In the latest installment of the Employee Spotlight Series, meet our new Senior User Experience (UX) Engineer, Erica Gugliemella. Erica shared her perspective on her career, as well as much more critical topics such as: "What would you buy if you won the lottery?" Starting at Cloud on August 1st, 2022, Erica is the newest member of the Cloud team, and we are excited for you to get to know her!
Cloud Construct: Tell us a bit about your career prior to joining Cloud Construct.
Erica Gugliemella: I have been dabbling with websites since I was 13 years old, when GeoCities webpages were all the rage. I decided to go to a technical college after high school, and from there embarked on a journey of over ten years of front end web development. I come from a family of psychologists, and while I opted to work with computers instead of people, that upbringing found its way into my profession with my desire to create a focus for myself on accessibility and user experience.
I spent over a decade at various digital agencies rising through the ranks and becoming a Technical Director before coming to Cloud. I decided people management wasn’t quite what I wanted to do in the long run though, and opted to hop back into the code in order to continue helping companies make some of the best inclusive user experiences they can provide.
CC: Where is your hometown?
EG: I grew up in the shadow of the most densely populated island on the eastern seaboard, if not the entire United States. While always living on the Jersey side of the Hudson, I worked in NYC for almost 8 years before moving to North Carolina in 2018. I miss bagels. I miss good pizza. I don’t miss the city.
CC: If you had to eat one meal, every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?
EG: Hibachi—forever and always. I actually race myself to finish what the chef puts on my plate before the next part hits. You will never see me eat so much as I do while watching an onion volcano travel across a flat top grill.
CC: If you could only drink one beverage for the rest of your life, what would it be?
EG: Cranberry ginger ale. When those 69 cent liter bottles hit the shelves in the fall/winter, life is good. It is great by itself or as a cocktail with some Bacardi Razz. Just… yum.
CC: What has been the most important innovation you have witnessed in your lifetime?
EG: As cliché as it sounds, the world wide web! I may have only been four at its founding, but it was still my lifetime and would grow to be my bread and butter.
CC: What is the best book you have ever read?
EG: Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk. I actually read this book before his most famous work (arguably), Fight Club. Equally as trippy, equally as thought provoking, but better.
CC: Motto or personal mantra?
EG: Sh*t happens. I am a realist that sees the cup of water and doesn’t worry about if it is half full or half empty. Sometimes life goes your way, sometimes it doesn’t. You just need to take things in stride.
CC: What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this?
EG: Movie Reviewer—Candy Taster—Dog Snuggler... and CGI Animator. I used to have a pipe dream of working for an entertainment studio creating special effects for their TV shows and movies.
CC: What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?
EG: A week-long vacation for all my closest people and I in Disney. I love Disney. I am not sorry.
CC: What TV show/movie are you ashamed to admit you love?
EG: As much of a fantasy/fiction nerd as I am, I am also a closet chick-flick watcher. I could honestly sit and watch cheesy Hallmark romance movies all day without blinking an eye. I will deny ever saying that though.
CC: Best vacation you’ve ever been on?
EG: Many moons ago, my sister had just been accepted into graduate school and I got accepted into my four year. To celebrate, our parents took us on a cruise that summer to the Caribbean. To this day, I think it still ranks #1 as my all-time favorite vacation, and also the last time all four of us went on vacation together.
CC: What do you like to do on your days off?
EG: I am a lazy sloth and I make no apologies for it. Plant me on my couch with my dog, my cat, and my game controller or TV remote and just let me chill. Don’t get me wrong, it is nice to go out once in a while, but I am 100% a homebody.
CC: Where do you see yourself in five years?
EG: I tend to not think that far in advance. Maybe I won’t even be around in five years, who knows. I would rather be spending my time in the endless now, so that is where I am.