This week’s episode is the first of a 2 part series of Technically Human. Over the next two episodes, I speak with six women/nonbinary/trans individuals about their experiences transitioning into the tech industry after leaving established careers. They share their stories about what led them to decide to leave their established careers and retrain as technologists through the Grace Hopper Coding Academy, a program specifically targeting women/nonbinary/trans individuals who want to learn how to code so that they can pursue careers in the tech industry. We discuss the challenges that women/nonbinary/trans individuals face when pursuing careers in tech. We talk about what tech represents for those who have been historically excluded from it, and their decision to launch their new collective, “Intercode,” a platform that seeks to establish a community for Womyn+ in tech to share their stories and forge new connections.
Serena Chang is a Fullstack software engineer and professional dancer in New York City looking to combine both these passions in her next career. Chang was dancing as one of the lead roles in the off-broadway performance, “Then She Fell” and prepared to go on an international tour prior to the performance shutdowns due to Covid. Looking for another creative and technical pathway, she became immersed in coding and the endless creative possibilities it offered to interface with humans.
Kelsey Roy is a Software Engineer who is seeking to implement socially conscious practices in the tech sphere. She has held previous roles as a Data Analyst and Operations Manager and as a Project Management Consultant. Kelsey is devoted to a career working for mission-driven organizations with diverse and collaborative environments that make a positive difference in the world. Related to her passion for supporting DEI efforts in tech, she is also interested in the ethics surrounding AI, machine learning, and computing in general.
Jazma Foskin is a Fullstack Software Engineer who recently graduated from the Grace Hopper Program at Fullstack Academy. She is an Army Veteran who is passionate about learning, traveling, and growing. Combining technology and creativity has allowed her to work on passion projects that are aiming to push the Black and LGBTQIA+ community forward. As a Black woman, Jazma is continuing to be a representation so that others may see themselves in her and understand they too no matter their starting point can accomplish their goals.
Diana Viglucci (they/them) is a full stack developer, community-builder, and lifelong learner. They like writing code that brings people joy, helps them learn something new, or that makes resources more accessible. Diana completed their technical training at the Grace Hopper Program, where they were best known for their Stackathon-winning rat tracker app. Prior to transitioning into tech, they worked in community-based nonprofit programs, supporting individuals and their families as they navigated mental health issues, career changes, and LGBTQ+ identity. A cum laude graduate of Cornell University, Diana finds joy in making art, spending time in nature, and turning off their phone for hours-long stretches. Their work is grounded in person-centered, trauma-informed, and intersectional perspectives – and always will be – because software is for people.