Articles by Sarah Clatterbuck

Sarah Clatterbuck
I am a front-end engineer and engineering manager at Yahoo! by day and an avid cyclist and runner in my spare time. I race for a women's cycling team called Velo Bella and coach on weekends for the Bay Area Velo Girls. As a native to the Bay Area, I love all things adventurous and regularly travel to ride my bike, trek, try out new languages, and sample local cuisine. I feel as though I'm always learning new things in this great adventure called life, and am eager to share my experiences with others.

Your Weaknesses Can Say as Much About You as Your Strengths– So Work on Them

This weekend I spent some time working on my strengths. I entered a time trial race and got 2nd place. It’s really fun at times to focus on what you are good at. But, in athletics as with life, sometimes most energy should be focused on weaknesses.

For example, I am a good, strong flat rider. But why would I go out and ride the flats all the time? All that is going to do is reinforce what I am already good at. There are two things that are my weaknesses in riding – leg speed and hills. Therefore, I should spend as much of my riding time as possible working on both those things.

On Being a Woman and Winning a Yahoo! Hack Night as a “Demographic Outlier”

Photo credit: Sarah Clatterbuck

I just entered my first hack day a few weeks ago. And, to my surprise and delight, I was selected a winner. For those of you who don’t know, a hack day is where engineers take 24 hours and build their own ideas for products and then the ideas are judged. At Yahoo! We do this twice per year, and the judges are typically a panel of executives and architects.

Progressive Goal Setting and Success: How I Trained Myself to Tour Long Distances

I am a believe in progressive goal setting as a means to achieve greater success over time. It is probably attributable to a degree of risk aversion in my personality coupled with a strong desire to accomplish new things.

How to Find a Mentor and Form a Relationship

As a follow-up to my last post, I thought I’d pose some ideas on how to establish a life mentor or mentors in your own life. There are two steps to this – finding a mentor and forming a mentor. Once you do these two things, it’s a matter of sticking with it and making a commitment to getting together regularly.

Finding a Mentor

As I mentioned in my earlier post, my mentors came to me as part of a faith-based group. Faith-based groups are a great place to find mentors, as you are already in a more open, vulnerable place when in one of these groups. So, a prayer, meditation, or support group can be a great place to find a mentor.

My Life Mentors and the Lessons They’ve Taught Me

I think we’ve all learned the importance of mentors to help guide us through our schooling or career. But, this is about a different type of mentor – the life mentor.

My Mentors - Photo Credit: Mr. Sarah

My life mentors originally came to me as part of a faith-based group. However, over 15 years of regular meeting, we’ve bonded into something much deeper. The women in the group have become my life coaches. They are the ones who hold me accountable for the things I need to take care of in my in my internal life. They make sure I follow through with family and other important relationships, and help me see parts of my character that might use a little refining. And, I do the same for them. We represent a wide range of ages, family/marital status and professional backgrounds, so the perspectives are widely varied, adding to the richness of our relationship.

A Hand-Written Letter Will Always Outlast Your Smartphone

In a twist of irony, I got my first smartphone this week – and it’s ironic for many reasons. I mean, I write code to run on smartphones and didn’t even own one until now. And, my husband works for a manufacturer of smartphones. But, most of all, because I just spent 3 days sorting, arranging and otherwise archiving my pre-digital life of letters and photos – things that the smartphone and other technologies are pushing to obsolescence.

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone and Boost Your Career With “Interval Training”

It’s a well established fact of fitness that if you continue doing the same thing over and over, your fitness will never progress. Even for the casual exerciser, walking 2 miles day after day will not yield the all-important cardio-vascular conditioning. This is where the concept of “interval training” or “high intensity” training comes in.

The same can be said for a career. Doing the same thing over and over, year after year will not progress the career. So, lately I’ve been applying principles from my cycling training regimen to my work regimen. Every month, I try to do something that makes me a little bit uncomfortable. I could sit happily in my comfortable engineering

The Kern County Women’s Stage Cycling Race, and the Glory of Coming in Last

The Tour de France has long held a cherished tradition of awarding its last place finisher the “Lanterne Rouge.” Normally, losing a race is nothing to be excited about. But, the epic cycling stage race is so difficult that fully one-third of the riders who start are unable to finish the race. And thus, the Lanterne Rouge is an honor unto itself.

High-Stress, High Visibility Projects: Success Is in the Details

My husband frequently complains that I’m a little too obsessive. Of course, he is compulsive, which makes us a perfect compliment to each other. But, in all seriousness, being obsessive can make you crazy or crazy successful. It is one of those things that if channelled properly can help you deal with monstrous challenges one tiny detail at a time. This was just such a time.