TL;DR: I got a job! Also, always fill out applications for things that look interesting, because why not!?
Three years ago, I started teaching myself to code while I was pregnant with Lincoln. I’d had an interest in it for a bit and we had just relocated back to NYC so I was at a bit of professional crossroads. My fantastic, supportive and encouraging husband told me to go for it – to use that opportunity to dive into coding, do some freelancing, etc.
I did tons of online tutorials, then took a continuing ed class at NYU, more tutorials, freelance projects, and then last year I was able to take a Frontend Nanodegree course on Udacity.com, with a “scholarship” from Grow With Google. I’d spotted a link to apply @ the bottom of the google homepage and thought, why not? It was an 8-month, in-depth program that ended up costing me $0 and really taking my skills to the next level.
Then, last December I saw a link in a newsletter to apply for a program called MotherCoders, where I’d get to hang out with other moms interested in tech, brush up on my coding skills, work on project, and connect with people from the tech industry here in NYC. So I applied for that too, and got accepted. We have 2 weeks left and it’s been such an awesome experience. Demo Day is on April 13th!!
I always had this thought that I’d like to take on a full-time position in this field, eventually. For the most part, I didn’t feel like my experience was quite up to par with the job descriptions I was seeing. (I’ve learned that’s a thing women do. We don’t look at ourselves as qualified unless we match 100%, whereas a man will be like, “I can kinda do that one bullet point there!” and feel great about applying to something!) I sent in a few applications anyway just for the heck of it because, why not? After all, I’d applied to the Nanodegree and got accepted, and I’d applied to MotherCoders and got accepted. I was on a roll! 😉
One position stood out to me. It was the first one where I felt like I covered all the requirements, as well as a couple of the “nice to haves.” And I had a direct LinkedIn connection there, a woman I worked with a decade ago (yikes!) at my first job in the city. I messaged her and asked if there was someone I could reach out directly to get myself noticed. She said she would put in a good word for me.
That word turned into an initial screening phone interview, which turned into a phone interview with the project manager, which turned into a series of video interviews with the team, which turned into a request for references, which turned into A JOB OFFER!!!!
I’m so thrilled to share that I have accepted a position as a Frontend Engineer with a company called Lucid. I will be working on building the user interfaces (i.e. the screens their customers use to interact with their products). Lucid is a global market research platform (that’s the short description). They are headquartered in New Orleans, and have a team of about 20 people here in NYC. I’m so excited to have
been given earned this opportunity!
I’ll still freelance a bit on the side because I love my clients, so Sassafras isn’t shutting down entirely. I am truly grateful for the projects, people and flexibility that freelancing brought to my life, but this position will bring a steady income and benefits that I wasn’t getting working on my own. It will also be a huge step forward in my growth as a professional engineer.
I start on April 22nd. I’ll let you know how it goes!