Lindsey Baab is a software engineer on the Color team, writing code that powers our leading population genomics platform. Today, Lindsey discusses starting her engineering career at Color, where she has the opportunity to own more projects than the average new graduate engineer.
Tell us about yourself and what got you into Engineering.
I was born and raised in the Bay Area and a huge part of my childhood was single-handed competitive sailing on the San Francisco Bay. Sailing sparked my initial interest in math and science — understanding the physics and mechanics of your boat can help you be faster than your competitors.
In high school, I was curious about engineering, so I decided to enter an all-girls engineering competition where my team was tasked with creating a mobile app to solve a problem in our community. We tackled the issue of the underrepresentation of women in college lecture halls. Women tend to ask less questions than men in large lecture halls, so we developed an app through which students could submit questions that would appear directly on the professor’s Google glass device.
I loved the collaborative process of working with my friends and was immediately hooked when I realized how easy software engineering made it to build something useful that positively impacts the lives of others. After high school, I went on to study Computer Science at Brown University and built more cool stuff, like an operating system, artistic 3D graphics, web apps and even a drone.
What is your role at Color and what does your team do?
I’ve been a Software Engineer at Color for almost a year and a half. I currently work on the Population Genomics Experience team, where we build tools to better deliver our Population Genomics Platform to large populations. Most of our work is based in collaborating with partners to determine and create the best solution for their program, whether they are a health system, self-insured employer, payer or research program. Recently, I’ve been focusing on collaborating with health system partners to ensure that patients can see genetic information as a standard part of their EHR (electronic health records).
Lindsey and her team collaborate with our partners to create the best solution for their needs.
How did you hear about Color and what attracted you to working here?
When I was looking for a job at the end of college, I was looking for a company where I felt like my work would benefit real people and make a positive impact. I heard about Color through a posting on my university’s job website and originally, I was attracted to the size (~140 employees) and a company mission that I identified with. Once I interviewed, it was the smart, humble and interesting people I met that helped me make the final decision. I was excited to work with everyone here and have the opportunity to learn from people with such diverse experience. Seeing the cool robots at work in the lab didn’t hurt either!
What has been the biggest surprise for you here at Color? What has been your favorite memory so far?
As an engineer fresh out of college, I was shocked at how much ownership I was able to have in projects across the company. Because our engineering team is relatively small, you can quickly become an expert in a specific area of the product — I’ve become our go to person for creative solutions for meeting the individual needs of health system partners. I also feel like I have the ability to influence product decisions and that my input is valued, which has helped me grow as an engineer
My favorite memory was working on the launch of NorthShore’s DNA-10k program. For this program, we worked with NorthShore’s technical team and our partner Redox to integrate 10,000 discrete genetic results into the health system’s electronic health record. I had a lot of fun working with the external engineers on the other teams to solve some interesting problems that came up along the way. It was a challenging project, but has helped inform the work we’re doing to collaborate with other health system partners. It was also very satisfying to see the successful completion of the program this January and to learn the initial success has led to the Program’s expansion.
How else do you bring your unique talents to Color?
I love adventure and often bore my coworkers with my endless ramblings about kitesurfing and climbing during our lunch time discussions. Most recently, I’ve started biking to work and have been recruiting coworkers to bike with me from the city. I ride with my coworker Katie — we are directionally challenged, which adds to the sense of adventure.
Lindsey bikes to work regularly.
What excites you about what Color is doing?
I’m very excited about our work in population genomics, in which we help organizations like health systems and employers implement genomics as a foundational layer of routine healthcare. I look forward to working on the technical challenges that come with providing genetic testing services to many different types of populations, increasing access and creating more positive outcomes for the patients of these populations.
Color is the leader in delivering precision healthcare through cutting-edge technology. Color makes data-driven health programs such as clinical genetics accessible, convenient, and cost-effective for everyone. Color partners with leading health systems, premier employers, and national health initiatives around the world including the million-person All of Us program by the National Institutes of Health. For more information about Color, visit www.color.com