Episode 15

About Coffee with Jessica Greene

In this episode, I spoke with Jessica Greene and we talk about a subject dear to my heart and what keeps our podcast going. Coffee. It's time there's an episode that lives up to the name, and Jessica helped do just that! We talked about how Jessica fell in love with coffee and became a barista, the history of coffee, the roasting process, brewing and so much more.

Jessica is a Software Developer at Ecosia and a Co-Organiser at PyLadies Berlin. So of course, we also talk a bit about tech and community building.

My favorite quotes from our conversation are when we talk about what we’re brewing in the office and how coffee relates to tech.

The first occurs around ~21min:

The coffee you enjoy the most is the coffee you have at that time. You have in your hand. The more you learn, you maybe make your coffee better and more suited to your taste, but it doesn’t mean the coffee that you made the day before was like, bad. […] They can already make a huge improvement maybe to their daily beverage by buying whole beans and just grinding fresh.

Another favorite quote from our conversation occurred around ~34min:

For me, one of the real strengths, I think have been my communication skills. Like I would spend a whole day almost in a cafe talking to people. […] You know, keeping an eye on cleaning the coffee and cleaning the cafe and kind of making sure everything was running smoothly. It’s like programming, but in real life, like on a different level it’s problem-solving.

Why This Is a Special Episode

Beyond having an interesting conversation with an amazing person, there’s another reason why this episode is very dear to my heart.

The name cto.coffee, its story, and with it the celebration of coffee, is something I cherish a lot, as it’s part of a significant story of my life and a big part of why I am the person I am today. The name was coined while I was working at vaamo, a place where we celebrated coffee quite a bit. But more importantly, working there allowed me to confirm my theory that treating people as humans and not resources, does not only yield better work results in the form of better, more high quality products and services, but is better on all levels. Be it by allowing you to build meaningful relationships, or by being able to have meaningful conversations about people and products. It’s all just more human.

And it all really brought me to start this podcast. Which enabled me to have even many more meaningful conversations. This in turn, plays a little part in making more people aware that, yes, people are more important than technology. The way you collaborate with others, as a team, has much more impact on a team’s and product’s success and people’s well-being, than whatever framework or programming language you choose.

By now, in 2020, this is more than just my personal opinion and experience. But lots of research (search for “Psychological Safety”, “Accelerate”, Brene Brown’s “Daring Greatly”, to name only a few) have shown that collaborating in a humane way is the way to go, if you want to have a successful team and deliver successful products.

All this means this episode, even though we talk about tech very shortly, to me represents the belief in and the success of humans and human connection in the workplace.

People first. Always. And everything else follows.


cto.coffee - Episode 15 - About Coffee with Jessica Greene or listen to the episode on Spotify.

This episode was recorded on 26-June-2020.


You can also read the transcription of this episode.

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

Show Notes

Connect with Jessica on LinkedIn or follow her on Twitter.

~3min Jessica shares her background in coffee and her favorite beans

~5min Travelling to Ethiopia, visiting coffee farmers, and experiencing a coffee ceremony

~8min Jessica’s first experience with coffee making and learning from 5th generation Salvadorian coffee farmer Ady Battle

~11min The rise of specialty coffee shops in Berlin

~14min Jessica explains how coffee is made and what is Third Wave Coffee

~18min The roasting process

~20min Non-traditional brewing coffee in the office

~25min Coffee roasters in Berlin, cuppings (coffee tasting experiences) and rituals

~34min Jessica shares the parallels of working in tech, coffee, and imposter syndrome

~34min How soft and communication skills from making coffee transfers well for developer roles, being community taught, and becoming a PyLadies organizer

~38min How the community support of PyLadies made a difference in Jessica’s learning and it’s more than just knowing or learning a language

~42min Filter stories, a podcast about marginalized coffee farmers and gatekeeping a few other coffee learning resources

The intro/outro music in the podcast was made with Sonic Pi from this code.

Production & Editing

This cto.coffee podcast episode was edited and prepared for publishing by Namos Studio.

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