Anais Farges: Building infrastructure that allows rapid scale

June 20, 2018

An interview with Anais, Head of IT at Instacart. The company recently raised $200M in a mega funding round.

What do you ACTUALLY do?

I’m focused on enabling the team to design and implement processes, building infrastructure that allows our company to scale rapidly, and creating an enjoyable, frictionless user experience.

What types of devices do you support?

Generally speaking, we support nearly everything that plugs in.

What’s your favorite piece of tech?

  • Right now I’d say:
  • My AirPods – lots of phone calls.
  • The Pixelbook II – I’m testing out Mike Johnson’s tip from the CISO/Security Vendor Relationship Podcast.
  • My new U-Turn x Uncrate turntable – non-business low(er) tech but fantastic.

What tools or apps are most important to your job?

My phone, G-Suite, Slack, and Trello.

Do you prefer hands-on, or troubleshooting from afar?

If it’s users facing, I tend to like face-to-face although ultimately it comes down to whatever is easiest for them. If remoting in and fixing something while they get a coffee is what they’d hoped for, I’ll do just that. For everything else, if it can be done remotely, that’s the route I’ll take the majority of the time.

Favorite thing about your IT environment?

The team.

Thing you’d most like to change about it?

I’d like to push towards more automation and self-service enablement for users.

What’s on your desk?

I currently have a pretty lean setup.

What was your proudest professional moment?

  • Anytime I receive an email from a user praising the team for delivering great support.
  • When users feel empowered by something we’ve rolled out well and start broadening its use among their team.
  • When I was on stage with Edie Windsor to receive the coding scholarship named after her, which allowed me to attend Hackbright Academy, and broaden my skill set.

Most cringeworthy request?

Not exactly a request but one of my favorite moment with a user: a few days after having enforced 2FA on a company tool, a user came up to IT and insisted that we were responsible for changing the passwords and locking her out of her bank accounts. She wouldn’t believe 2FA had nothing to do with it until I convinced to call her banks, and she confirmed with them that, indeed, there was suspicious activity unrelated to our work.

Do you stay hydrated at work?

Water or decaffeinated tea.



DIY or turnkey?

I lean towards turnkey unless something easily scalable, clean, and integrations-friendly can be built and maintained.

Who would you love to see interviewed here?

Lauren Johnson, Blend

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