some ministry and religious work, and during that time I realized that I actually didn’t want to get into lab work. There were very exciting things happening in that line of work, but it just wasn’t for me. Afterward, I started with a construction firm. I was a courier, became a project manager, and then a survey technician. After some time doing that and the religious work, I realized that neither one of those was where I really was going to settle. I spent the next three to four months looking at a bunch of things, considering whether I want to go back to school, move, or do something. One of my roommates had been hounding me for years to learn how to program, so I gave it a shot and immediately fell in love with it. It reminds me so much of writing music with all the stylistic bits. After a couple of boot camps, a lot of practice, and applying, here I am.

When you have to make a difficult decision, what do you lean on?

With regards to what I do, when I have to make a difficult decision, there are three things that I lean on. The first is to listen to my own personal compass. The second thing I’ll do is check with someone else. My friends give me a good reality check to help me see things from another perspective. The last thing I lean on is history. I like looking back at my history and the history of my family, and seeing how we’ve handled these things in the past. I remind myself it’s not the first difficult decision I’ve made and it won’t be the last. These three things are enough to get me to a place where I feel solid about going into a difficult decision.

What is one life advice you can give to anyone?

One piece of advice I would give to anyone would be to keep track of your history, specifically your accomplishments and your failures. Times in my life where I come up against something that feels insurmountable, I look back and think, “Okay, I’ve may not have come across this exact thing, but I’ve come up against something like this before.” As I look back at where I’ve been and what I’ve done, it helps build self-confidence for me and reassurance that I can conquer a big challenge again. Write down what you have accomplished, the effort you put in and build yourself up with confidence. It’s always good to remember the failures too, but remember to see them as opportunities for growth. 

Please finish this sentence: If you really knew me, you would know that ______.

If you really knew me, you would know that I’m an introvert. I can be loud, outspoken, and energetic, but I do like my alone time. Where I’m happiest is at the beach or out in the woods somewhere by myself or with a couple of people,  music, good food, a beer, and the sunset.