Shirley is originally from Canada and came to Birmingham, Alabama, after she was married. While working as a graphic designer in the 90’s, Shirley developed an interest in computer hardware. “I witnessed how technology transformed the printing industry,” said Shirley. Shirley made the transition into tech about eight years ago and since being in Birmingham, has taught computer hardware and helped launch one of the local makerspaces.
What were the most interesting things you learned from your past work?
“Understanding your hardware, and how it all shapes and influences your environment, is very, very powerful,” stated Shirley. “Wherever you live, the structure around you has a history. If you understand how things function, you can put them to work for yourself and your community.”
Where did you head after graduation?
“My first graduation in design (shout out to OCAD!) was a long time ago in Toronto. At the time, I headed out to Alberta (cue Ian Tyson and K.D. Lang). My most recent round of study programming, (business), was in Birmingham, AL, where I live now.”
So, uh, how did you come to Fledging?
“Was working with Stream Innovations at their coding summer camp, leading a teen intro to computer hardware class. We came to Fledging on a tour. I was already interested in what they were doing with computer hard drives, and applied to join the team.”
What does a do at a growing hardware startup?
“You could say we hand-craft artisanal hard drives. My main task is ensuring we have hard drives for our customers. We assemble, format and prepare to ship the product. My secondary focuses are IT, print purchasing, process automation and APIs.”
What’s the most interesting thing about working at Fledging?
“My colleagues at Fledging. They’re a talented group, with interests in hardware, programming, writing, and product design. The overlap between local makerspaces, the creative community, and the company. And that we offer reasonably priced quality replacement and drive upgrade solutions for Mac laptops.”
What’s the most challenging thing about working at Fledging?
“Learning to work remotely and use Slack. It was an adjustment from the ways I’d worked previously. It’s sometimes a challenge to get fast answers..”
What’s a fun fact about you?
“I manipulate materials, space, pixels and time.”
Want to learn more about Shirley, local makerspaces, or Fledging? Ask them at [email protected].
Interested in joining the team?
Check out our Careers page or send an email to