Hi! I'm Serena Chen, a product designer with an insatiable thirst for knowledge. I've been making and breaking the web since 1999, and have been fully plugged into the technology Matrix ever since.
In a previous life I dabbled in the world of academia, and came out with a First Class Honours in Physics and Math. I had the honour of studying in the beautiful halls of UC Berkeley, and grew enormously as a citizen of the world during my tenure there.
Nothing makes me happier than finding elegant, beautiful solutions to large and complex problems. That, and good food, good music and good company is what I live for.
In the end, it's people who make our products and people who consume them. If we foster good communities, we foster good designers, coders, and leaders.
Outside of my day job and side projects, I enjoy volunteering as an organiser for Rails Girls Wellington, as well as mentoring and coaching at various hackfests and student outreach events, such as Summer of Tech. I've also just given my first talk at a tech conference! It was super exciting, and I learned so much from the wonderful people there.
When I'm stressed I like to go through elegant mathematical proofs — I find the certainty and beauty of it calms me down like nothing else. It's also a good perspective shifter. My problems don't seem so bad when I've gone through a proof that took humanity hundreds of years to solve.
Other nerdy things I like to indulge in include security, reverse-engineering puzzles, Magic the Gathering (though not much anymore, because $$$), architecture, video games (my list is neverending), and Star Trek: Voyager.
Don't get me wrong though. While I feel that “science nerd” describes me well, it can't quite contain my love for art, fashion, music, history and poetry.