Tell us about yourself
Before tech, I spent 15 years in retail. These days I feel like I’m in the discovery phase of my tech career. The field is so vast that I’m just working on understanding the space and where I might have the most significant impact.
How did you first get started in your career in tech?
When I decided I was interested in switching careers, the first thing I did was find a Black woman (Brittney Braxton) who had attended bootcamp and was working in my city. I met with her and we talked through what the experience was like. After that conversation, I was ready to go, I found a bootcamp and didn’t look back.
Bootcamp wasn’t the only thing responsible for my getting the skills I needed. I also put myself in the position to mentor others who were just starting on the journey. Between explaining things to them and the self study I was doing, my skills really progressed.
I can’t thank the Twitter community enough for helping me land my first role. I do think it’s very important to note that I spent a solid year sharing what I was learning before I asked for help finding a job. I think because people had been on the journey with me and could see the work I was putting in, it made it easier for them to throw their support behind me.
What are the most important skills in your current position? How did you develop these skills?
The most important skill in my current position is the ability to ask questions and embrace feedback. I’m not going to nail everything 100% of the time, but I work to make sure that my Lead knows that I am open to feedback and willing to do the necessary work to improve. I’ve always been big on soliciting feedback, I don’t think a single 1:1 goes by without me asking if any areas of opportunity have been noted.
What are some resources that helped you in your journey in tech?
This has been my absolute favorite React course. It does a great job of talking about the “Why” of React and it also taught me things about file structuring that bootcamp never covered. In fact, that same file structuring in a side project I was working on caught the attention of my boss and prompted him to reach out to me.
What are some difficulties you faced in your career? How did you overcome them?
I’ve got to be honest here, the only real difficulty I’ve experienced on this journey has been battling self doubt. Especially in the beginning, when I didn’t have much of a community to let me know how normal the struggles I was encountering were. The only way to get over that is to go through it. I still have moments of self doubt but I’ve got plenty of examples of overcoming those feelings to pull from now.
Looking back on your career, what advice do you wish someone had given you that would have helped accelerate your career?
I wish I would have sought out community from day one. Being able to reach out to others and ask questions has been a game changer!