GDI Ann Arbor’s #DayInTheLife: Developers Panel

Last week I had the pleasure of speaking on a panel with Girl Develop It Ann Arbor about what it’s like to be a developer. The panel was the first in their #DayInTheLife series and it featured Elizabeth Mitchell, Madalyn Parker, and Bridget Scheifer alongside yours truly.

Like most people, I’m not very fond of public speaking, but Julie and Ronda of GDI AA did such a great job organizing the event that it was easy to feel comfortable! Each panelist got a set of slide templates to fill out detailing what we do, our daily schedules, and our favorite and least favorite things about our jobs. We each presented our slides, then there was time for audience Q & A. Some questions were asked live and some had been collected in advance, which helped in the rare moments when no one’s hand was up.

The whole conversation was great and I think everyone got a lot out of it – I know I did! My favorite moment was the discussion of imposter syndrome, which arose from an audience question about job security. Each panelist admitted to struggling with imposter syndrome to some degree, and we shared the ways we combat it. My strategy is to try to depersonalize it by remembering that basically everyone seems to struggle with it, including people I greatly admire. Bridget had my favorite answer, though: she told us that, because she teaches coding skills to young girls, she does everything in her power to keep imposter syndrome out of her thoughts. Those girls would pick up on it if it were there, so she doesn’t let it in, and instead approaches every situation with an attitude of, “I got this!”

 

I’m looking forward to learning more about other career paths in the tech world through the #DayInTheLife series with Girl Develop It Ann Arbor. The schedule is below, and they’re still looking for more panelists, so you should get in touch with them if you or someone you know would be a good fit!

  • April – Designer
  • July – Product / Project Manager
  • September – Technical Recruiter
  • November – QA Engineer
  • January 2016 – Executive / Entrepreneur