Angie Byrd

Angie – Mom. Musician. Mentor. Friend.

What did you do before BigPanda?

Well, right before Big Panda, I was taking a self-imposed sabbatical for about two years. I’ve got two young children and wanted to spend more time with them while they were so young and take advantage of that time to go back to school and spend more time on my hobbies. I did some schoolwork at the UC Berkeley extensions, their interior design and architecture program. I had been taking night classes while I was working and pregnant with a newborn. And then I decided, this is too much. So I took some time off, enjoyed the time with my baby, and then took some more classes. Before that, I was in software for over 20 years and had experienced large software companies with CA to software companies that were around the same size as BigPanda and Chef Software which was an open source, infrastructure as code company.

What led you to be interested in BigPanda?

First and foremost, Bryan Dell. We were individual contributors at the same time in the same business unit at CA. I just know Bryan’s work ethic and know that what he touches will in fact, be successful. I also know that he is a good human being and will run an organization with a killer culture which is super important for me. I’m not interested in working somewhere with the toxic culture. I also didn’t want to be in a super large organization where you’re just one of several thousand employees. So overall, the size of the organization, the market space and story and Bryan. Because again, he’s a great person and is going to run an awesome Sales organization.

What was that transition back to work like?

I was a little nervous at first because, I mean, two and a half years is a pretty good amount of time. But I dusted off the gloves, and got to it. I really think just within the first few weeks, everything started coming back and came back really quickly. I think I surprised myself by how fast I was able to come back, actually.

How do you find balance between your home and your professional life now?

I’m pretty rigorous about leaving weekends to my family. Again, we’ve got young children and we’re very, very busy. We also have a pretty chaotic social life outside of work because my husband and I both are musicians and we perform a lot. We have gigs on weekends and on weeknights. I really have to draw a very firm line on the weekends and say I’m not going to get on my laptop. Come Friday, Friday afternoon, Friday evening, we’re done. But during the week it can be hard. Sometimes I may have to be on a call at 6am with someone on the East Coast and sometimes I can be on a call at 8pm with someone who is international. The nice part about BigPanda is that we have so much flexibility. If I need to take off and go get my kids from school I can and I don’t feel bad about it, because we can be in charge of our own work schedule. So I would say I’m still trying to find balance during the week but I’m very strict about my weekends.

What kind of music do you and your band play?

I don’t really play anything. I can strum a few chords on a guitar but I kind of just ditched that and decided to focus mostly on my vocals. So I’m our lead singer. My husband plays everything: guitar keys, piano, bass, drums, saxophone, you name it. Everyone in our band can sing their butts off so our keyboardist sings a lot of leads and our other lead guitarist sings. My husband sings a lot of leads, we all kind of just take turns. We mostly do covers since that’s what our gigs ask for but a lot of people in our band can also write music and so we’ll do some of their originals as well.

What do you enjoy most about your career now?

The people. We have so much fun here, we really have just a great culture and a great group of people that are really passionate about what they’re doing. They work hard but they know how to have a great time and have fun. They can make fun of themselves and each other in the process too. I didn’t realize how much I’ve missed what I like to call “adulting” by being off for a couple of years and only having a relationship with a one year old so just getting back to adult conversations has been fun.

What would you say is one of your superpowers?

Multitasking. Multitasking like a crazy person. I’m a mom, so I can be on a conference call and scolding someone to put their shoes on while making my kid’s lunch. Like I can do that all while slacking someone. I’m always multitasking.