We’re hopping back over the pond today to meet Tina Dankwart, one of our Value Stream Architects! She discusses the importance of building relationships at work, how she annoys her kids with Metallica and how she would describe Tasktop in one sentence.
How do you start your day before work?
I really would love to write something like “oh, first, I go for a run, and then I make a lovely, healthy breakfast, which I enjoy with my two children, laughing and joking, before we all, very well organised and early, leave the house, ready for the day.” The reality, apart from the laughing and joking, is the usual carnage of trying to get two kids—aged five and nine—ready for school, getting them to eat anything that isn’t 50% sugar, and getting them to wear a jumper and a coat, because it’s raining, and cold. Breakfast for me is eggs and coffee.
My favourite part of the morning is the actual drive to school, where we play a game. We have a Spotify playlist with 30 songs on it, 10 of our favourite songs each. You get a point if your song is played, and lose one if you ‘no’ someone else’s song (you can only ‘no’ two songs in a row). Nothing quite like playing a bit of Metallica to my children in revenge for Parry Gripp, or worse, the DUCK SONG (Google it. Actually, don’t. You’ll never get it out of your head again).
What does a typical day as a Value Stream Architect look like for you?
In theory I work from home. In practice, I find I’m more organized and can work a lot better from an office. Having a designated place to work, where I see other human beings, works much better for me, so I rent an office in the local town. It also makes it easier to be present with my children when I get home, and to separate work from family time (I try to leave the laptop in the car until they are in bed). Most mornings I arrive at the office at about 8.30am after the school run and then pick the kids up by 6pm.
My role is very varied, I build relationships with prospects and try to understand their main pain points to identify whether we can help. Part of this is helping to draw up how they work presently, demo’ing our solution, and assisting them through evaluations. So, I’ll spend a lot of time on Slack and Zoom talking to prospects and partners all over the world and colleagues. It’s pretty much all done remotely.
That said, I spend a lot of time travelling. I visit some of the prospects that are based closer by and attend demos, conferences and meet-ups to exchange experiences and information with a number of very interesting people. I love those engagements — I have to pinch myself sometimes that I get paid for mingling with loads of people, travelling and talking all day. I love being at the cutting edge of what’s happening in the market, engaging with hugely interesting and intelligent people, and being ‘on the pulse.’ So far this year, I’ve travelled to Amsterdam, Austin, Vienna and Tel Aviv.
Greatest accomplishment at Tasktop so far?
I could probably choose something, but to be honest, to me, the greatest accomplishments are always around the relationships built, which are really difficult to put a ‘this one was the best one!’ stamp on them. There is something immensely satisfying about being the trusted go-to person for a partner, prospect, or a colleague. My role is definitely a supporting one for internal teams, prospects and partners. Although, a particularly proud moment for me was also to get over my fear of public speaking and present at DevOps Enterprise Summit 2019 in London. A lot of people turned up and I found it very daunting. I value this at Tasktop — it’s not just about career growth, but personal growth as well.
Go-to workday lunch?
I try to cook enough on the day before to make sure I have enough for lunch. Emergency go-to lunch is a bag of salad, a tin of tuna, mayonnaise and sweetcorn. Even more emergency go-to lunch is a shake. I’m always embarrassed to admit that I cannot tolerate gluten OR dairy, which makes me feel ‘difficult.’ I get a lot of stick because apparently it’s a bit of a fashion to avoid them, but either genuinely make me very ill. Lunch on the road or at conferences can be really tricky, which is why I look around for something easy to take with me, so I don’t have to rely on overpriced nut bars.
Favourite Tasktop memory?
The first time I travelled to our HQ in Austin, Texas, I had just joined, had no idea what to expect, and was totally outside of my comfort zone. For me, it felt like a real adventure.
How would you describe working at Tasktop in one sentence?
Tasktop is a unique place to work with intelligent, supportive, and creative people who are driven, who make things happen, a place for personal development, working with great technology and on the ball, all the while putting customers first.
Want to work with Tina?
We’re hiring! We have a number of interesting roles across the company in sales, product development, customer success, operations, and business development. View job opportunities.