Niya Panamdanam | Coffee Addict & Design Pro

Meet Niya Panamdanam. Give her enough coffee and she can run the world with her developer and graphic design skills. She’s currently a front-end developer and graphic design freelancer, and has worked on multiple startup projects, including Julie Bees and Zebrablinds. See how her determination and caffeine infused energy can be put to good use in any startup or small biz.

What tech/ tools are essential to you?
Besides the ever present cup of coffee, I love working with WooCommerce for e-Commerce sites. It’s easier to make customizations with I love it, and the we don’t lose control of the backend stuff. Gulp for setting up my environments (so much easier when trying to keep things organized and minified/ uglified), and of course Adobe Creative Suite. I know Photoshop and Illustrator are the top ones most people go for, but my favorite is InDesign. It looks sparse, but it’s the best for print setting files, and working with typography.

How do you stay informed?
Best way I have found is to be involved in the community. When I was in Canada I was a part of Project Space (co-working and networking spaces), and now in Atlanta I keep busy by going to meetups on JS, Design, the events at Iron Yard, etc. I go to the meetups to make sure I get a chance to talk to wiser and more experienced designers and developers, and it works. Also I read all the newsletters I can get my hands on Hypepotamus, sitepoint, HTML 5 Weekly, etc.

What is your best skill?
Besides my ability to drinks tons of coffee… my graphic design skills (Photoshop). But my HTML and CSS (Sass) are close seconds.

What’s next on you list of things to learn?
Right now I’m actually finishing up my tutorial stuff with Angular.Js. Hoping to keep building and improving on that first, but next would be to learn another JS framework just to keep things interesting.

Are you interested in startups?
All that caffeine energy has to go somewhere. Startups are always busy, there is always something to do, something to improve. And I love the fast pace of it; everything has to be done yesterday, so there really is no lollygagging. People just don’t have the time to waste on things that are not important. Best of all I get to work many different kinds of things. I mean I started out in graphic design with a blinds company and now I get the chance to learn Angualr.Js and my work helps to sell chic designer, eco-friendly shoes. I love it. The possibilities are limitless as long as you are willing to work your tushy off.

What type of companies are you interested in?
Startups and midsize companies. Nothing against corporations, I just like the environments of startups and mid size companies better. And with startups, the opportunity to learn new things is endless.