My story

Like many people, my road to becoming a software developer was a long and winding one. While it seems as though certain rare souls easily stumble upon a skillset and career path that defines and motivates them, I’ve always felt more like a jack of all trades, master of none. From high school onward, my interests and strengths included languages, writing, martial arts, music, history, film, and more. I remember enjoying a basic web design course in high school, but with my focus constantly shifting between a myriad of other interests, it was difficult to imagine pursuing a career in that field, at least back then.

In 2009 I headed off to the University of British Columbia (Okanagan campus), set on becoming a high school teacher of history and French. Not only did I admire many of my former teachers, but I had previously enjoyed tutoring a high school French class and teaching karate in my small hometown. At UBC, however, I was almost immediately enamoured by the field of anthropology after taking an introductory class in my first year. Often described as “the study of all people, at all times, and in all places”, anthropology cast a wide net over many of my interests: history, languages, politics, writing, travel, and my propensity to be an information sponge.

I moved to Toronto in 2014 to pursue a Master of Arts degree in sociocultural anthropology at U of T. I planned to later pursue a PhD and become a professor of anthropology, but even as I boarded the plane to Toronto I had serious doubts about that career path. Full-time, tenured positions in academia were becoming a thing of the past, and I would likely have to work for years as an underpaid sessional instructor for a shot at the big time, with the knell of “publish or perish” hanging over my head. I loved expanding my brain with social theory, and I loved connecting that theory with the lived experiences of the people I met as I conducted fieldwork for my own research project. But by the end of the program, I knew I had to do something different.

I worked briefly in a sales role for a tech company in Toronto, and then for over three years in a call centre that acts as a third party for companies that outsource their payroll and HR departments. In addition to being a valued (bilingual) member of the customer service team, I found that I had a knack for solving technical problems with the associated websites and software. I enjoyed training and coaching colleagues as a team lead, but further advancement eluded me. With my background in anthropology, the field of user research seemed like a good career fit, but my applications to open roles were rejected due to a lack of experience in the tech industry.

After much research and deliberation, I enrolled in a part-time introductory web development course at a coding bootcamp in Toronto. Coding seemed like a good parallel for my love of languages, learning, and solving technical problems. It also satisfied the creative side of my brain, allowing me to build and share useful things with other people.

In January of 2020, I quit my job at the call centre to complete a full-time accelerated JavaScript course, followed immediately by a 9-week bootcamp where I leveled-up my skills, built a portfolio of web development projects, and made connections that I maintain to this day. In spite of the challenges posed by the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown, I managed to secure my first position as a front-end developer a couple months after graduating.

Since 2020, I’ve continued to learn and grow as a developer by taking additional courses, following industry newsletters, and building . I’ve had the privilege of being mentored by brilliant developers in each of my professional roles, and I’ve paid it forward by mentoring more junior developers both on the job and in a volunteer capacity. You can learn more about my professional experience .

When I’m not coding, I’m most often either working out, reading a good book, practicing guitar, gaming, or watching a compelling TV show or movie. I also love to travel, and I make it a point to always be saving and planning for my next big trip.

I’m always happy to make more connections, so feel free to reach out!