In March of 2018, I gave my first short talk at a technical event. It was five minutes, and I prepared obsessively for it. At first, speaking was supposed to be a way to network and find work. As it turns out, it was fun! I realized I want to be an Evangelist, after learning such a role existed.

I want to travel the world spreading the good news about my company and our product. I want to make my living studying, researching, and figuring out how my company’s product integrates into the larger tech exosphere, and share that with the tech community. …

I grew up watching movies like 9 to 5, Working Girl, and Baby Boom. Such stories taught young Valarie a great deal about her future. Yes, it would be difficult (and men would make it more so). But with enough grit, and enough determination, I would overcome! Even if I had to take an executive or two hostage for a time and run the company in their (his) stead, I could do it.

Image for post
Desperate times and all of that….

We’ll gloss over the fact that I was able to see my future in those nice white lady faces because of my privilege. Hollywood has never provided adequate role models for people of color, but especially women of color. That’s a post for another day. Also, I love Dolly Parton, y’all. …

My father was 56 when I was born. “The Fall Crop” was his affectionate name for me, his youngest of four. He often used colloquial phrases from his youth. Phrases my peers at school didn’t know, hadn’t heard, and didn’t understand. I loved to quote him. One of my favorites was, “That’s like trying to make chicken salad out of chicken s***.” Clearly, the mere use of a cuss word endeared it to me as a lass. But more than that, I liked the sentiment.

Image for post
George Regas — master of Dad-isms.

How often in our lives do we attempt to make the best of a situation, when clearly, it isn’t salvageable? How often do we attempt briccoleurmanship when the materials at hand would be found lacking even in the eyes of MacGyver? An astute adult in my life once observed that I had no reservations about refusing to make chicken salad, unless I could actually acquire a chicken. The luxury of youth is to see clearly what ought to be, how one ought to act, in blissful ignorance of the limitations placed on adults by the world around them. Sometimes, despite knowing it isn’t an ideal situation, adults are forced to find a way to make chicken salad. …

In March of this year, 2018, I attended Docker’s 5th Birthday. The event was hosted worldwide, in myriad locations. I ventured out to my local event, hosted by Docker Atlanta, with IgnitionOne providing a fantastic venue. I went primarily for the Docker playground which would be offered. I’d spent the previous several weeks reading about Docker, watching online videos, and trying to teach myself some things. I felt prepared to go in and have a ball actually working with this nifty technology.

As I opened the playground and began, it became apparent that I had no idea what I was doing. It was incredibly frustrating. One of the volunteer mentors happened by, and was kind enough to offer assistance. He patiently listened as I asked question after question, and he offered answers which actually made sense. It was revelatory! …

An Ode to My Laptop

I love being a developer. One of my favorite things about this path is my new relationship with my laptop. It is, arguably, the healthiest relationship I have ever had. Seriously. The choices and behaviors which have ruined so many of my relationships aren’t allowed by the laptop; it’s amazing.

Think over your failed relationships — what ruined them? Many of mine have died due to miscommunication. I would ask my partner, after explaining my opinion on something, “Do you know what I’m trying to say?” Sometimes the person would sort of get what I meant, sometimes the divide was shocking. And that was only when they were honest in their response. …

I recently graduated from the Coding Boot Camp at Georgia Tech, and have since been job hunting. It’s a jungle out there for entry-level applicants! I had no idea what entering technology via a non-traditional path would be like when I enrolled in the program, so I want to share the knowledge I have gained with the world.

  1. The first job is the hardest to get. I was recently at a job fair for recent boot camp grads and met the owner of a local company. He informed me that he would never hire an entry-level employee. I’m not sure why he was attending the event, to be honest, as every candidate there was entry-level. His words stung. I’d just spent a lot of money to learn a skill, and now I was hearing it may have been for naught. Be prepared to be rejected at first. A lot. …


Valarie Regas

Youngling developer. Relationship builder. Tech event speaker. Jr. Devops Engineer. Queen of the YAMLs. Total nerd.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store