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


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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