Neurodiversity at work: Maya

I wanted to speak about neurodiversity for a very long while. However, it is hard to speak about it because it will always oscillate between focusing more on one condition than the other or being too general.

Zoom in, zoom out. Errrrh. What a headache!

Then I met some amazing neurodiverse folks and it hit me: we live in 2020! Fear not I remembered which year we were, but I forgot that we are in an era of collaboration and short loop feedback. Therefore I could focus on a specific type of neurodiverse person while being confident that I would get feedback and insights from the neurodiverse community about other perspectives and profiles. It also helps that the neurodiverse community is so amazing 😉

In software product development it is common that your product will be used differently by different types of people. To help the team to focus on specific pains for specific users and to have more empathy for them, it is handy to create fictional characters called “persona”.

I decided to do the following: create one persona and along the articles in this website refer to them. Over time I might come with other personas for introducing different neurodiverse profiles and hopefully, I will receive contributions and insights from other neurodiverse people to have these new personas as relevant as possible.

Now let me introduce you to our first neurodiverse persona: Maya!

Maya – she/her

27 years old
Lives in Berlin, Germany as an expat with her dog Elliot
Developer Front-end at AdaCorp
Diagnosed with autism when she was a kid

I like / I don’t like

I love Elliot and matcha cookies!
I love bridges, I build (funny-looking) miniature ones in my free time.
I hate when I can’t have my “rituals” because it can seriously ruin my day.
I hate itchy clothing, elevators, and when the noise around me is so loud I can’t even hear myself thinking.

I want

When at work, I want to feel like I belong.
I want to do my job well, I can make wonder if in the right conditions.
I would love to feel impactful.
I don’t want that autism defines everything about me in the eyes of others.
Autism shouldn’t feel like a drag to my environment.

Published by Virginie Caplet


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