Software Development

Developer Emily Lowing wants you to meet her at the library

We go Off the Clock with the PromptWorks developer, who told us about her favorite podcasts, her roller derby days and why she bought a GoPro for her bike helmet.

Emily Lowing (center) at the annual roller derby ECDX (East Coast Derby Extravaganza) in Feasterville, Pa. (Courtesy photo)

Product Hunt emailed us this summer. Subject line: Automate your life. But honestly? We don’t want to. We just want to live our lives … like humans. Tech culture can be so focused on work and efficiencies that it makes us forget everything else. Off the Clock is a new series where we interview people in the tech scene but don’t ask any questions about work.

The last time we saw Emily Lowing, she was hanging at Vistar Media’s open house with her friend, fellow developer and Philly.rb organizer Jearvon Dharrie. She was wearing this awesome T-shirt — “Meet me at the library,” it said — and teasing us for repeatedly returning to the water cooler to get just a little bit of water.
“Only small amounts?” she said. (Hey, sometimes it’s hard to drink a lot of water very fast and we didn’t want to waste it.)
Lowing, 29, is a developer at Center City’s software shop PromptWorks. Over a series of emails last week, we talked to the Fishtown resident and Flatiron School dev camp grad about her favorite podcasts, her roller derby days and why she bought a GoPro for her bike helmet.
Emily, take it away.


My current favorite song is Kate Tempest’s “True Light.” I’ve been on a Kate Tempest kick for like 6 months. She is such a powerhouse and her whole repertoire is phenomenal, but True Light is definitely my go-to song.

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My favorite Free Library branch has to be Parkway Central (1901 Vine St.). The architecture alone is worth the trip, but I also love to study there and browse the sci-fi and graphic novel new releases.
The last book I borrowed from the library was this morning! It’s a post-apocalyptic dystopian called Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. I will be starting that on a flight Friday night, but my current books are Practical Object-Oriented Design in Ruby by Sandi Metz, and Design Patterns in Ruby by Russ Olsen.
On Friday, I’m flying to Europe! My wife is attending a conference in London next week, and I have one in Portugal the week after. I’m turning 30 at the end of the month, so we decided to make a trip of it and tacked on Scotland and Barcelona.

emily lowing fdr

Emily Lowing at FDR Park. (Courtesy photo)

The last thing I bought was a GoPro for my bicycle helmet. A bunch of friends have had nasty run-ins with cars this summer, but the police don’t take you seriously without proof.
My favorite podcasts are Ruby Rogues, Giant Robots and the Bike Shed. Tech podcasts are great because they’re like eavesdropping on a conversation with really smart people who are interested in the same things as you. (Listen to the Ruby Rogues episodes on Impostor Syndrome and how to learn.) If I ever feel remotely caught up with those, I’ll let myself listen to Radiolab, which I love because those guys are super curious about everything like me.

At the My Brother’s Keeper hackathon in Philadelphia, November 2014. (Courtesy photo)

After work today, my old roller derby league is hosting a benefit concert tonight at World Cafe Live, for a former teammate who was the victim of domestic violence. I’m really looking forward to seeing old friends and supporting someone who helped start our league and coached many rookie skaters over the years, including myself.
Ha, I got into roller derby because I only know how to make friends through sports. When I finished my undergrad at Swarthmore, I moved into the city and joined the local league here, Philly Roller Derby, where many of my friends still play. I was on the Independence Dolls. I stopped playing this year to focus on rollerskating in skateparks, though.
My current side project is building a basic workout-tracking app because I have the worst memory and always forget what weight to use for a particular machine at the gym. I’ve also been messing around at home with [JavaScript library] React, since the team I moved onto recently at work uses it. Less app-focused, but I’m also always reading up on electronic health record technology, which is what I am most passionate about.
You should check out:

This sums up my extracurricular interests pretty well. Sports, food and good stories.

Companies: Promptworks / Free Library of Philadelphia

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