“You seem like a curious person,” Pop remarked.
“It’s my only virtue,” Bourdain replied.
My journey with code started as a teen, customizing web pages, creating layouts and redesigning my web blog on a monthly basis. My family didn’t have much but a single computer connected to the internet opened up a whole new world to us. I never really considered that coding was a skill or that I could make a career out of it so I went about life while keeping it as a hobby throughout high school.
One day, while completing my Bachelor’s degree, I was bored and thought up the random idea to build my own computer. I scoured the web for the parts and pieces buying each one as I had enough money until everything finally came in. I looked up random documentation, videos and used common sense on how to put it all together. Luckily, my mother had some tools and helped me as we both watched with smiles as that green light turned on and.. it actually worked!
Over the last few years, I’ve worked in tech-related customer service and sales positions because I love talking to people, hearing about their lives and how I can learn from them. Alongside my previous work, I’ve been dedicated to teaching myself web development. Eventually, after countless attempts with various schools and applications, not having enough money(or being able to justify quitting my job and going into debt for it) I was finally able to attend a coding boot camp by securing a full-tuition scholarship. It was a sign and I knew it was time to take things to the next level.
I worked intensely during my time at boot camp it was the necessary structure that helped guide and give me a clear view of the direction I needed to take. I grasped a deeper understanding of teamwork, how essential it is to learn from my peers and how sharing knowledge is mutually beneficial. I learned way more than just languages, frameworks, and tools for programming. I learned how to plan and think in a more logical way, how to ask(and google) the right questions and how to work with increased efficiency. It was an incredible environment and a place that I left feeling exponentially better and much stronger than I had arrived.
My work is something that I take on with passion, honesty, and commitment. If what I’m working on doesn’t align with my values, excite me or have a purpose, I’m usually not interested. In previous careers, I’ve mastered my duties and excelled to the point where I became bored and stagnant and to be honest with web development there is none of that, there is always a problem to solve, new technology to learn or an update to how we do things. There is a constant excitement in the field and technology is growing quicker every day. For me, that means there’s always room to ask questions, improve and become a better version of myself.
My I began my career as a Software Engineer at Teladoc Health, a multinational telemedicine and virtual healthcare company offering a variety of services. I started as an intern after boot camp and after a successful first few months, I was finally offered a full-time role and moved into more Front End type of work. I’ve enjoyed the challenge of making our apps accessible and responsive so that all of our users get the best experience possible. I am also getting a better understanding of frameworks like React and Tailwind that make me a better developer.
My journey has lead me to become quite interested in digital accessibility and I knew eventually I’d want to be in a position where accessibility is prioritized and championed. I became an Accessibility Engineer at CVS Health and loved being able to test and validate using assistive tools like screen readers, different types of keyboards and learn much more about guidelines and requirements to ensure our users needs are met. I love engaging with various teams and individuals on specific code level guidance and present trainings on best practices.
In addition, I am always looking for ways to give back! I’ve volunteered with several organizations, such as Code Nation, a nonprofit that equips students in under-resourced high schools with the skills, experiences, and connections that together create access to careers in technology. I got to teach students how to code in the Foundations course and over the years I’ve moved up to the help with the Fellowship courses hosted at Etsy. I love teaching and showing my students that tech is a great career path with endless opportunities.
On the side, I am currently building small projects using Node, Express, React and MongoDB in order to familiarize myself and learn more about using the MERN stack. I am also a Cryptocurrency enthusiast so I am integrating several crypto API’s into my projects.
In my spare time, if I ever have any, you’ll find me reading programming and self-improvement books, watching scary movies with one eye open or exploring New York City and the world, always looking for something new to discover. I love adventures and connecting with unique individuals that have special stories constantly feeding my hunger for knowledge and inspiration along the way.