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Meet Kaitlyn Hova: The Fast Interview

Kaitlyn Hova, Senior Software Engineer at Fast

Kaitlyn Hova

Role: Senior Software Engineer

Team: Engineering

Talk about your background leading up to Fast.

I come from a diverse background in music, neuroscience, public speaking, and tech. I co-founded Hova Labs with my partner (Matt Hova) where we build creative tech. For example, we made a 3D printable violin, The “Hovalin,” because puns are great, with a built-in synesthesia light show to raise awareness about synesthesia and to give an example of what it looks like.

Why did you say yes to joining Fast?

I was really excited about leading the engineering side of a new design system that crosses contexts (web, iOS, etc.), how Fast allows you to work remotely, how rad everyone I met in the interview process was, and how the company was already sold on having a design system. Normally the majority of design system work is convincing your company they should make one, but since both design and engineering were already all in, it’s been a dream working here.

Where did you grow up, and what were you like as a child?

I grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, and friends describe me somewhere between “wholehearted” and “relentless.” Most of all, I had different types of synesthesia and was, and still am, a very creative, odd person.

What was your first job ever?

When I was 13 years old I started performing professionally as a violinist with Rod Stewart, Josh Groban, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Mannheim Steamroller, Mary J. Blige, and more. I am eternally grateful to those experiences and musicians for helping form who I am today.

What career path did you almost take?

I had ambitions to become a doctor but then fell in love with combining tech, music, and neuroscience instead.

Which public figure do you admire most and why?

I don’t particularly pay attention to public figures, but I feel like Taylor Swift is killin’ it these days changing the music industry for the better for artists. I’m definitely a big fan of hers.

What app on your phone do you use the most?

I use Apple shared photo albums all the time so I can share photos of my kids with family every day. 

What food do you uncontrollably eat?

Any and all cookies with coffee.

Who’s your favorite TV or film character?

Right now I’m really vibing with Terry from the movie “Soul” because even though they are positioned as the bad guy in the story, they are actually just really passionate about their job and making numbers add up. I get that. 

What was the last show you binged?

After I had my youngest daughter last year, we binged “The Office,” and it’s still nothing but gold. I’m passionate about remote work being the future of tech, but “The Office” almost makes me miss working in an office every day with my coworkers. It’s a must-watch. 

What personal goal would you like to achieve in the next five years? 

I would love to perform and/or present at Figma’s Config conference about deductive component nomenclature, Fast’s really rad design system, and Fast’s design system culture. Figma is the glue that keeps a design system working across contexts, and I really believe in our methods.