Getting to know Kat and her journey into Tech

In today’s post we start getting to know Kat, and I get to ask kat(CodewithKat) some questions on her journey into tech and her advice for anyone that is interested in following in her steps.

1. So to start off, can you tell me a bit about yourself?
Sure! My name is Kat and I’m from the USA. I went to school to learn Art Therapy but after
college I decided to teach English in South Korea. I stayed there over 4 years. I have a huge
passion for travel and learning languages – being involved in the tech industry is one way I’m
trying to reach my goal of living all around the world. I’m currently a designer and developer on
our company’s training and education team. I might want to do Art Therapy someday.. we’ll see.

2. Was being a developer an interest you always had? What was your deciding factor in
choosing this career path?
When I was young I had a definite interest in computers and technology. I would be lying if I
said the fact I didn’t feel “smart enough” didn’t influence my decision to not pursue tech for many
years. After a few years of teaching English, I was already burned out. I joined a Free Code
Camp chapter in my city and it reignited my passion to learn coding. Learning to code wasn’t
what got me my job, though – I was hired as a training designer and started learning coding to
enhance our company’s training website and modules.

3. Thinking back a few years to when you were a student – doing projects plays a big part in
almost every subject, especially in computers. What project (group or individual) was your
overall favorite to have worked on as a student? Why?
One project I’ll never forget was in my 3D design class – our goal was to create something out of
paper using fractals as inspiration. My group created a spherical lamp from dozens and dozens
of origami triangles. Since we were friends before the project, it really tested our ability to work
together on a frustrating project. We all came away from it knowing more about each other, and
with something really cool. Recently I saw a lamp at IKEA similar to what we made back then;
I’m pretty sure they copied us. 😉

4. For students interested in following your path, could you describe a typical week at work?
What is involved?
I’m lucky because my job is very chill. Everyone comes to work on their own time and my
company realizes the importance of a work-life balance. The downside of this is that it’s
sometimes difficult to be self-motivated. I make sure I keep up with my work by coming into the
office as much as possible and having meetings with team members to connect. I have maybe
two to four meetings a week collaborating, but the rest is spent from my desk, couch, or local
coffee shop working independently on short or long term projects for clients.

5. On Instagram, one of your goals for 2018 was to learn AngularJS. With JavaScript and its
frameworks growing in popularity, especially React, everyone has a favorite and will
recommended one over the other. Do you have a personal favorite? Which would you choose to
learn first?
So far I haven’t learned any frameworks in depth, but will start learning Vue and AngularJS
because they are the ones used the most within my company.

6. Learning something new can be a challenge and can test you, but it’s important to keep
pushing yourself and never give up. Have you faced challenges before that tested you?
Perhaps at work or while you were a student?
My biggest challenge right now is feeling that something is way beyond what I’m capable of. I’m
definitely a beginner and it’s tough to have to learn a lot in a short amount of time to keep
projects on schedule. I ask a lot of questions to my manager and others within my company who
have gone through the same thing and know their stuff. People are always willing to help.

7. What advice would you give to someone that is thinking of or is studying for a career working
in IT?
Join meetup groups in your city, connect with people online through social media, and do your
best to keep motivated and to keep learning. Also try and keep up with the tech news – things
change every day!

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