Meet Caito Scherr
When I first decided to transition to a different career, I spent about a year researching Portland's tech scene. My spouse recommended joining PDXWIT to learn about other people's paths in the industry. After a couple meet-ups, I had already picked up (or dereferenced, haha) a few pointers that made the process much less daunting.
Beyond receiving multiple job interviews directly through PDXWIT, my connections here have helped me conduct the thorough, intentional career change that I was hoping for. Getting to know a variety of technical women in a supportive and engaged environment enabled me to determine what my needs and wants were in this new field.
I am thrilled to have recently signed up as a PDXWIT mentor. I am looking forward to having a more defined route for sharing knowledge and passing along the helpful tips and guidance that others here have given me.
In finding the best fit for myself in the tech industry, the three most helpful actions have been networking, informational interviews, and coding events.
If you're reading this, you've likely already seen some of the benefits of networking. Additionally, attending these events in different tech offices can provide helpful insights into each company's corporate environment.
The informational interviews that I set up with my new peers have been one of the strongest factors in shaping my career path. Don't be afraid to ask! I am continuously, pleasantly surprised by how enthusiastic people are about spending time discussing their workplace with an interested stranger.
Coding events are a great way to grow regardless of skill level. As a n00b, attending hackathons, workshops and study nights were an invaluable opportunity to gain certain skills that they "don't teach in school" as they say. For instance, how to think and talk about code, best practices, & gaining confidence in your skills. For experienced programmers, I've seen mentoring lead to increased competence and career advancement through gaining visibility in the tech community.