Published December 2, 2022

One-woman IT Team: Keeping Things Running with Diana Nguyen

Diana Nguyen is a real MVP at Picnic. In her role as a one-woman IT team, she’s responsible for ensuring that all internal infrastructure is always up and running—a task that she takes pride in while also enjoying the adrenaline rush of last-minute problem-solving. Without Diana, if there were an IT issue, the company would struggle to continue to operate.

“I love the diversity of the role because you can come in one day and there are no tickets, and then BAM, in the middle of the day, something goes wrong, and I have to jump in and problem solve,” she says, with excitement. It seems that the element of surprise and no two days being the same makes Diana tick.

A new challenge every day

After working in the IT industry for a number of years, Diana found her home at Picnic after contracting with the company for three months. Now, she manages everything information and technology-based, including the office internet, servers, desktops, new software installations (such as Slack, Jira, and OneDrive), and vendor access to systems.

“Some days, I’m updating server patches, some days I get asked to help people with SharePoint, or a vendor needs help with one of our files. Or, I need to install OneDrive and sync the storage with folders or integrate Slack with other software apps. Sometimes, I do audio-visual support like setting up the conference room and making sure everything is running smoothly,” she tells us from the Picnic office.

Diana started her journey to becoming part of the Picnic team by studying IT at Bellevue College. She then moved into an internship at Premera Blue Cross, a healthcare company. There, she focused on developing IT skills and customer relationships before moving on to IT roles at companies like Nordstrom and the Gates Foundation.

“I also used to work at another company called Zume Pizza, and they did a similar food automation concept to Picnic, and that’s how I got into food automation, and I love it. I love being able to see technology change and help others because food automation helps eliminate labor costs and food waste.”

Customer-focused, rewarding work

Reporting to the VP of Systems and Software, Diana uses critical thinking and communication skills to keep things running smoothly and succeed in her role. She says, “critical thinking is the most important skill, and being able to adapt to situations and then ask questions and keep learning.”

“I love being able to see technology change and help others because food automation helps eliminate labor costs and food waste.”

Diana says that the most rewarding part of her role is “building customer relationships and working with users to build that relationship with them,” along with focusing on new hire onboarding. Diana is the first point of contact for new employees in the office, helping them get set up on the right systems and integrating them with the technologies in place around the office.

While work is mostly fun and engaging, and Diana is clearly passionate about her role at Picnic, at previous times, she’s felt a disconnect in her role based on her gender. With only 24% of computing jobs held by women and the percentage of female STEM graduates hovering around 19%, this information is hardly surprising.

“When I’ve been working in the past, I would literally be the only female in a team of five guys… So I think a lot of what I did previously was spending time trying to work around and trying to understand people’s different points of view.”

She goes on to say, “It’s really important to understand that everyone has a different background and has grown up differently. But, ultimately, at the end of the day, you’re all here for the same thing—collaboration and results.”


Life outside of Picnic HQ

Outside of being a badass IT manager, Diana spends her time travelling and loves to educate herself and learn about other cultures and traditions. A natural-born foodie, Diana also enjoys sampling different cuisine, fuelling up before hiking in the mountains around Seattle.

Family is important to Diana. She visits the Bay Area frequently to keep in touch with relatives and loves to spend time with her nephew. To relax, she spends time watching Netflix and bingeing on the latest shows (don’t we all!)

What motivates Diana to get up and at it is that Picnic prioritizes collaboration and openness. “No idea is a bad idea. Things are very transparent, and if you’re frustrated or challenged with an idea or concept, you can speak up, and the team will give you more information and support you. It’s a safe space where you feel heard and respected. And the pizza is pretty good, too!”

Sound like a company you want to be part of? Learn more about careers at Picnic.