In the dynamic world of digital games, Esther, VGW’s Product Lead for Global Poker, merges her passion for creativity and storytelling with her expertise in games and technology. In her spare time, she’s also an author, most recently focusing on children’s books.
Esther’s VGW Journey
When she started her journey at VGW, Esther knew very little about poker. But she didn’t let that hold her back. Instead, she chose to turn it into an adventure by immersing herself in the world of social poker, learning about the game and its players through online play and in-person experiences on the felt.
Now, she’s the Product Lead for Global Poker (VGW’s social poker platform), where she plays a pivotal role in overseeing a team of product managers and fostering collaboration with engineers, designers, and product testers.
Together, they introduce captivating new features and games.
“I help define, communicate, and drive the product strategy. Alongside my team, I engage in continuous product discovery, using data, insights, and research to make decisions about what we should deliver and how,” Esther says.
She’s also the poker custodian in her team, serving as a subject matter expert who works with stakeholders to understand and advocate for their needs.
“I can genuinely say that I’ve developed a profound affection for the game of poker. It embodies the ideal balance of chance, skill, strategy, and, most importantly, camaraderie,” she says.
Blending Passion with Profession
One of Esther’s proudest achievements at VGW saw her apply her passion for games to her work. She says her love of gamification drove her to experiment and create a strategy for a “Challenges” system, a now powerful and popular tool used within Global Poker.
“I’m proud of all the projects and initiatives I’ve worked on at VGW because no matter how big or small, they all step us towards our common goals,” Esther says.
Outside of her career in tech, Esther is also an accomplished author.
Her writing journey started with a supernatural suspense novel called Eternally Ruthless. After becoming a time-poor parent, she transitioned to writing children’s books and published a story called, Grumbelina, in 2020, which was inspired by her toddler’s “BIG feelings”.
Since then, she has been working on more picture books, a young adult graphic novel, and was selected for the Katharine Susannah Prichard fellowship this year which saw her spend two weeks in the Perth hills working on the graphic novel.
Esther says that writing enables her to tell better stories as part of her job, noting “stories simplify a message, help filter out the noise, and create context and pace to provide optimal understanding within a short amount of time”.
Her Advice for Getting into Tech
For those looking to enter the tech industry, Esther says it’s important to not view tech jobs as requiring a narrow skillset or being void of creativity.
“Software engineering, as an example, is a job that requires problem-solving and creative skills,” Esther says.
“There are so many ways to solve a problem in code and aside from a few well-placed constraints, how you do it is completely up to you and your imagination.”
She also says the best advice she ever received was, “you-do-you”. It may be simple, but she says it’s easy to look at your peers and leaders and feel like you need to emulate them. Instead, she encourages people to embrace their own unique perspectives, behaviours and skill sets.
Esther affirms: “There is so much power in diversity of thought and in having confidence in your own abilities and ideas.”