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February 22, 2019

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The Origin Story:

After completing a BBA in Marketing, a BA in Japanese, and a minor in Women's Studies in 2015 at the University of Hawaii, Katie moved to San Francisco in 2016 to pursue her dream of breaking in to the tech industry. During her time in San Francisco she worked for a fast-growing, B-Corp startup and a major Point-Of-Sale company doing fraud support. While these two companies were very different, they both made it very apparent that tech is where she wants to be.

Learning to Code:

While living in San Francisco, following the advice of engineers at the companies she worked at, she decided to start learning how to code. She purchased a web development bootcamp course on Udemy and instantly fell in love with coding. It only took a few days of working through the course that she knew that she wanted to pursue this as a career. After finishing the course, she knew she wanted to continue learning, which is why she decided to attend an in-person coding bootcamp. Because financially it would have been impossible for her to attend a bootcamp full-time in San Francisco, she moved to Portland, OR. The bootcamp started in January 2018 and ended May 2018. During the bootcamp she studied HTML, CSS, JavaScript (Angular 2), and Ruby/Rails. She quickly realized she had a knack for design and CSS.

Post-Bootcamp Journey

After completing her bootcamp, she interned at Puppet doing marketing automation. This was a great way to bridge her technical skills with her marketing background. While at Puppet she had the opportunity to work across multiple teams including UX, BizOps (Business Operations), and marketing. She would design email templates in Marketo, as well as, create modularized email templates so that the marketing teams could easily customize their emails.

Currently, she is working on a mental health application called BrainMate, where she is serving as the product designer, product manager, and front-end developer. She gathered a dynamic, remote team comprising of a graphic designer, a backend engineer, and another front-end engineer. She is also working as a contractor doing design work. Recently, Katie has been working on doing OSS contributions for Gatsby and if-me, helping with blog posts and styleguide creation.

Career Goals

While Katie is passionate about design and web development, her ultimate goal is to get into product managing. She hopes to gain experience doing both design and development work before becoming a product manager because she wants to be able to be more empathetic towards her team. She believes that she if she does UX/UI for a company before doing product managing, she will have a better understanding of the market she is serving.

Make a Difference

Katie aspires to leave her footprint on the tech community. She wants to make being a part of the tech community easy and accessibly for all. She wants to continue to do diversity and inclusion work so that underrepresented and marginalized folks can be inspired to thrive in tech as well. Projects she wants to continue doing include:

  • Running her tech meetup
  • Blogging about technical topics
  • Blogging about non-technical topics (ex: struggles she faces in tech)
  • Contributing to OSS projects
  • Speaking at more conferences and meetups
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