5-ish Questions: Whipping Up Something Amazing with Talia Granzow
5-ish Questions is an ongoing series in which we introduce you to the unique and inspiring personalities that make ZG a great place to work.
In this edition, we’re introducing you to Talia Granzow, the newest addition to our three-person development team. If there’s one thing you need to know about Talia, it’s that she’s hands down the sweetest person in the office. (No, really; I took a poll and 5 out of 5 jaded marketers agree.) Whether doing great work in her role as associate front-end developer, supplying genuine conversation, or sharing a-ma-zing baked goods, she never ceases to surprise and delight.
You’re a fairly recent addition to our development team. How do you like it so far?
I love it! Personally, it’s amazing to have found a career that inspires such passion within me. I love the fact that every day is a new challenge and opportunity to exercise the creative and logical parts of my brain. You never stop growing because the learning process is never done. Also, let’s not forget that I work with some pretty amazing people. That makes the work environment even more gratifying!
Speaking of amazing people, you’re working alongside some grizzled dev vets. How have they helped you grow into your role?
I cannot even begin to express my appreciation for Mike and Jason [our senior developers]. They have a great mix of pushing me to discover things independently, and yet they are always happy to answer my questions. I tend to ask, “Did I do this correctly? Or is there a better way to go about this?” Over and over, they’ve taught me that there’s no singular “correct” way to create. I’ve already learned so much from them.
Now, you didn’t start out coding. How did you get into that?
I actually have a pretty long background in music, voice specifically. Both of my parents are music teachers, but most of my family is involved in music in some way, shape, or form. I’ve always been a singer, and actually pursued opera as an undergrad as well as my graduate studies. As much as I loved music, I wasn’t sure I wanted my career to be opera. After that, I thought, “Okay, if not music, what then?” My husband, a systems engineer, thought I might enjoy web development, of all things. I thought he was crazy, but gave it a try. He showed me how to make a really basic website (it only said, “Hello, World!” but I thought it was the coolest thing ever). And I’ve been hooked ever since.
Well, we’re happy you found something you love. You’ve brought a lot to our team – and I’m not just talking your awesome baking skills.
I honestly have no idea how I got into baking! Before college, I’d never done a ton of cooking. But over a few breaks, I’d come home and just explore with some recipes. Before I knew it, I was baking every chance I got. During holidays at home, my poor parents would say goodnight to me, but I’d stay up baking all night. They’d wake up to find all kinds of cookies and cakes and muffins – all sorts of things.
It’s therapeutic, in a way. I know it’s not fun for a lot of people, but I actually find enjoyment in the precision and exact measurements it takes to bake. And I love that I get to pour my love into whatever I make and the joy it brings to others. For me, that is the biggest reward; anything I may find tedious about baking fades away with that in mind.
You’re also a self-described “crazy dog person.” Does your dog get to benefit from your baking, too?
Oh my gosh, I am a TOTAL dog lover. So far, I haven’t done too much baking for him – his name’s Orion, by the way –but I have some recipes I’m dying to try when I have the time. He is a black lab/whippet mix, which ends up being a really neat combination. At three years old, he’s only 30 lbs and that’s as big as he’ll get – but he’s got about as big of a personality as you can imagine. And, man, can that dog catch a Frisbee!
You know I’m not going to let you end this interview without showing us what Orion looks like, right?
Of course! This is our goober…