6 awesome Women in Tech @ Bloc

We’d like to recognize and highlight those Women in Tech who are either students or employees at Bloc. We not only educate women to be software developers, web developers, or UX Designers, we hire them too! Here are 6 inspiring women in tech from Bloc, from beginners to experts:

Megan

Tech Lead @ Bloc

How she got started: I started coding in high school (13 years ago). My brother took computer science classes, so I wanted to take computer science classes. I had an amazing teacher, Mr. L, who made code easy to understand and fun. I went to Berkeley to pursue a major in chemistry and minor in computer science but switched the minor to my major after taking an awesome graphics class.

What she loves about code: I love problem-solving and finding solutions. I especially love thinking about multiple ways to fix the same issue or build a feature. So many possibilities, picking the right one for the right situation is super fun.

Her piece of advice for women looking to pursue a career in tech: Keep going. There’s so much ahead. You never finish, there’s always a new problem to solve and a new solution to provide. Be confident in knowing and not knowing what you know. You provide a unique perspective, people want to hear your ideas.

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Courtney

Engineer @ Bloc

How she got started: I enrolled in a night time front-end class in 2014 to learn HTML and CSS so I could edit email templates for my job in marketing. After the class, I continued to work on updating email templates and taking online tutorials like Codecademy to learn the basics of JavaScript.

It wasn’t until two years ago that I started to think about how much I loved coding and how this might be a career I’d want to pursue. I started going to meetups and coding with friends. The meetups covered topics I was fuzzy on, like closures. I also got to meet women who were going through similar career decisions.

In the fall of 2016, I got a scholarship through Women Who Code to attend Galvanize’s 6 month Web Development immersive program. That’s when I really dedicated my time to learning to code, which is a never ending journey!

The program taught me the basic principles but the real learning started when I joined Bloc’s engineering team. Collaborating in a large code base with a team is quite a different experience from working on my own apps in class!

Her piece of advice for women looking to pursue a career in tech:

Go to local meetups. It’s a great opportunity to meet other women that are about to make the leap or already did.

When I was deciding whether to make the change from marketing to engineering I went to Women Who Code’s weekly Javascript meetups. I met a ton of women that had been in my shoes and made the jump. Through those interactions, I realized it was possible for me to do the same.

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Sanny

Product Design @ Bloc

How she got started: My first memory of consciously dabbling in design starts in the early 2000s. I spent many hours laboriously trying to customize my profile on Neopets with custom graphics and CSS. This was the Web 1.0 days, so the craft of digital design had not yet been developed to the high standards of today. But this led me to study graphic design at the University of Illinois.

UIUC has a strong graphic design program, but it was very much still grounded in print at the time. When I entered the program, I thought I would end up at a boutique agency in Chicago. UX wasn’t even in my vocabulary at the time. However, UIUC was highly respected for their Engineering programs. I remember helping out a lot of computer science students with their side projects and taking any opportunity that would gain me experience. I was one of the few design students at that time who attempted to cross the divide (literally, there was a main street that separated the Engineering campus and everyone else), so there was high demand for my skillset and low supply. I had no shortage of challenging work to do.

Eventually, I met Bloc’s founding team (and I was in the same cohort as Bloc’s first designer, so we’ve already developed 4 years of mutual respect and camaraderie). After a couple years of me exploring other opportunities after graduation, we reconnected and now I work at Bloc!


Her piece of advice for women looking to pursue a career in tech:

When you’re just getting started: Produce, collaborate, stay hungry. It is a meandering path, so optimize for growth.

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Blair

Current Software Developer Track student

What drew you to a career in tech? I’ve always enjoyed problem-solving, whether it was a crossword, sudoku, or in the lab. I wanted a fulfilling career where I could solve technical problems and build interesting products.

Her piece of advice for women looking to pursue a career in tech:

Don’t let anyone or anything turn you away. Like many women growing up, I was never pushed toward tech. If that’s you as well, don’t feel less than because you started later. You have so much to bring to the field, so go for it!

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Chickee

Current Designer Track student

What drew you to a career in tech? It’s a looonnnggg connecting-the-dots story. I became a licensed nurse for the wrong reasons. I tried making myself fall in love with the job but after 8 years of struggle, I knew I needed to move on. I didn’t know exactly what to do afterward. I took a job as a tech support for a telco company. I went to sales and marketing. I taught at some point. All the while, trying to discover what I enjoy doing and what I’m good at. I knew that I’ve always been creative and entrepreneurial. I knew I enjoyed my very first job as a laptop technician. I knew I’m technically inclined, thanks to the 6 engineers in our family. I knew that I have an eye for aesthetics because of the compliments I get for my photography. I knew I wanted to give back to society in a big way as early as I can.

Last year, out of the blue, I found out about the Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2016. It was set to be held at Stanford University and to be participated by the biggest names in tech, entrepreneurship, and US politics. It was at that time when I was having this persistent idea about a social enterprise that I wanted to build someday. Long story short, I applied to the summit with that idea and got selected out of the thousands of hopefuls from around the globe. I thought it was a sign. Unfortunately, due to visa conflicts, I couldn’t come to the US in time. I was only able to participate via live streaming, but that was enough to make me change my future plans. It was because of the things I heard from the speakers and participants alike that I realized just how much of an impact tech can have and the endless possibilities it can bring. That’s when I told myself I’m going to re-enter the tech world. Never mind if I have to start from scratch. At least now I’m certain that I’m jumping into it for the right reasons.

Her piece of advice for women looking to pursue a career in tech:

Make sure you’re going in for the right reasons. We already know that it’s going to be an uphill battle. Without a strong “why”, it would so easy to give up.

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Jocelyn

Current Software Developer Track student

What drew you to a career in tech? I grew up in Silicon Valley to engineer parents, so I was always surrounded by tech and knew my way around it. However, I decided to pursue a film career after the first short film I made in high school went viral online back before Youtube even existed. After studying film in college and moving to Los Angeles to pursue my film career, Hollywood kept giving me tech related jobs, working on websites and apps for big entertainment brands. I eventually realized I would make a lot more money if I just accepted my tech background and learn some coding. I originally started coding at Bloc so that I could build my own apps to go along films and shows I wanted to develop, but that soon changed after a friend of mine proposed a tech startup idea to replace green screen workflow in the film industry. Now I’m also a co-founder of a tech startup (ARwall — http://arwall.co/), and learning how to code isn’t just to help me make some cool apps, but to help me better understand my new company and the developers I’ll be working with to help further filmmaking!

Her piece of advice for women looking to pursue a career in tech:

I know that the tech industry has a bad rap for being dominated by males and having bro culture, but I have not personally found that to be true in the entertainment tech industry. I’ve worked with many women UI/UX designers, project managers, product managers, and developers. Most of the digital teams I worked with were women-lead in the entertainment industry as well. I’ve either been really lucky or perhaps the entertainment industry is hungry for anyone who can do a good job, and open their doors to more women in their digital departments. If you’re in Los Angeles and interested in working on some digital entertainment brands, give them a try!

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