annie pennell

learn. create. grow. share.

I’ve been a software engineer since 2015, which includes what I call “super full stack” development: everything from design and project management all the way to backend. Mostly, though, I stick to what I really love, which is building on the frontend. With an educational background in visual arts and the humanities, I am very design- and product-oriented, which makes me great at bridging designs to their production build and thinking through the full user experience.

After years of building web applications, then briefly trying my hand at engineering management in 2022, I decided to strike out on my own and established Sparkbird Works, a studio where I can continue to use these skills and others to provide freelance engineering, consulting, and coaching services. In 2024, it was time to return to working on a team full-time and I joined the brilliant and collaborative Design Systems team at Gusto.

I’m a huge advocate for accessibility (a11y) and sustainability in design and development, and these are the backbone of my work, whether in my studio or working on a team. I am tenacious when it comes to navigating complex systems and difficult problems and I love using this skill to help others do the same.

On most days, you can find me working from a little office studio in my backyard in Richmond, CA, where I enjoy being distracted by the birds who stop by my window and taking breaks to roller skate. I’m always creating things in many mediums and learning new skills, whether that means building a website in a programming language I don’t know yet or taking a woodworking class at the local art center.

For a more detailed history of my work experience, please visit my LinkedIn profile.