How many years have you been in tech?
Tell me about your background. What were your early years like?
I was placed in an apprenticeship through LaunchCode. LaunchCode is a non-profit education and placement agency that started here in St. Louis to place candidates with tech experience and knowledge who might be screened out of the job placement process because of lack of formal education or credentials, etc. After three months in the apprenticeship, I was offered a regular salaried junior dev position at the same company, and I have been there ever since.
How were you exposed to tech?
What is your current role?
What is your proudest accomplishment?
The first site that I built at my current company. Looking back at it, there are so many things I wish I’d done better, but it was the best feeling to have built and published a whole professional site while working for one of the best progressive digtial agencies around.
“She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.” Tell us about a time that this applied to you.
Happily, I am very well supported at my current job. I could not ask for a better team of progressively-minded techies to work with. However, I do feel that my whole adult trajectory, from teen mom married to a guy she’d known for mere months, to college-educated tech professional, is one that could not have happened twenty years ago. I know that there are people who thought I’d “ruined my life” when I got pregnant and married at 19. And now I have a B.S. (granted it’s in Education, not CS, haha), I own my own house, I have a promising career in a growing field, a comfortable salary and more earning potential that I previously thought possible for myself.
What are you learning right now?
We are moving to a new technology stack on some projects at work, so I am working on learning Roots (static site generator) and Pug (templating engine).
Describe a time where you solved a problem in a creative way. For example, did something in your personal life trigger a solution to a problem at work?
What was the last fear that you faced? How did you feel after you conquered it?
I asked for a raise in my last performance review! Which was terrifying for me. Talking money is always uncomfortable, and I have no prior experience with salary negotiation. Talking with other women in tech helped me prepare myself, I made my case clearly and calmly, and it went well. I didn’t get the raise immediately, but I am set to discuss it again in 90 days with my managers, who have given me clear goals to work on between now and then.
What advice do you wish someone had given to you? What advice would you give to others starting out?
Imposter syndrome is real. Find a group of techies for mutual support. Performance reviews are amazing for reflecting on how far you’ve come. There will always be more to learn, don’t freak out that you don’t know enough yet. You are awesome and amazing and you have within you what it takes to succeed!
What are your hobbies?
Reading, currently rereading the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett, and singing (around the house, in the car, and sometimes at karaoke).
What do you like about St. Louis? The midwest? Why do you live here?
I was born and raised in the St. Louis metro area. Born at Barnes hospital, raised in Webster Groves, and I’ve lived in the Bevo Mill and Lindenwood Park neighborhoods, Affton, and now in Maplewood. I’m sometimes frustrated with Missouri, but I love St. Louis and all our unique neighborhoods, museums, and wonderful people.
Who inspires you?
Women in tech everywhere inspire me, we are here and we demand workplace equality. I have met so many amazing women in tech who are done taking crap. Brogrammers, we’re coming for you!