Recently I have done things that I have sworn off...speaking. Why have I done this? I really have no clue, but it's been pretty fun talking about dev and devops (clearly things I really love). The first request was from my buddy Daniel to speak to a class at CodeCrew. The second request was from Dr. Bushra for ACM-W. First off thank both of you for thinking I have important things to tell people about my journey and how they can get to where I am. It was really a big boost of confidence. Also these allowed me to reflect on where I am and where I want to go next. Anyway let me highlight some cool things I learned and/or realized during the talks.
So I'll say I stupidly thought Daniel was asking me to talk to kids about getting into coding. To be fair he really loves working with kids and I should have googled sooner.
Anyway, I ended up talking to their most recent bootcamp class. I like to be very clear with people when it comes to bootcamps. I don't have any perspective of experience coming from a bootcamp. I can tell you the things I've looked for when interviewing people and maybe tell you unconventional ways to get to an interview.
You might be wondering "How did it go?". Honestly I thought it went really bad. I decided to wing this talk and I'm not sure if that was the best. I was expecting more specific questions and didn't think I'd have to talk talk ya know. The semi-biggest mistake I might have made was my perspective of how an Engineer is defined.
I won't go into details anymore, but I would like for anyone reading this to know the following...If your check clears like the next person, do not take your title personally. Titles overall are important to career growth for people of color, but the "will I be respected as an engineer" thing will always be contreversal. Stop thinking about it and be great. If you need the validation go get an engineering degree. That's all I can tell you.
So anyway...I hope if anything those people don't dislike me too much and they make their coins. Per usual...talk your shit because your the best and nobody can take that from you!
This is an opportunity I almost missed. I'm so glad I decided to go through my email account when I did. I actually really wanted to do this one for more selfish reasons....I wanted to see what other panelist were going to say. lol
The other panelist and the overall vibes were really cool and I learned a lot myself. Dotty and Ayesha were amazing! I've never heard of anyone going from QA to devops nor have I heard of anyone going from math to sys admin to devops. I think it was a really well planned panel and Dr. Bushra made the the whole thing feel like a talk among friends.
I hope people really felt like we answered their questions. At some points I felt like I was trying to balance being realistic with negativity. Being a woman in tech can have some negative experience, but I still wouldn't choose to have a career in any other field (excluding music). I feel it's important to tell people stories of the good, bad, and ugly so maybe if they see the signs of bad or ugly they can react earlier for a more favorable outcome.
With all this the past month I think it's time I go back into my little hole and figure out what my goals are as I grow in devops and return to school. Right now I don't have an answer to anything it seems, but after these talks I want to take the time to figure it out so I can write about it. lol
Check out the recording of the ACM-W panel here: https://youtu.be/67gs6GS6y0M
Text version of the ACM-W panel here: