We Belong Here: Lessons from Unconventional Paths to Tech

We Belong Here: Lessons from Unconventional Paths to Tech

A 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/


January 5, 2023 41 mins

Zsófi Major has had many roles over the years within the web2 space: project manager, COO, and business developer.
After business hours she volunteered within the Drupal community, bringing together developers from all over the world at conferences she organized.
After burning out from web development projects, unmanageable deadlines, and clients - she quit her job and decided to take a break and apply for roles she reall...

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Alexandra Heller is the Founder of Crypto Philanthropy Club, a club for crypto people who care and give, and is the Marketing Director at Bitgreen, the sustainability blockchain.

Her life’s quest is to help the helpers and spread the ideas the world needs. She previously was the Head of Marketing at Parity Technologies as well as the Marketing Director at Floracopeia.


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October 24, 2022 25 mins

We Belong is back!

We're (Lauren and Aaron ) talking about what we've been up to since the last episode - including new jobs in Web3 AND an incredibly adorable new member of our family.

This episode kicks off a new season of We Belong and it's all about Web3. Today they're discussing our own initial hesitations and skepticism around Web3, why we made the ultimate choice to join a Web3 company, ...

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February 22, 2022 25 mins

Caitlyn joins Lauren to talk about her new book, The Bootcamper’s Companion

If you're trying to break into tech, you probably already know it's a huge and complicated world. Maybe you're thinking about a career change, currently enrolled in a bootcamp, on a self-taught journey, or trying to figure out what will set you apart to land your first job.

Caitlyn wrote this book to give you the tools and information she wis...

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Caroline is originally from Germany and has tried many different careers on for size. She has had roles ranging from recruiting, automotive, and retail and her interest in programming began a few years ago with a desire to create a Jane Austen quote website (because who doesn’t want to read daily Jane Austen quotes?). 

Since then, she’s dabbled in JavaScript and Python and today is the Community Manager at Vonage

In today’s episode...

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Shamira Marshall is an attorney who learned to code in 2019 and today is a software engineer at GoDaddy. Her interest in tech started in law school and then attended Ada Developers Academy to make the career switch. Which is where she and I met!

Ada Developers Academy
Shamira on Dev.to/MiraMarshall
Shamira on Twitter  @MiraMarshalll

We Belong Here Podcast:

Follow Lauren on Twitter @LoLoCod...

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November 30, 2021 51 mins

My guest today is a former educator who now works as an Education Evangelist at GitLab. After teaching English for 11 years in Florida and South Korea, he made the transition into tech in May of 2021 after teaching himself to code with Codecademy during the pandemic. 

He’s a passionate public speaker and has spoken at a Microsoft conference as well as hosted several meetups and other events representing GitLab. You can catch him on ...

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November 2, 2021 32 mins

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...

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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 negat...

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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.



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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 (SX...

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August 10, 2021 28 mins

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. prog...

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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 ...

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Chris Ferdinandi helps people learn vanilla JavaScript. He believes there’s a simpler, more resilient way to make things for the web. His developer tips newsletter is read by thousands of developers each weekday which you can check out at GoMakeThings.com.

In college, Chris had a lot of curiosities and even 4-5 majors before landing in Anthropology. He loved studying the content, but the work wasn’t exactly interesting to him. His d...

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Mindy is a math teacher turned software engineer with the goal of supporting folks entering the tech field. She had wanted to be a teacher ever since she was a little girl but after teaching middle and high school for a few years, she decided it wasn't quite the right fit.

She started searching for roles where she could use her math degree and found work as a temp at a civil engineering company. She was always looking for a new...

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July 15, 2021 24 mins

Yechiel Kalmenson is a rabbi and teacher who pivoted to engineering three years ago. After serving as a rabbi and elementary teacher for a few years, Yechiel faced a crossroads and needed to pivot careers. He started working in technical support, took courses online, and ultimately enrolled in a boot camp to learn to code. And today, he is a software engineer at VMware!

He still loves teaching and does that as much as he can through...

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Before learning to code, Cecelia worked in journalism and financial services. She always had a hobby of making WordPress websites for friends but never thought of pursuing tech professionally. But after moving to Atlanta, meeting a few bootcamp grads, and discovering that coding is such a creative form of expression, she knew it was the path for her! 

She is a graduate of the Full-Stack Software Engineering Program at Georgia Tech a...

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Ceora is a software developer based in Philadelphia. She worked in childcare and with children but was always interested in tech. Coding was always in the back of her mind. She starting freelancing as a digital marketer and was finding success, but then the pandemic hit, and lost all of her clients. At that moment in time, Ceora had an opportunity to reset her career progression and decided to go all-in on learning to code.

In a mom...

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Kenneth is played the saxophone in school and always wanted to be a high school band director. But soon he discovered that while he was passionate about music, it wasn’t exactly the career for him. In college, Kenneth worked at a QuikTrip gas station part-time. When offered a promotion to be a night assistant manager, he realized that he would be making more money in that role than what he was studying in school. The competition in...

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Claudia Maciel grew up in a small farming community in California and had dreams of exploring the world. She went to college full of enthusiasm and curiosity - eager to discover what she was most passionate and interested in. In her first year, she enrolled in an intro to computer programming course but was the only girl and the only Mexican in the entire class. Her professors were encouraging though and she loved the class. In fac...

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