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Headshot of April, with "Kin+, April Uzzle" text overlay

Meet April Uzzle, podcaster, non-profit director and java engineer

Our name is intentional. “Kin” refers to family and “Carta” refers to maps. When together, we’re Kin + Carta — a group of connected makers, builders and creators, who come together everyday to help our clients build experiences and plot a clear path forward in today’s digital world. Carta is what we do, Kin is who we are.

Kin+ is a series that uncovers the experiences, stories and lives of the people who make our collective “Kin” exceptional.

One of our favorite attributes to celebrate is a commitment to continuous development. At Kin + Carta, our Kin are set up to successfully grow as they utilize the firm’s training benefits to upskill themselves, as they work directly with leaders from some of the world’s biggest brands and as they consult across a breadth of client industries to become true cross-industry experts.

But it’s not just a commitment to development inside of work that matters. We love to hear of and celebrate the accomplishments and growth of our Kin across all aspects of their lives. That’s why we are so excited to introduce you to April Uzzle.

A little about April:

April is a Technical Consultant at Kin + Carta, with expertise in Java and Cloud development. She is committed to growing herself — both in her day job as she remains up-to-speed with the newest Cloud platforms, and outside of work where she spends time contributing to CyberSecurity NonProfit and the podcast Tech ‘n Savvy. 

April’s confidence to know and do what is right for her growth and development is admirable, and it’s something she learned at a young age. We can’t wait for you to meet our Kin, April.

Headshot of April, with "Kin+, April Uzzle" text overlay

I grew up in a small town on the east coast in New England, and there are two distinct memories from my childhood that I attribute to making me, me. 

They are both experiences that I had with my sister, when I was three years old. We were re-enacting The Lion King together and she convinced me to jump off our couch to act like a lion. I ended up breaking my wrist. A couple of weeks later the cast came off, and I was with my sister, yet again. For whatever reason, I was kicking the TV stand and the TV fell on me. It concerned my parents when they ran into the room after hearing our shrieks and I was holding the same wrist that had been broken the month prior. I turned to them confidently and said “my wrist isn’t broken, I would know if my wrist is broken or not!”

Looking back at these memories, I know that I learned a few things. First, not to just do what anyone tells me. And second, that I was, and would continue to become, the type of person who would figure out and know what was best for me.

Two pictures next to one another, both of April with her sister
April pictured with her sister — the individual a part of a few big moments that made April, April.

It was around high school when I remember my teachers beginning to notice my abilities in science and math, and they recommended me to summer programs at Google and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). I went on to participate in these programs, being introduced to engineering and learning more about web development.

While I thought I’d pursue electrical engineering, I simply just fell more in love with the programming side of things so I pursued a degree in Computer Science, while also minoring in Japanese, because at the time Japanese culture was so intriguing to me. I found my path and continued to do what was best for me.

Photo of April posed with a statue on her campus, for her college graduation
April at her graduation from the University of Rochester.

Upon graduating, I moved to Chicago and started my career as a Software Engineer, working in the Agile and XP space doing mostly Cloud-related development, APIs, and some mobile development. As an engineer, I get the opportunity to get my hands dirty with many different tech stacks and to train and certify myself up on different platforms and technologies. I love my job as an engineer and how it’s kept me ever-evolving and growing.

I’ve taken what I do at work, and found a passion for using my voice and experiences to improve the way technology impacts the world. In the past year, this has come to life in a few ways:

Photo of two individuals in front of microphones
April with her Tech 'n Savvy cohost.

My friend and I started a podcast, called Tech ‘n Savvy. They’re a quantum computing consultant, and we both found ourselves listening to a lot of tech podcasts, then realizing that, within those, we weren’t hearing often from folks who look like us or have experiences we can relate to. So, we decided to start our own. We talk about mostly tech topics and how they impact the world, trying to keep the topics at an intermediate level, if not a beginner level, so that everyone is able to listen-in and learn something new. My most favorite episode to record was one we recently released, where we talked about imposter syndrome and perfectionism. We dive into how those two things impact every aspect of our lives - from work life to personal life - and we even get a little bit into how imposter syndrome and perfectionism affects tech and how the industry is viewed.

Zoom screenshot of individuals making silly faces
The CyberSecurity NonProfit leadership team, at last year's holiday party.

I am also the Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) at CyberSecurity NonProfit (CSNP) — an organization with a mission to provide free education and resources surrounding cybersecurity, with the goal of making cybersecurity more accessible, inclusive, and diverse. I joined the leadership team because I was inspired by the opportunity to bring my experience and know-how with DEI and to gain more exposure to cybersecurity. As the Director of DEI, I work to make sure our programs are equitable, diverse, and reaching the correct people. 

Now, alongside keeping up with my podcast and CSNP’s commitments, I’ve landed at Kin + Carta, as a Technical Consultant, currently working on a modernization effort. There were a few things that made me feel confident in taking the leap to start a new job, let alone the first job I’d begin totally remotely:

  • The opportunity to consult with different industries and different clients. Specifically some clients in the IoT space and those within the agriculture sector.
  • I liked Kin + Carta’s commitment to upskill their people. My motto has always been: if it’s there, take advantage of it. And I’ve done just that since joining the firm. I’ve been able to take a couple of Udemy courses and am currently working towards my Cloud certification (wish me luck!)
  • And, the ethics of the firm aligned with mine. I like that at Kin + Carta, we’re B Corp certified, that we value the opinions of all employees, and that there’s true value and strategy placed upon inclusion and diversity. 

Joining a new company remotely has come with it’s challenges but I’ve appreciated the daily huddles and weekly check-ins with my team over zoom. And since I’m someone who values in-person connection, it’s been nice to connect with teammates and coworkers across different disciplines as the Chicago office re-opens and we work as a hybrid company. These connection points have made me a better engineer, and impact how I’m able to live life fully outside of work.

Just like Tech ‘n Savvy helps me with my speaking skills, as it requires me to explain myself well and clearly. It’s also transformed my attention to detail, as we talk a lot when recording episodes and I need to delete material in order to tell a cohesive and succinct story. With CSNP, I’ve learned the art of communicating and collaborating with stakeholders, specifically those who may not prioritize what I think is most important. 

Continuous growth and being able to chart my own path is so important to me — that’s why in every commitment I have, I focus-in on the learning available. When I was three, I discovered that I was the type of person who would figure out and know what was best for me. I’ve continued to live this out every day by trying new things, seeing them through and building relationships along the way to learn from those around me.

Want to work alongside April, and join a group of Kin who celebrate your personal and professional growth?

Apply now