Hi, I’m Helen Hou-Sandí!

I am the Staff Software Engineering Manager for Accessibility at GitHub and a WordPress Lead Developer. As a technologist, I am a leader in open source software and management, and care deeply about building great user experiences. I am also a classically-trained pianist who’s performed extensively worldwide.

You can also find me on Twitter and GitHub.

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Watch a Conference Talk

Code is Poetry: A Musician’s Tale

Recent photos

  • Did we get a dog or a sloth???
  • Time to post the second part of this tattoo pairing to the grid :) motifs from traditional Costa Rican carreta/ox cart art to go with traditional Chinese paper cutting art featuring my Zodiac animal of the ox (swipe left to see). Thank you to @weslytattoos and @jingstattoo for repping each respective culture!
  • Tried putting some char siu pork in the final tamales yesterday and it is magical
  • Hello 2024!
  • Oops forgot to post the newest tattoo to the grid :) traditional Chinese paper cutting art with my Chinese zodiac animal done by the unparalleled @jingstattoo in one 8 hour sitting because I’m a stubborn ox
  • Happy 40th birthday eve to this guy 🥳
  • Love seeing old friends and catching up on all the amazing things they’re up to 🤩
  • 20 years ago, Chun Li met a clown on Halloween and they’ve been wandering around entertaining people together ever since
  • Grand finale to a lovely vacation: a view of the annular eclipse with a very auspicious 88.8% peak in coverage
  • 38 and better than ever 🥳
  • Sorry for Smug Mom Posting but I am just so happy my kids get excited when I make things like berbere-spiced shrimp with couscous and avocado 🥹 the little one aka Cheese Machine added feta to hers
  • Fitness journey stories always require long captions, right? tl;dr: I’ve lost 20 pounds since March 2022, but didn’t really see any visible-to-me changes until May 2023. I’m glad I didn’t give up but I’m not going to lie, it’s been really frustrating! I’m not made small so I focus on being strong, and I’m proud of where I’ve gotten to so far and finally truly believe I can do more. There’s exercise AND diet AND yes, medical intervention in the way of doing cryoliposis on my arms which have always been disproportionately big. For the first time in my life I feel balanced in my own body.One month after starting a new job, I was gaining weight and hit the same number I’d had at my heaviest *during pregnancy*. I looked awful and felt awful. And this was after working out regularly for a year plus a month of Orangetheory 4x a week! I had a breakdown and cried for days – I was doing what I was supposed to do and had given it time, what gives?I added 16/8 intermittent fasting and after a month of being extra unhappy the weight finally started to come off and my eating habits adapted. I’d already cut out alcohol almost entirely in 2020, and now my body hasn’t just learned to be satisfied with smaller portions but outright rejects overeating (hot girl IBS hours baby). I don’t feel overly restricted: I only eat things I enjoy, no filler food, and during a set period most days – weekends are more free.Even still, 15 pounds down a year later, I could tell I was healthier, but it remained upsetting to look in the mirror. All that work and the weight loss, but my body looked and measured almost the same. My face was less puffy, sure, but it was extremely demoralizing.I honestly don’t know what’s changed in the last couple months. It wasn’t the Coolsculpting, although I have to admit I was surprised by just how much of a mental load my feelings about my arms were adding. I think my body happens to take a really long time to show change and I have to accept that. It’s “only” been 5 pounds since April, but this time the visual changes finally came through so here I am, posting a swimsuit pic where I finally feel like my physical being matches my energy