We’re celebrating this month by introducing you to some of the talented women who work on our team. Check out part of what makes Software Engineer Natalie Uduwela special.
What personal passions bring you to Abstract?
I’ve always been drawn to design. In high school, I took art classes and consumed design-oriented magazines about graphic design, architecture, surfing, modified cars, to name a few. I’ve always had a lot of hobbies. In college, I narrowed my focus and studied architecture & theater production, while continuing to dabble in all things graphic.
I’m a builder at heart, and that drive led me to designing and building software. I’m constantly striving to connect the two, and Abstract sits at that wonderful intersection between design and engineering. There are so many unanswered questions and opportunities for solutions in the design tools space, and I’m thrilled to be working on this problem. Now that I’m here I think I’ll stay awhile!
What’s one childhood lesson that you still carry with you to this day?
That there isn’t one definition of success, or that the stereotypical definition of “success” doesn’t guarantee a good or happy life. My parents grew up in a time/place when a college degree wasn’t the norm. They came from humble beginnings and worked their way into careers, and they picked up LOTS of friends along the way. They’re the most popular people I know. They retired young and continued to fill their (and our) lives with enterprises that extended their interests. They started a catering company because their friends were obsessed with their cooking. My mom got her real estate license because she wanted to sell our house herself. And my dad picked up guitar, and he continues to paint to this day. They filled our lives with good food and friends and endless stories and laughs. To me, that’s success.
Tell us about where you grew up and what makes it unique.
I grew up in Singapore, then San Diego, with some Australia sprinkled in. Singapore is a true melting pot of Asian cultures. All my childhood friends were some combination of Malay/Chinese/South-Asian/European; I learned to eat spicy, eat everything, and deeply appreciate other cultures and places through food, friends, and travel.
What are you most proud of in your life/career?
Biking the coast from Tillamook, Oregon to San Francisco with my best friend. It was one of the most physically and emotionally challenging experiences I’ve ever had, and also the most hilarious and fun. We averaged 90 miles a day, carried our stuff on our bikes/backs, camped along the way, and got home in 8 days (a day sooner than we had originally planned).
What’s your favorite hype song and why?
Cut To The Feeling by CRJ because I love a good beat and reason to dance, and I’m actually a tween at heart.
You get to have dinner with one famous person. Who do you choose and what would you ask them?
Kiersey Clemons. I’d ask her why in the world Roger didn’t have an understudy after he broke his foot in Rent on Fox, and also if she wants to be my best friend.
Illustration: Loveis Wise