At Riffyn, we are proud that our customers see us as scientific partners. That’s because our mission is to help solve their deepest process and data challenges, and to deliver transformative long-term value. That commitment starts with people who care.
In our “Riffyn Spotlights” blog series, we’re giving you the chance to get to know the people of Riffyn that make our mission real. Today, we talk with Associate Director of Education De Anna Allen about her passion for education, how Riffyn appealed to her as a maker, and her hope for the future. Please note that answers have been edited for clarity.
Q: What is your greatest success story for helping a Riffyn customer?
A: I do not interact directly with Riffyn customers. However, I am passionate about improving our educational content. These days my energy goes to building practice activities and improving the articles in Riffyn Help Center, looking forward to more valid and reliable sources of instruction, guidance, and reference.
Q: What is your background -- what did you do before joining Riffyn?
A: My background is in instructional design and e-learning for corporate — so I create performance interventions for adult learners, mostly around global software training. The companies have varied, but the focus has mostly been on software or systems training. I’ve done lots of regulatory training for companies like CME Group, Berkeley Labs, Genentech, and HCSC/BCBSIL.
Q: Why did you decide to join Riffyn?
A: Last year I decided to move back to the Bay Area and I learned about Riffyn from a recruiter. I interviewed with around 9 or 11 people. Most of them were hybrid people, which I could relate to. By hybrid, I mean they were programmers/lab scientists/data scientists — so I figured they would understand how it was possible for a person to be an instructional designer/e-learning developer/content developer. Also, the street where the office was located, 9th street in Oakland, was beautiful. Plus I thought Riffyn’s product would be exciting and give me a chance to learn about experiments in Scientific R&D. I was making hair and skin products in my kitchen, tracking things with my own bootlegged version of a lab notebook — Riffyn is literally the answer to everything I needed as a maker. I'm not a scientist but I make my stuff and I take it seriously — so Riffyn aligned well with me as a maker.
Q: Describe Riffyn in three words.
A: Growing. Nontraditional. Innovative.
Q: What personal values do you get to fulfill through your work?
A: I feel like I have a job that contributes to the greater good of the world. Whatever we’re helping people with — whether they’re developing medications or doing research for HIV — it’s really interesting to see how Riffyn enables them to get there quicker. And user adoption. I know continuous learning, when done right, increases user adoption. I want to help people remove some of those barriers to performance — the learning-related barriers.
Q: What does “a day in the life of De Anna” look like?
A: Creating interactive practice activities, rewriting help articles. Breaking down some of these complex concepts that shape our software into manageable chunks of knowledge and skills practice.
Q: What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
A: Every evening during the week I do one hour of Codecademy or a Fundamentals of Biomanufacturing course I’ve been taking. I also have an online store where I sell my beauty products. And I enjoy spending time with my husband.
Q: If you could solve one major problem, what would it be and why?
A: Nothing. It was written. I just want my brothers and sisters in Christ who are fighting many battles during this time to endure. Endure beloved. Our King Yeshua will return. The battle is already won.
If you're interested in joining a dynamic group of people passionate about helping scientists discover more, please visit our Careers page at riffyn.com/careers or send a letter of inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org
Embriette is an academic-turned science writer with a passion for spreading responsible science. She holds a PhD in microbiome research from Baylor College of Medicine. After a 4-year post-doc, during which she managed the world's largest citizen science research project (the American Gut Project), Embriette became a full-time science writer and research consultant. You can find her work at riffyn.com, synbiobeta.com, and her personal webpage: drhydenotjekyll.com