Emma Castor

How did you get to gap intelligence?

It was all thanks to my friend and now colleague, Jenny Pletner! We attended code school together, and she reached out to me when gap was in need of a new software developer to invite me to apply for the job. After several years of working remotely, I was excited to have a friend at the office, and I jumped at the opportunity to join a company with such an awesome culture of service to both clients and the community.

What values lead you and why?

The absolute most important value to me is integrity. Acting with integrity, to me, means doing what you say you will, and expecting of others what you expect of yourself. It means being someone worthy of trust and responsibility, and modeling that behavior for everyone around you.

What skills are you bringing to gap intelligence and what skills are you excited to learn?

My last job was at a consultancy, so I’ve gotten really good at identifying problems with process and helping teams make changes to increase efficiency, improve communication, and have a happier developer experience. I also have a lot of experience with modern front end frameworks and look forward to putting those to use in new and ongoing application development. At gap, I’m really excited to participate in the gap MBA program to further my growth as a leader and work toward my goal of moving into a management role. I’m also hoping to become Scrum certified.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be, why, and what would you do with it?

My superpower would be to give people faith in themselves. We waste a lot of time and energy second-guessing our words, actions, and decisions, paralyzed by the fear of making a mistake and that someone might perceive us negatively. I would love to live in a world where we all trusted that others will understand and accept us, and trusted ourselves to do the right thing. If people could be liberated from this fear and approach the world with confidence and self assurance, a lot of stress would be alleviated, and everyone could spend a lot more energy solving the problems that matter to all of us.

What’s the quirkiest thing about you that you’re willing to admit?

I adore dinosaurs! Also, there was a time in my life where some people actually thought my middle name was Stegosaurus. I think that may say more about them than me, but still…

Emma smiles in front of an iron stegosaurus sculpture in the desert.

What’s your favorite thing to do in San Diego and why?

I love exploring the beach cities in North county. I’ve spent many a Sunday morning just walking along the Pacific Coast Highway, taking in the perfect combination of sunshine, salt spray, and the smell of tacos on the breeze. Some of my favorite spots are the bridge over the San Dieguito Lagoon in Del Mar next to Dog Beach, where you can also see the Del Mar Fair in early summer, the walk along Tamarack Beach in Carlsbad, and the cliffs overlooking the surfers at Swami’s Beach in Encinitas.

Walking with dog at the lagoon by the Del Mar Fair at sunset.

What is the favorite place you’ve ever traveled to (describe why)?

I spent two summers working at a YMCA camp on Orcas Island, in the San Juan Islands of northwestern Washington state, and I think it’s one of the most magical places I’ve ever been. Island life just has a slower pace, and the Pacific northwest is incredibly beautiful. Orcas Island is covered with forests of lush ferns and fragrant hundred foot cedar trees, which open up to beaches that overlook the Salish Sea, with more islands on the horizon. It’s a great place for kayaking because the islands protect the waterways from big waves, so it’s calm most of the time. There’s tons of wildlife, including deer that have no fear of people, bald eagles, and of course, orcas! In the summer the sun sets late because it’s so far north, and the colors of the sky are truly spectacular.


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