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Getting to know Iris Eggelmeijer

YellowDog Team Profile
Meet the faces behind YellowDog, and get to know us a little better! We took some time with Iris Eggelmeijer to chat family, work, and tea (all the important things in life).

What is your job title at YellowDog and what does that mean?
I am the Render Wrangler. That means that I look at our render customer scenes if there is troubleshooting required or if studios request optimisation suggestions for more seamless performance on YellowDog’s platform. I work hard to fix projects at the highest quality in the nick of time!

When did you join YellowDog, and why?
It was back in March 2017. I was incredibly excited to join because the opportunity sounded amazing. After graduating from the DAVE-school in Orlando, Florida in Digital Animation and Visual Effects, I wanted my first ‘real’ creative job to be something pretty unique.

Overview shot of DAVE school of digital animation and visual effects in Orlando Florida

What does an ‘average’ day for you look like?
An average day is very different now to how it was last year. I now have a baby so the mornings are crazy and wonderful and usually involve me dropping my daughter to nursery after the morning routine…or lack of it. Once I get to the YellowDog office, it is time for a well deserved cup of tea! I check to see if there are outstanding customer issues that are unresolved from our support team overnight that I can help with; these usually take priority first thing. If there aren’t any customer challenges, then my day involves lots of testing of new software releases from partners such as Chaos Group and Redshift. I also do regular Quality Assurance of our software as we release new capability and features for our customers. There are plenty of jokes in between, and a lot more tea!

How do you balance being a render wrangler and a mum?
It’s a fine line to walk. Especially when I first returned to work, I felt like I wasn’t in either place completely as my mind was always preoccupied. The last few months have been better, and I can fully give myself to YellowDog when I’m here; when I go home I can switch off completely and pay attention to baby until she’s asleep.

Coming through that transition, and I’m still working at it, makes you better at your job and better at being ‘mum’. The team has been amazing in supporting me, and because of flexible hours and the ability to work from home, it’s manageable and helps me to keep delivering for our customers without missing out on important time with my daughter.

How has having a baby and being a new mum changed your role at YellowDog?
I come into the office late and leave early: picking things up in the evening where it helps me and our customers. I have the confidence that I can work full time, even with a baby, and that’s made me more confident in a lot of other areas too.

I guess that’s the logistical side of it but then there’s the emotional side too which often gets overlooked. My brain is apparently going through a phase where it sort of rebuilds. My short-term memory isn’t what it used to be and the prospect of outstanding tasks stresses me more than it once did.

The upside to that is that I have a different approach to things now. Whereas once I would start a job and not finish it: moving to something new only to come back to that unfinished thing from earlier (can you tell I’m an artist at heart), I now just get it done because if I don’t finish it now, I might not get the chance later. This is how my life is with a baby. In the now. Do things now and don’t linger on things that have gone wrong or you are worried about….just ‘do’.

What was your biggest challenge when you returned from Maternity?
The lack of sleep is definitely a strong contender. Externally, you might seem like you have it all together, but sometimes the lack of sleep, oh my goodness…the lack of sleep, can make what used to be simple tasks harder to attack. You can’t complain too much about sleep deprivation because babies are cute right?! My daughter brings me so much joy but unless you talk about the challenges, no one might ever know just how hard it can be.

That was daunting but speaking openly about that with an understanding team helped me to overcome the temporary fears of balancing work with the initial lack of sleep.

Has anything surprised you about returning to YellowDog after maternity leave?
I am surprised by how fast things had developed. When I left, everything was advancing, and when I got back a huge number of improvements had been put into place. You really do notice it when you’ve been away!

What is it about YellowDog that you think is unique?
The people! And at the same time, the product is unique. I think that we’re the only rendering solution that has genuinely amazing customer service and support day or night. I’ve never seen that before; the sales and software development team make it their personal mission to ensure that our customers know that we are always here and happy to help.

What is the office atmosphere like?
It is very different for me because it’s mainly a male environment and most of our customers are male too. Previously I have always worked in female dominated workplaces. I like that YellowDog is aware of and improving its diversity but we’re not quite there yet.

There’s a lot of openness: no one is afraid to ask for help if they need it, and there is always room to speak your mind if you have an idea. Even if it’s a horrible idea, you’re very safe – sometimes it may be useful, sometimes not!

What’s it like working in Bristol?
I’ve just discovered the indoor food market which I’m obsessed with!  I love the vibe of Bristol: it’s so young and creative. There is always art around and that makes me very happy.

Assorted foodstuffs in front of falafel store in St Nicolas Market, Bristol.

What would you say to someone who was considering YellowDog as a partner/employer?
I believe that you can’t get better customer assistance or a feeling of belonging than right here.  YellowDog has been good to and for me and I can’t give it a stronger endorsement than that.