This Is How I Got Into Tech
(Before we dive in, I want to acknowledge that my path has been made infinitely easier thanks to the privilege that comes with being a cis-gendered white guy in tech. This is exactly why I started How the Heck Do You Get Into Tech?)
I’ve been lucky enough to work in tech for over a decade now.
I’ve been a freelance experience designer, I started a tech company with a co-founder, and as of four years ago, I took my first full-time job as a tech consultant at a global firm.
The unusual part is that I did all of this despite knowing barely a single line of code.
This is why I’m stubborn when it comes to the idea that there is no one way to make the leap into tech. In order to to pull back the curtain and make it easier for others, I think it’s important for people to share their own stories.
Here’s the brief timeline behind mine:
- I was obsessed with reading and drawing comics (i.e. pictures combined with words with the purpose of telling a story, which is basically graphic design, but with superheroes).
- After an undeclared freshman year, I decided to major in Visual Communications (i.e. An overly-complicated name for graphic design) and minor in business.
- During the summer after my junior year, I interned at three local design agencies…at the same time. Looking back, I would definitely not recommend it.
- After graduating, I moved back home and started freelancing full-time, focusing on branding and web design for small businesses around my hometown of St. Louis. During this time, I “borrowed” a lot of materials, document templates, and resources from people who are way smarter than me.
- I also decided to use a few creative placement agencies to help find opportunities and broaden my network. They can be super value when getting started, but over time, they become less so as you get more comfortable reaching out to companies on your own.
- For most of 2013, I freelanced as a “brand support consultant” for…