61 episodes

A weekly podcast that aims to interview career changers & folks that are diversifying the tech industry. Sharing stories about the different routes people have taken to enter the industry and chatting about the skills they learned in their prior jobs, schooling, or life experiences & how they apply them to their current roles in tech. https://WeBelongPodcast.com/

We Belong Here: Lessons from Unconventional Paths to Tech Lauren Lee

    • Technology
    • 5.0 • 22 Ratings

A weekly podcast that aims to interview career changers & folks that are diversifying the tech industry. Sharing stories about the different routes people have taken to enter the industry and chatting about the skills they learned in their prior jobs, schooling, or life experiences & how they apply them to their current roles in tech. https://WeBelongPodcast.com/

    Tonya Sims: From WNBA to Python and DevRel

    Tonya Sims: From WNBA to Python and DevRel

    Tonya Sims is a self-taught developer and is the Python Developer Advocate at Vonage. She has an eclectic background ranging from roles in business, pharmaceutical sales, and even is a former professional women’s basketball player! 
    Tonya is humble and down to earth and has a ton of empathy. All of her life experiences allow her to see the world from many different perspectives. 
    She started her career in tech working as an executive assistant for a leading financial investments company in their IT department. Shortly thereafter, she transitioned into a computer operator role and started learning how to code. Eventually, she worked her way up from an entry-level position to earn roles as a software engineer in test and software developer contracting with some of the top financial services companies in Chicago. 
    Tonya is passionate about helping other budding engineers and loves to see people succeed.

    Resources:
    Tonya on Twitter: @TonyaSimsPython DiscordWomen in Tech Slack To Sell is Human by Daniel PinkWe Belong Here Podcast:
    Follow Lauren on Twitter @LoLoCoding
    webelongpodcast.com
    Subscribe on Apple
    Subscribe on Spotify
    We Belong Here Discord Community
    Join us on Discord Server today! bit.ly/webelongdiscord 

    • 32 min
    Allen Whearry: Don't sell yourself short, you can code

    Allen Whearry: Don't sell yourself short, you can code

    Allen is a self-taught iOS Developer who made the switch from a professional sales career and now sits as a software engineer at Yelp. He believes anyone can learn to program, they just have to put in the time and effort.
    He studied psychology in school and figured he would end up going to grad school for it as well but ended up finding joy in the world of sales. While in sales, he learned so many lessons: the art of receiving negative feedback, the art of storytelling, as well how to both clearly and concisely communicate with people in his day-to-day life. 
    He had always had an interest in coding but wasn’t interested in studying Computer Science in school so thought that would never be a possible career path for him. But the curiosity never left him so eventually he began teaching himself Ruby and Python! But he wasn’t successful in finding a full-time role and so he pivoted to learning iOS and building apps he actually wanted to use in his life.
    Today he is a Software Engineer at Yelp and continues to use the lessons he learned in sales. He also is the organizer of @iOSDevHappyHour - a place where current and aspiring iOS devs can come together and enjoy a good time!
    Resources: 
    Allen on Twitter: @codeine_coding
    @iOSDevHappyHour
    Extreme Ownership book recommendation
    codeinecoding.com


    We Belong Here Podcast:
    Follow Lauren on Twitter @LoLoCoding
    webelongpodcast.com
    Subscribe on Apple
    Subscribe on Spotify
    We Belong Here Discord Community
    Join us on Discord Server today! bit.ly/webelongdiscord 

    • 51 min
    Alex Merced: Learn, Build, Blog, Teach, Repeat!

    Alex Merced: Learn, Build, Blog, Teach, Repeat!

    Alex Merced taught himself to code just a few years ago. Before that, he spent a decade training people in finance and has also moonlighted as a political candidate, concert promoter, and comic book store owner.
    Today, he’s a developer for CampusGaurd and Instructor for General Assembly Coding Bootcamps. He is also the creator of devNursery.com - a developer community and is the creator of many Javascript libraries.
    Resources: 
    AlexMercedCoder.com
    devNursery.com
    Podcast: Web Dev 101
    Book Recommended:  Nassim Taleb - Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder


    We Belong Here Podcast:
    Follow Lauren on Twitter @LoLoCoding
    webelongpodcast.com
    Subscribe on Apple
    Subscribe on Spotify
    We Belong Here Discord Community
    Join us on Discord Server today! bit.ly/webelongdiscord 

    • 33 min
    Wesley Faulkner: The Path to Developer Relations

    Wesley Faulkner: The Path to Developer Relations

    Wesley Faulkner is a first-generation American. He is a founding member of the government transparency group Open Austin and ran for Austin City Council in 2016. His professional experience also includes work as a social media and community manager for the software company Atlassian, and various roles for the computer processor company AMD, Dell, IBM, and Daily. Wesley serves as a board member for South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) and today is the Head of Community at SingleStore. 
    Resources: 
    Wesley on Twitter: @wesley83
    FreeCodeCamp
    Wesleyfaulkner.com
    Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion

