Amy Butz

How many years have you been in tech?

Depends on how you measure that! I learned my first html in 1998, so that would be almost 20 years ago. But I only began pursuing a career in tech 6 weeks ago, when I started with the CoderGirl cohort.

Tell me about your background. What were your early years like?

Since the late 1990s, early 2000s, all of my experience with coding was as a hobby. I was a blogger before blogging was big business, using a little known and now defunct platform called Tabulas. At first the only coding I did was for designing my own blogs, and then later I occasionally used what I knew to help my church and a few other non-profits with their websites. Only now, at age 35, have I realized that I want to pursue technology as a career as well as a pastime.

How were you exposed to tech?

My family got our first computer when I was probably 6 or 7 years old, and from the beginning I was hooked. I can still remember the screechy sound of our modem connecting and AOL logging on, and playing a text-only MS-DOS version of Monopoly! Since that very young age, I have always been fairly comfortable with and drawn towards technology, particularly internet technology and social media.

What is your current role?

Coder-in-Training with CoderGirl (a program of LaunchCode)

What is your proudest accomplishment?

All of my proudest accomplishments are outside of tech at this point – my two children, starting and growing my own business, working for a short time as a childbirth doula, and the one summer when I was 21 that I passed the test to become a lifeguard!

“She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.” Tell us about a time that this applied to you.

I started a direct sales business over 3 years ago, and received a lot of flack and skepticism from people. Despite that, and despite have zero previous experience with sales, in my first full year as a small business entrepreneur, I earned more money than my husband!

What are you learning right now?

Writing responsive code with css and html, JavaScript, Angular

What are your hobbies?

Reading geeky fantasy and sci-fi novels, tabletop games, camping and hiking, sharing funny memes, taking pics of my kids with Instagram

What do you like about St. Louis? The midwest? Why do you live here?

I grew up in St. Louis, so it feels very much like home. I love how many wonderful, culturally enriching things there are to do here FOR FREE. It is an incredible treasure! I love the parks, the history, the arts community, and all the exciting new things happening. I love the friendly people, and how we are so interconnected since it is such a small city. While part of me wishes St. Louis would get more respect nationwide, I also kind of like that we are a largely unappreciated gem. If too many people realized how awesome this city can be, it might get too crowded! Now if we could just import some real mountains…..

Who inspires you?

My husband, my kids, anyone who truly takes delight in what they do, anyone who stands up for truth and goodness even in the face of rejection, ridicule, or even violence.

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