Milestones

My road in life has taken me all over.
I was born and raised in the United Kingdom.
Started attending college in Wellington, New Zealand, but I had no idea what major to pick.
Only completed a year there and ended up having to move back to the U.K. for family reasons.
I bounced around various careers, mainly in events and music management, before discovering Roadtrip Nation and participating in one of their cross-country road trips in the U.S.
Worked for media-based nonprofits and social enterprises for a number of years.
Decided to move to the U.S. permanently and discovered that not having a degree was much more of a hindrance here than back in Europe, so I decided to go back to college to finish my degree.
I loved taking the computer science (CS) classes at my local community college and eventually got accepted into the CS program at UC Berkeley.
I got hired right out of college as a software engineer at Wonolo, a startup focused on providing flexible work for the growing under-employed population.
Keep following my journey

Career

Software Engineer

I am a backend software developer for a San Francisco-based startup.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Technology
Engineering
Learning / Being Challenged

Day to Day

As a backend software developer, I mainly do my work using Ruby on Rails, but I also code in a variety of languages and utilize different apps and programs on a daily basis. My day to day involves working on all of the basic functionalities that keep our website and apps running smoothly. We start the day with a stand-up meeting where we go over tasks for the day and for the coming weeks. We do a lot of breaking down tasks and doing code reviews to make sure everyone is on the same page.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

You have to know a variety of coding languages and have advanced tech skills. A lot of those skills can be self-taught, you just have to be motivated and dedicated to learning them. Beyond computer science, having knowledge of business and how a company works is beneficial. You have to have a deep understanding of the particular area/industry you work in and how what you are building can impact your customers. Contrary to popular belief, a lot of CS work involves teamwork and good communication!

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for everyone

Getting a degree in order to work in computer science isn't always a requirement, but it is helpful and empowering. This is a career where if you can demonstrate proficiency and prior experience, that might be all you need to get a job. Explore your options and figure out what would work best for you. Do as much self-learning as you can in order to figure out what area of computer science really interests you.

Recommended Education

My career is related to what I studied. I'd recommend the path I took:

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Myself:

"There is no way I can go back to school right now."

Challenges I Overcame

Work-Life Balance
Career Change
Relocation