People of Anaplan: Meet Elora Walmisley
In August of last year, my Anaplan journey began. I was on a long flight halfway around the world, New Zealand to London, to interview for a series of jobs before I graduated from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. I was excited to say the least.
After interviewing with a few top companies, I had my final interview with Anaplan scheduled and, out of all the companies I spoke with, it was the one I knew the least about. When I researched organizational software companies, Anaplan’s unique platform caught my eye.
What I thought was going to be a typical rigid interview process, turned out to be a pleasant surprise. Instead of jumping into the bland algorithm-based interview process, I was interviewed by three women on the Anaplan engineering team over coffee. The informal, casual conversation we had made me feel like I was getting to know new friends who were excited about the idea of me joining their team. Additionally, I completed a two-hour programming interview, working to solve a hypothetical bug within Anaplan. This was much better than an algorithm question because I really got a sense of what I was going to be working on and the processes Anaplan uses.
Then Oscar, the office Jack Russell terrier, showed up to say hi. It was then I knew I wanted to be a part of the “A” team.
My “aha!” career moment
During my time in university, I developed a love for organizational software and opened my eyes to the ways we can use data in next-generation modeling, complex math, and algorithms for all kinds of applications. For my honors project, I worked with intelliHealth Systems Research lab to develop a cheap method of motion tracking using off-the-shelf Arduino components. This will eventually aid stroke survivors and medical professionals in accurately tracking improvements in limb movement.
Working on a project with a real-world application using math and algorithms to help people in need was satisfying and set me on a path that would eventually lead me to Anaplan. Although we are not there yet, there is a dream of building neural networks and artificial intelligence in a way that’s never been done before, and that’s pretty exciting.
Growing into my role at Anaplan
When I first started, I felt a bit of apprehension that I was at a knowledge deficit. Working with so many people with extensive experience and impressive track records was a little intimidating. But right away, I felt very welcome thanks to the Godzilla engineering team and manager Sam Green, who has worked tirelessly to help me learn and fuel my personal growth.
Today, I’m proud to be adding genuine value to the team. And now, just a few months after being hired, I look forward coming to work because I love who I work with…even with their fascination with flat earth theory.
A glimpse into my future at Anaplan
To say the least, my future at Anaplan looks bright. One exciting, growing area at Anaplan is machine learning. At its most basic level, machine learning is the practice of using algorithms to parse data, learn from it, and then make a determination or prediction about something. Put simply, it’s math, and I love math.
So, when my team needed someone to do a deep-dive into a specific use-case of financial analysis, I was fresh out of school and had the ideal skills to tackle the project. Today, I’m leading workshops on artificial intelligence, and not just for my teammates but for anyone in the office who wants to learn. Having this opportunity so early in my career has been both rewarding and truly enjoyable.
The future of Anaplan looks extremely exciting from where I’m standing. It’s not just anywhere you get the opportunity to work with a collaborative and creative team who constantly shows that they value your perspective—and your puns. When it comes to the possibility of a flat earth, I maintain that the only thing we have to fear is sphere itself.