Welcome to our Humans of Zinier series! Please meet the people building the new era of field service automation.

Who: Ashley Saliba, Product Lead at Zinier

Quick Intro: Game of Thrones fanatic, Singapore resident by way of Vietnam and New Hampshire, detail-oriented product manager building out Zinier's Field Service Elements application one feature at a time

Location: Singapore

You design technology products - what is one technology that you can’t live without while working from home?

YouTube for workout videos. To break up the long hours spent at home all day, I do a lot of 10 minute workout videos which are a quick and easy way to move a bit while taking a break from product specs, Slack, and calls.

What is your typical day like?

Working with a team distributed across many different time zones, I spend some mornings catching up with teammates in the US before they log off for the day. Then, I usually have a few hours to myself to write product specs, work with designers to iterate on designs for upcoming epics, and plan out my user stories. In the afternoon, my teammates in India start their day and we spend time catching up, planning and working out details of upcoming features.

You’ve lived and worked in the U.S., Vietnam and Singapore. How have these experiences influenced your approach to product development?

The most important thing I’ve learned working in a few different countries and usually with a distributed team is that there’s no substitute for good documentation. A clean and concise (but thorough) product spec ensures everyone knows what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, why it’s important, and serves as a single source of truth for anyone who reads it. Properly written documentation saves hours and aligns everyone to exactly what is being implemented so there aren’t any miscommunications.

If you could live somewhere else - where would it be?

I have too many places in mind to pick just one. Some are definitely more realistic than others, but I would jump at the chance to live in Ghana, Lebanon, The Netherlands, or Turkey if the opportunity was right.

What’s a fun fact about you? I’m originally from New Hampshire which is always an interesting thing to explain to people who aren’t from or don’t live in the U.S. since it’s such a small and obscure state.

Do you have a favorite motto?

"To go north, you must journey south. To reach the west, you must go east. To go forward you must go back, and to touch the light you must pass beneath the shadow." - A Song of Ice and Fire [Game of Thrones] Book 2 - A Clash of Kings, George RR Martin

I’m a huge Game of Thrones fan (the books in particular) and this quote reminds me that there are things in life and career that you have to do to achieve your long term goals, that you might not want to do, but ultimately help you get to where you want to be.

Ashley’s Quick 3:

Top 3 most used mobile apps:

  • Google Maps
  • WhatsApp
  • Notes

It’s a very practical and boring list but these are three apps that I can’t live without.

3 things that you wish were automated:

  • Folding laundry
  • Booking fitness classes (At least in Singapore you have to be fast on the keyboard to book your classes right when slots are released because they fill up fast!)
  • Cleaning windows

Thanks for sitting down with us and sharing your story, Ashley! If you discover a way to automate those activities, please let us know. :)

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