Cover image for A Riddle and Welcome!

A Riddle and Welcome!

juliehopebalter profile image Julie (she, her) Updated on ・2 min read

Here’s a puzzle: What do professional actors, yoga teachers, scholarly researchers, and software developers share in common? At first glance, nothing! But stick with me - here’s the story of how I came to be DEV’s newest employee, an Operations Associate, supporting our company expansion and Forem rollout.

For me, community - and specifically, unifying niche professional communities - is a passionate —albeit entirely unanticipated— career theme. I’ll spare a few of the zigzags, but I first came to community organizing through the Screen Actors Guild, the U.S. labor union for professional film and television actors, with a mission to collectively bargain for wages and working conditions, and augment professional training. After more than ten years here (and lots of courage to leave my career nest), I transitioned to communications/marketing for Kripalu Center of Yoga and Health, helping hone their educational outreach and professional yoga teachers' association (Fun fact: “yoga,” literally translated from Sanskrit, means “union.” Hmmm..)

After bearing a few brutal winters in Western Massachusetts (how many people can say they’ve endured May snowstorms?), it was time to fly as a digital nomad, which is how I came to support the executive team for ORCID, a remote-based, open-source tech startup, with a global initiative (via use of a persistant identifier to connect research with researchers).

The pattern emerges! With DEV, I’ve arrived at the consummate social network and community. As someone who started outside of the tech industry, I’m fascinated by the kindred creative spirits of artists and developers, and inspired by DEV’s evolutionary and revolutionary commitment to fostering an inclusive and expansive space for connection. It’s amazing to consider that with Forem’s trajectory, all of the diverse communities I’ve gathered along my career path could now create nuanced social networks and professional connections conceived from DEV’s utopian model.

As DEV expands, one of my responsibilities will be to help support recruitment and onboarding. Please keep connected and stay tuned for announcements. I also look forward to sharing this new journey with all of you and with that, I’ll close with a favorite quote that seems relative to DEV’s guiding values: We are all just walking each other home (Ram Dass).

(photo notes: Mural in Minneapolis, MN, USA, courtesy of Redeemer Lutheran Church)

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Julie (she, her)


Creative Problem Solver, Sharp Administrator, Head Cheerleader, Curious Traveler


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Really love this write-up. So excited to be working with you, Julie!


Thanks, Peter! And I can't believe this is the second time in my career that I have a boss named "Peter Frank." I'm thrilled to be here and look forward to writing more for our DEV Community!


For real. My direct supervisor at SAG, for about 3 years, was also named Peter Frank - and a similar position - CFO! You can see him on my LinkedIn recs.


"We are all just walking each other home (Ram Dass)". < 🔥


Hey Julie,
Great Intro! Congrats
I see you are a "Little Rhody" person.
I currently live in PVD and grew in Mass.
And, you are right Western Mass is too cold for my blood.


Very nice and impressive curriculum 😅