Sandra Villani

Sr. Developer, MLB Advanced Media
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What do you do for work? Give us a few reasons why you love it.
I am a senior front-end developer for MLB Advanced Media. It’s obviously a dream job for a baseball fan, but it’s also great to work for a company whose technical innovation goes beyond the sports world. Most importantly, I’m fortunate to be on a team that is committed to deliver the best product possible while treating each other with the utmost respect.
 
In your opinion, what is wrong with the corporate world and how would you fix it?
There’s certainly a time and place for them, but with all of the methods of communication that companies have at their disposal today, we’re still relying too heavily on face-to-face meetings. In my opinion, the most productive teams are focused on delivery and come together for discussions organically only when they’re required.
 
What are the most important lessons you’ve learned in your life?
I’ve had a long enough career now where I’ve been through a few layoffs, and the lesson learned from those experiences is that it’s important to always be ready for a downturn. Keep your skills up-to-date and marketable, have enough emergency savings to keep you going for a while, and you can weather the storm if it happens.
 
Who are your role models or influences? Explain what makes them special.
My biggest role models would have to be my mother and grandmother. They both dealt with a lot of adversity in their lives and came out stronger from it. From them, I think I inherited the ability to remain calm and focused under pressure.
 
How do you measure success at work? In life?
At work, my measure of success is positive feedback. I work primarily on an internal application, and when we demo it to users at the end of each sprint, it’s incredibly satisfying to hear from them when we’re meeting (and even better, exceeding) their expectations.

In my personal life, wellness has been a focus of mine over the past few years, so my measure of success would be something like a good report from my doctor or a positive session with my nutritionist. Personally, I feel more successful in other areas of my life if I’m feeling good physically to begin with.
 
What is your best or worst moment of this week?
Today we took a co-worker out to lunch for her birthday. We don’t do sit-down lunches very often but it’s always a lot of fun when we do. I really couldn’t work with a better group of people.