Meet The Team: Amy Herndon

Meet The Team: Amy Herndon

Fun & Nerdy

October 3, 2022

 Min Read

This week we would like you all to meet our Hardware Engineering Manager: Amy

Amy with the Tilt Five team accepting the Auggie Award
Favorite Quote
“Sit down before fact as a little child, and be prepared to give up every preconceived notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever abyss Nature leads or else you shall learn nothing.” - Thomas Henry Huxley
What a day-to-day look like in your position?

My typical workday may include working on the design and build of robotic calibration fixtures, testing and repairing hardware, and handling management and company-related tasks.

Did you go to school? Self-taught? Is this your first role with a tech hardware company?

My background is fairly non-traditional. I’ve been a builder/maker my whole life. In fact, I spent much of my youth building crazy contraptions in the garage. I think I probably used my father’s tools more than he did! I went on to earn a BFA in sculpture, with a minor in film and photography. I then went on to earn a MPA in arts administration and worked for the City of Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture for 14 years.

During all of this time I continued my passion for building things. I built everything from a teardrop camping trailer from the ground up, to microphones, and completely remodeling a 50’s home.

I eventually met the team at CastAR. They recognized my talents with building things and convinced me to move to the Bay Area. They hired me on to help with calibrating glasses and building fixtures for the engineering team. When Tilt Five was formed, I was the first employee brought on board. I handled setting up most of the administrative processes for the new company, in addition to building fixtures. I’ve been called “the Swiss Army Knife” at the company, able to handle everything from management to the hands-on building of calibration fixtures--and I think that title fits me quite well. I can’t imagine a more fulfilling job. I get to take my varied background and do the things I truly love, with an amazing team, every single day. Best job ever!

Similar to my background, Tilt Five allows me to be diverse. It also allows my creative side to come out. If I had to choose one word to explain Tilt Five’s culture, I would say “genuine.”

Where did you grow up? What were you doing before working at Tilt Five?

I grew up as an Army Brat living in new places about every three years. I was born in Frankfurt au Main, Germany, and I’ve lived in really interesting places like Panama, in Central America. I finished up high school and undergraduate school in Virginia, and then I immediately followed my mother out to Seattle, where I lived for 21 years, before taking the plunge and moving to the Bay Area to begin the startup life.

What are the values that drive you?

I’m a big believer in choosing work that makes you happy and fulfilled and being able to work with colleagues who share a passion makes it all that much sweeter. I also believe it’s incredibly important, particularly when working in the tech industry, to have strong ethics and work with a team/company that embraces that as well. It’s exciting to work on tough and challenging tech problems, and it’s important to not do that with blinders on. Understanding the implications of the work is crucial to ensuring we don’t do things that are harmful. I feel lucky to work with a company that takes ethics seriously. Last, but certainly not least, I firmly believe that having diversity in a company makes the company stronger, and more enjoyable to work at. This has been a foundational element at Tilt Five from the very start.

Your top 3 favorite games?

I’ll break this one down based on decades of my life:

Youth- My first console was an Atari 2600. I was a huge fan of Harrison Ford’s character Indiana Jones (as well as Han Solo), so when Pitfall came out, it immediately became my favorite game to play. I spent so many hours with Pitfall Harry!

Twenties- Without a doubt, Myst was my favorite game. I really fell in love with the graphics, music, and mysteriousness of the game.

Today- This is a bit tougher for me, since there are so many amazing games. It’s a tough call between Elder Scrolls, Skyrim, and Fallout 4, although I always find myself coming back to Skyrim. I really love open world style games.

What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?

I like to spend my free time working on personal projects, in electronics, woodworking, metal working, and gardening. I have an extra class Ham radio license, and I love to play around with weird and interesting antenna designs. I also enjoy working digital modes, such as ft8. I also enjoy camping, particularly if it includes playing around with Ham radio or prospecting for gold. When I go camping in the deserts of California, I like to take my minibike and do some exploring, particularly of old mining areas, and sometimes I just like to let my inner rebel out and just have fun on the minibike. I’ve done quite a few modifications to it, so it is way faster than a stock minibike, and so much more exhilarating.

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