Meet Our Director of Candidate Services – Cala Estes

I began working for BIT in the fall of 2018. Brand new to Denver, I was still trying to learn the ropes of a larger metro area than I had ever lived in before. My fiancé who was working full time on a BIT contract, learned that Mike was looking for some administrative help and someone to organize the candidate process. I am totally blind, I like working with people, and I had just left a position in Human Resources to move to Denver. The role sounded perfect for me. I went through my very own set of candidate interviews with Ethan Twisdale over the phone. He asked the same questions I ask candidates today; “What makes you most productive at work?” “Tell me about a time you may have had an unsuccessful working relationship.” “How did you handle it?” It had been three years since I sat through an interview, and I was nervous! Coming directly from an HR position definitely helped me feel more confident in my answers. Like our candidates today, I went through the same waiting period while a decision was made. Would I be a good fit for BIT? Apparently, they thought so!

Things haven’t been boring. In my first month on the job, I gave a screen reader demo to a room full of developers, spoke on a panel at Google Boulder, and took on accessibility testing work for a BIT client. The next year never slowed down. I participated in a group accessibility audit, lead a round table discussion at a conference on inclusion and stood on a stage in San Francisco for a twenty-minute presentation on Salesforce at Dreamforce19.

One of the things I explicitly said to Mike when I first started at BIT was that I didn’t do public speaking, sales, or leadership. I didn’t have a tech background, and I didn’t really want to learn coding. I was happy being comfortable and not having to deal with any more challenges. Today, I’m teaching myself HTML, and I have to stop myself from jumping up to join Mike in his Art of Blinders presentations!

When I’m not taking on new challenges, I like to read. Books have always been the other half of my life’s story. I also enjoy audio gaming, cooking in my Instant Pot, and learning all the best near-by restaurants. I love animals except for the buzzing kind (I’ll take a spider over a bumble bee any day)! One of my favorite Colorado activities is white water rafting. One of my least favorite activities is indoor skydiving (Sorry Mike, that was one new challenge I didn’t embrace)!

When opportunity presents itself, you have the choice to say yes or no. When Mike asked me to audit a mobile system I’d never used, I said yes. When he asked me to overhaul the candidate process and create standardization, I said yes. I never knew one year could teach me so much about myself!