Back to Venmo.Com

Venmo Developer Spotlight: Amanda Li

· by Cassidy Williams

By Cassidy Williams and Amanda Li

This is the first in a series of Venmo Developer Spotlights, where you can get insights on what life at Venmo is really like. If these posts tickle your fancy, head over to our job board and join us!

Amanda is an awesome backend engineer at Venmo. She has worked in a wide range of places, including government, investment banks, and startups. She graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Information Science. In her spare time, she loves to dragonboat (ask her what that is), cook, eat, and drink wine - preferably in that order.

How long have you been with Venmo? What do you work on?

I've been at Venmo for over a year and have spent that time working on the Data & Internal Tools team. They're like my family, but just the incredibly funny ones. At Venmo, I develop applications used by our internal teams to help them do great things like detect fraud and assist our users.

What is your favorite programming language?

My current favorite programming language is Python. Ruby is a close second.

What do you like to do outside of work?

Outside of work, I like to stay active. Whether it be paddling on the water, playing dodgeball with coworkers, or hitting the gym, it feels good to work up a sweat.

Are you working on any side projects right now?

My side projects include building websites for non-profit organizations, one of which is a Breast Cancer Survivor Dragonboat Team. They're all written in Ruby on Rails, using Bootstrap themes, and hosted on Heroku. Nothing flashy, just simple and straightforward.

What is a fun fact about you that you don’t usually get to talk about?

I recently made the preliminary roster for the 2015 USDBF Team USA Premier Women's Dragonboat Team. It's the equivalent of qualifying for the US Olympic Team, if Dragonboating was an Olympic sport.

What advice do you have for aspiring developers?

My advice to aspiring developers is to prepare yourself on how to deal with failure. There will be many times where you will hit a proverbial wall in your learning process. Maybe it's a concept you just can't figure out, or your code won't compile. Life. Will. Suck. You have to be stubborn and believe that you can figure it out - it's just a matter of time. Step back, look at the bigger picture, reach out to others for advice, or try a completely new approach. You've got this.

Got more questions? Email us at!