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Maribel Duran
Maribel Duran

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How one blog post led me to collaborate with amazing communities

"Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more."- Anthony Robbins

I am writing this because I want to encourage others to share their stories.

Writing about how I landed my first software engineer role opened up many opportunities. Opportunities that led me to motivate and mentor others by collaborating with amazing organizations.

I worked with universities and communities that are helping first generation college students, bridging the gender gap in tech, and making mentorship accessible to all. For the first time, I was interviewed by a podcast, gave a meetup talk, was a panelist, and became a mentor.

We could be teaching ourselves a new skill or interviewing for a new job. I think we all have something valuable to share in whatever stage we are in our careers.

Quick Background

I landed my first software engineer role at a small mission driven startup end of 2018. We were about to rebuild the entire platform. I was working hard, taking ownership of projects, building features that were critical to the infrastructure, and making big technical decisions.

Even through the 4 hour daily commute, learning everything that comes with being a “fullstack” engineer, working at a startup for the first time, and working weekends, I found ways to continue staying active and giving back to the tech community.

I made the extra effort to work on things outside of work that would help others.

Writing That Blog Post That Opened Up More Opportunities

My first goal right after landing my software engineer role was to write a blog post. I wanted it to motivate others to not give up on their dreams of becoming a developer.

I didn't think I was going to have enough energy to finish it. I would get home too exhausted from work. The days when I did have the extra energy I would jump back to writing more. Glad I pushed through.

My journey from first generation college grad to Software Engineer was published on freeCodeCamp’s old Medium publication and has received over 3.3K reads.

Reply from Medium reader

Organizations and Communities Who Want To Help Others Get Into Tech

Universities and podcasts reached out to me after having read my blog post and asked if I could share more with students and professionals that were trying to get into tech. This led me to work with and join communities that are trying to help marginalized genders and make mentorship accessible to all.

I encourage you check the following organizations out.

I was interviewed by, a podcast that shows people how to get into tech. I shared about my experience with imposter syndrome and how I used freeCodeCamp to improve my chances of getting a developer position.

University of California, Merced

I was an alumni panelist at UC Merced, a university where 72% of the undergraduate students are first generation, like myself. It's also the #1 public university for financial aid given to first-year students. I shared my post graduation career journey and the struggles that came along with the successes.


I gave my first meetup talk at Write/Speak/Code, a community that is on a mission to promote the visibility and leadership of technologists with marginalized genders through peer-led professional development.

Autonomous University of Barcelona

I was interviewed by the Autonomous University of Barcelona, a university that is encouraging more females to study and stay in STEM fields. I shared my experiences with being a women in tech and how they can prepare for this industry.

I became a mentor for, an open-source platform which aims to connect software developers and mentors all over the world at no cost. Being reached out to by students to mentor them after having read my blog post motivated me to find a community that helps ease the mentorship process.

Codeprep Podcast Episode with Maribel Duran

I am beyond grateful to have been able to contribute to these organizations and give back by motivating students and professionals.

What’s Next?

My goal is to continue sharing my stories, mentoring, and speaking as I advance in my career.

I was once just starting off.
I was once terrified of public speaking.
I was once working at an unfulfilling job.
I was once building my first simple web app.
I was once hoping for my first dev role opportunity.

Now I have found a career that allows me to help others directly and through the products I am contributing to.

It will be another year of lifting others up.
Just as we all have something to learn, we all have something to teach.

Panelists at UC Merced

Let's be friends on twitter 😀

Top comments (4)

mrsaeeddev profile image
Saeed Ahmad

It's really amazing! Thanks for sharing your story here at DEV.

softprops profile image
Doug Tangren

This is wonderful. Keep inspiring others

ben profile image
Ben Halpern

Great story, great advice, great progress!

maribelduran profile image
Maribel Duran

Thanks Ben! And thanks to for the continued guidance and support through my career journey <3