    We Belong Here Podcast:
    Follow Lauren on Twitter @LoLoCoding
    webelongpodcast.com
    Subscribe on Apple
    Subscribe on Spotify
    We Belong Here Discord Community
    Join us on Discord Server today! bit.ly/webelongdiscord 

    • 42 min
    Sierra OBryan: From Lasers to Androids

    Sierra OBryan: From Lasers to Androids

    Sierra is a Senior Consultant at Atomic Robot in Cincinnati, OH, focused primarily on Native Android solutions. She loves building beautiful and accessible Android apps, sharing knowledge with the community, and mentoring aspiring mobile developers. She serves as a Director of Women Who Code Cincinnati and a global track lead for Women Who Code Mobile. 
    Before becoming an Android developer, she was in graduate school in a Ph.D. program to become a laser physicist. She had actually always wanted to go to beauty school but after high school, because she had scholarships and was good at math and sciences, she ended up in the math and physics department in college. As she says, the passion for the subject wasn’t necessarily there but she ended up finishing her degree! But eventually, that lack of interest caught up with her and she recognized the need for something different.
    JP Morgan was looking to diversify their tech pipeline and so she took a leap of faith to enroll in their program and learn to code! Today she has discovered her passion and is a consultant at a mobile development shop where she gets to build apps for clients and create things she’s truly excited about and interested in every single day.
    Sierra believes that anyone can make the leap into tech and find joy in their career.  She advocates for the power of googling and reminds the listener that the answer to their question is always out there!

    Resources: 
    Sierra on Twitter: @_sierrobryan
    Sierraobryan.dev
    Women Who Code Cincinnati
    Women Who Code Mobile


    We Belong Here Podcast:
    Follow Lauren on Twitter @LoLoCoding
    webelongpodcast.com
    Subscribe on Apple
    Subscribe on Spotify
    We Belong Here Discord Community
    Join us on Discord Server today! bit.ly/webelongdiscord 

    • 28 min
    Domitrius Clark: Always Putting the Customer First

    Domitrius Clark: Always Putting the Customer First

    Domitrius is a Developer Experience Engineer at Cloudinary. From retail to engineering, his focus has always been on making sure the customer's experience is the top priority. He’s the founder of Reactadelphia, a Philly meetup for React & JavaScript developers, and is an avid community builder & consultant.
    He spent many years of his life working and managing retail stores. But upon learning that the path to success in that industry was very narrow, he knew he needed to find a different path. He had always had an interest in tech and coding bootcamps were just beginning to emerge at the time and thus he started exploring that as an option.
    He attended a bootcamp in Philadelphia but struggled because of the lack of support and poor curriculum decisions the school made. The program has since shut down, but it was a really hard time for Domitrius. Ever resilient and determined to succeed, he decided to teach himself JavaScript and go on the job hunt on his own.
    Domitrius is a community builder through and through. When he was still searching for his first web developer role, he created a community for bootcamp grads to connect with and support one another as they navigated the industry and worked to demonstrate to companies that bootcamp grads were qualified candidates in those early days when hiring managers and tech companies, in general, were still rather skeptical.
    He landed his first role after he cold-emailed the CEO of a startup and offered his skills - owning that he wasn’t the most technical or senior dev by any means, but offered them his community-building powers and the confidence that he would be able to learn the necessary skills while in the role. He has since gone on to work as a Front-End and UI Engineer and now in Developer Relations at Cloudinary as a Developer Experience Engineer. 
    Today he creates Egghead courses and organizes meetups for folks who are also looking to learn to code. He is an active advocate for people hungry to make the career change themselves and e continues to incorporate community work in everything that he does.  
    Resources: 
    Reactadelphia: a Philly meetup dedicated to showing how awesome the local React community is!
    Domitrius on Twitter @DomitriusClark
    Domitrius on Twitch: twitch.tv/domitriusclark

    We Belong Here Podcast:
    Follow Lauren on Twitter @LoLoCoding
    webelongpodcast.com
    Subscribe on Apple
    Subscribe on Spotify
    We Belong Here Discord Community
    Join us on Discord Server today! bit.ly/webelongdiscord 

    • 58 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
22 Ratings

22 Ratings

rachypoo ,

These stories need to be told!

Thank you for sharing some of the many stories out there of folks who have taken unconventional paths to tech. This makes me feel like I belong! Keep it up!

KDM047 ,

Inspiring and Insightful!

I’m so grateful to Lauren for putting this project out into the world. For those who are thinking about making a transition and need to “see to believe,” this is a perfect podcast. Show notes are great resources for taking that first step towards a career in tech.

lukehunting ,

Thoughtful and engaging

This is an interesting podcast and I’m really glad Lauren is helping these people tell their stories!

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