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Nevertheless, Jess West Coded

Jess West (she/her)
Hacker and Hustler at LaunchDarkly; DinosaurJS Organizer
・3 min read

I began/continue to code because...

I've been data driven most of my life, which I think is what ultimately brought me to coding. I love being able to think of an idea and bring it to life or at least help bring it to life! Now I continue to code because a) I enjoy it b) I love learning and I want to continue doing that.

I recently overcame...

Oh gosh, I feel like I overcome things on a daily basis, imposter syndrome is a real thing. My biggest thing I've been working through is continue to push the barrier of what it is like being in Developer Relations (almost a year in); and what that looks like at different companies.

I want to brag about...

I hate bragging. I will jokingly do it of course with friends, but why is so hard to talk about yourself? If I look at things I am doing, I'm pretty happy with it though. I help run DinosaurJS and I love it, it's such a cool conference to help create and be a part of. CFP still open!. I created Joan Clarke Society in Denver to help support women and non-binary folks break into the industry. This came from personal experience feeling like I was missing this jump from intense-learning to being a professional. Today, I have a crew of women that work with me on it and it's amazing. I learn just as much from people coming and participating as helping put it together. I spoke at DevRelCon London recently about proactive and reactive strategies about DevRel. And I work at a crazy startup where things are constantly on the move, so that feels like an every day thing to overcome! 😅

My advice for other women and non-binary folks who code is...

Find your ride or die peeps and keep climbing! It's a rough journey, but every we move we make now makes it better for everyone around us and for people coming behind us. Now more than ever I think it's important for us be able to support one another and build on what each other are building. The "standing on the shoulders of giants" sort of thing. We can only become better with the effort we put in.

My advice for allies to support women and non-binary folks who code is....

There are so many resources out there for people, mentorship is a great start but also make sure you are helping use your power to help others. At work, try speaking up for those in meetings and supporting them around promotion time. If you feel uncomfortable doing this yourself, suggest to your company to hire someone like Equili to come teach about diversity and inclusion training and retention.

In your community, sometimes just listening for a few minutes to see what people are working on and then asking what you can do is great. This is a good article, that people I'm sure have already linked to, but I recommend giving it a read over.

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