Episode 47: Compassionate Maven April Wensel

Episode 47 of the Mavens Do It Better Podcast features April Wensel software engineer, technical leader, keynote speaker, writer, runner, and ethical vegan. She is also the founder of Compassionate Coding, a conscious business that helps technical teams cultivate sustainable, human-centered software development practices built on a foundation of emotional intelligence. 

April and Heather caught up virtually in San Diego, CA and Marina del Rey, CA. 

Listen in as April and Heather talk about: 

  • April’s background as a software engineer leading engineering teams in Silicon Valley and how she moved into lecturing, speaking and bringing a human side to coding and tech through looking at issues of burnout, inclusion, diversity, engineering teams, giving workshops on how we need to care about people more and grow our emotional intelligence.  

  • How we can build products and systems that address mental health by taking on new compassionate tech values: leaving ego and embracing humility, leaving elitism and embracing inclusion, leaving competition and embracing cooperation, leaving being “smart” and embracing learning, leaving being a “Rockstar” and embracing being a mentor. These values have been part of keynote speeches she has given at a wide variety of events. 

  • A dive into individual happiness and being the best versions of ourselves and the workshops that she offers with a boutique approach to shape the curriculum for her client’s needs. Workshops are often grouped into three sections – The self: dealing with taking care of one’s self, looking inward. Communication with other people: talking through how to understand that everyone is unique with their own set of qualities. An action plan: giving attendees to way apply the principles learned moving forward. 

  • How a passion for ultra-marathon running transformed her life and how a compassion retreat helped her see how her actions didn’t reflect her values leading her to become an ethical vegan. She explains what both are and how that retreat inspired her and much of her work in compassionate coding and emotional intelligence.  

 

To connect with April:  Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIN | Twitter | Compassionate Coding Website  

 

April Wensel 

April Wensel is an international speaker and the founder of Compassionate Coding, a conscious business working to bring social responsibility and emotional intelligence to the tech industry through training and community outreach. 
 
She has spent the past decade as a software engineer and technical leader at various startups in Silicon Valley, building products in such fields as healthcare, education, and user research. 
 
As an advocate for a more inclusive tech industry, she mentors technologists around the world and volunteers with organizations to teach coding skills to women and others from underrepresented groups. Away from the keyboard, she enjoys writing, running ultramarathons, and baking tasty vegan treats. 

Compassionate Coding 

Founded in 2016, Compassionate Coding is a conscious business created to transform the tech industry with the power of compassion, mindfulness, and ethics.  

Our human-centered approach empowers companies and individuals to create inclusive, collaborative development environments to deliver socially conscious products. 

For each client, we create a customized training curriculum to guide topics to help teams: 

  • Hire and retain software engineers 

  • Foster better communication between engineers and other employees 

  • Implement better code review practices 

  • Manage stress and avoid burnout 

  • Mentor recent bootcamp grads and other junior engineers 

  • Create more inclusive environments 

Heather Newman

Heather Newman is an award-winning marketing maven, technology entrepreneur and an epic connector that brings many worlds together. She has extensive experience marketing products and services for Enterprise businesses, startups and emerging markets. Heather builds plans and processes that are nimble, human and different. She is an adept storyteller and is passionate about growth for both employees and the corporate bottom-line. Heather hails from the arts and the bulk of her career has been working with the largest technology companies in the world (Microsoft, Google, Amazon, NetApp, Hewlett Packard, and Dell). Her nineteen years of experience working at technology companies and building global high-tech marketing strategy has driven millions of dollars of revenue and multiple award-winning campaigns. She has led global marketing teams for many technology companies including AvePoint, IT Unity & KnowledgeLake. Heather was a part of the original Microsoft SharePoint Marketing team. During her tenure, she helped launch multiple versions of the product, build the SharePoint Partner Ecosystem and conceived of and produced the first three Microsoft SharePoint Conferences. Creative Maven has produced thousands of global marketing campaigns and events. Currently CM is focusing on go to market strategies for Microsoft and its partners as well as a new site sister site launching in 2015 called Marketingfixer.com. Heather also serves as Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer of Content Panda, an innovative technology startup looking to actively disrupt how content is delivered inside software.