re: I switched careers to Software Engineering in my late 30s while nursing a newborn, Ask Me Anything! VIEW POST

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What kind of obstacles did you face and how did you overcome them? If gender was one of them, what advice could you give me as I am a 16 year old girl looking to go into software engineering.

 

Hi Danielle!

My greatest obstacles were in relation to balancing family and learning and/or applying to jobs. Thankfully I had a few incredible friends who were willing to take PTO from work to watch my children while I went for an onsite interview, for example. Those sort of friends are lifetime-keepers :D

Genderwise, I didn't really experience overt bias or discrimination; it's possible there were covert attempts made against me, but I wasn't cognizant of those. In a 6-month period, I applied to dozens of jobs (I wish I kept accurate count, sorry!), about 40% of those applications turned into phone screens and/or coding tests, and I ended up having 3 onsite interviews (out of which I landed my current job). So let's assume I applied for 36 jobs; this means my onsite interview rate was ~8%.

At 16, I APPLAUD you for being so clear about what you want to do with your career! You literally have your entire life ahead of you. My advice would be: Don't lock yourself down too much into just a few tech stacks. Please explore, browse and familiarize yourself with all that's out there. Commit to always doing excellent work - no matter how small the project - and you'll stand out spectacularly from your peers. Proud of you mama - keep getting it! :D

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