Meet the Bears: Lisa Wells
Develop | Posted March 29, 2010

LisaWells If you've browsed around our site, you've probably read the writings of Lisa Wells. As our VP of Marketing, she has created the helpful white papers and articles that give you tips and tricks for code reviews. She's also one of the cooler females to know; in her downtime, she makes caramel truffles and loves Dune! Sounds pretty awesome already, huh?

Describe a typical day for you at the office.

The only thing typical about days is that they never are. Even work location and times vary from home to office, day to night to weekend. Translation: I work from home a lot, often at odd hours. One of the things I love most about my job is the huge variety in activities, which range from writing about code review to strategizing to editing to running marketing programs. My days often include herding cats, by which I mean my lazy home office staff, not unruly Bears. As far as you know.

Where were you and what did you do before Smart Bear?

I ran my own Marketing and Product Management consulting company, Product Principles, for six years before I heard the Call of the Bears and jumped ship (my boss was a real b!tch). Before that, I sharpened my Product Management and Product Marketing claws at various technology companies. If you want to look back into ancient history, you may discover that I have a BSEE (and a BA in Liberal Arts to balance the gEEkery) and used to be an Applications Engineer. Once upon a time, a long time ago, I wrote a few books on graphical programming with LabVIEW® that somehow managed to get published by Prentice Hall.

How did you come to Smart Bear?

In 2006, Smart Bear founder Jason Cohen hired Tracy O’Shaughnessy, a fabulous graphic designer I’ve worked with for years, to help create a better look and feel for the growing young company. Tracy suggested he bring me in to help with company branding, messaging and website content. So Tracy made the pretty pictures and I wrote the pretty words, and Smart Bear got a make-over. Over the years I kept doing more marketing and messaging work with the Bears, and finally couldn’t stand not being one!

What is your favorite thing about Smart Bear?

My answers are trite-but-true:

  1. The people! I feel privileged to have such amazing colleagues. I wouldn’t work here if they had teeny tiny little brains or fangs and claws. I get enough of that at home.
  2. Working on an exceptionally useful product, Code Collaborator, that our customers deeply appreciate.
  3. The relaxed and fun-loving culture. How great is it to have a corrective-lens-wearing panda attend your events (he wears glasses so he must be smart), and to launch water balloons off your deck at enemy buildings?!
  4. Free food. Can’t forget that, since frequent feeding is an important part of a Bear’s day.

What are some of your favorite websites?

I could list a bunch of excellent business blogs here, but I never have enough time to read all of the ones I want, and no doubt you don’t either. Instead, here’s an eclectic mix of sites I use that either give me information I want or entertain me with minimal overhead. Preferably both.

What are your favorite activities?p Hobbies?

I love words, and it thrills me to twist them into new and entertaining shapes and forms. Languages in general excite me and sometimes I try to learn them for fun (how sick is that?!). Travel is a regular requirement and keeps my horizons broad. I’ve always loved to read, and if you put on the right music you may find that I dance in unexpected places. Right now I’m also into ad hoc cooking (throwing fresh, healthy, organic ingredients into a pot to see what comes out), learning Qi Gong, and walking to the park to feed the ducks on warm sunny days.

Favorite music bands?

My musical obsessions vary from week to week. It’s much easier to list elements of music I like: rhythm, bass, individual instruments, movement, harmony… it’s easy for me to find elements to enjoy in most music. This week I’m really into AfroCelt, Ben Folds, Amethystium, the Putomayo World Music samplers, and a bunch of trance / electronic music. In the interest of full disclosure, I should confess to an unapologetic appreciation for 70s and 80s genres.

Favorite spots in Austin?

  • All of the lakes, especially when everyone else is at work
  • Mt. Bonnell. But doesn’t everyone?
  • Various green belts. Bull Creek is a favorite.
  • Whole Foods
  • Trio, a delicious restaurant/bar in the Four Seasons hotel overlooking Town Lake
  • Cedar Street Courtyard

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