Ann Lewis is the CTO of MoveOn.org. She is a technical leader, architect, and active coder with 15+ years of experience in software engineering and software management, with a focus on distributed systems and scalability. In her work at MoveOn, she in-housed tech and hired a tech team, modernized and upgraded MoveOn’s software infrastructure, created and scaled up new systems for MoveOn’s 2016 presidential election program, 2017 Resistance programs, and 2018 midterm election program, and co-ran and launched a rebranding effort across all MoveOn web properties.
Ann sees opportunities for new collaborations between the tech and organizing worlds, to modernize infrastructure, bring in best practices, and scale impact of tools. Ann is passionate about using tech and data to scale the impact of organizing, ensuring that systems of power are fair and accountable, and harnessing people power to hold governments and corporations accountable.
You can find her on twitter here: @ann_lewis
A note from Grant
Ann Lewis was a practicing programmer for 10 years before moving into management. She has worked across a variety of industries including ecommerce, medical, city planning, education and politics. Along her journey, she’s earned a bachelor’s in computer science from Carnegie Mellon and has held titles like software engineer, engineering manager, director of engineering and my personal favorite “Ruby on Rails Web Ninja”.
These days, Ann is the Chief Technology Officer of MoveOn.org a non-profit working in the political space. Be sure to stay tuned as we catch up with Ann Lewis and hear not only about her move to the C-Suite from engineering, but also what it’s like to work for a non-profit.
“Political Tech as an ecosystem has a relatively small market cap so there is often not enough organic competition to make it so there is a good product offering for each price point in each thing that needs to happen.”
“When I discovered programming in general I realized that you can move at the speed of thought and build things as quickly as you can imagine them and I’ve been excited for that my entire life.”
“In the early 2000s, I think Amazon’s identity was largely based around having survived the dot com bubble burst and a lot of other tech companies had gone under. So Amazon survived and so did google and Microsoft. They were hiring up all the engineers out of college. There was a lot of pride around doing things efficiently.”
“At Amazon, without meaning to, I got deep experience in massively scalable distributed systems. It’s interesting, these big tech companies have so much data and so much scale. Even the smallest system you can build is going to have to handle thousands of request per second.”