If you want to get into the tech field, there is absolutely a startup that can use whatever skill set you already have. I don’t have anything against going to a bootcamp and learning to code, but before you take that route, look around your local landscape or consider moving to a city with more startups, and see if you can find a place where you can get that first job with the skills you already have.

What do you do?

I’m the Head of Community for Flipagram.

Although some organizations treat community as a marketing role, in my current role the primary function of Community is to ensure that the product team is getting the insights that they need from the community, and that they’re making the right decisions based on our users’ needs. We interact directly with our community to create the right environment for people to feel comfortable and at home, including moderation and abuse management to keep the community safe. We also deal with influencer relationships, and things like push notification campaigns. Basically, anything that touches the user directly, my team has some sort of hand in.

How did you get into your current role?

Mostly accidentally. I was a dog food sales rep, then got a temporary gig helping Yelp launch in Denver, and I wanted to quickly turn that into something else while that was still fresh.

I applied for a social media marketing job, even though I had no idea what that was, with a social network for people with disabilities; they liked my writing style, so I was able to get that position. When that company folded, I landed at another company that had had a content partnership with them.

That company was then acquired by Yahoo; I spent four years there. I was there for Marissa Mayer showing up. I never ended up meeting her in person, but we talked all the time on this massive email list at Yahoo that 8,000 of the 14,000 employees are on, including Marissa.

I ended up leaving when they shut down our office in Denver. I thought, if I’m going to move to California anyway, I may as well look for some other options.

I found GOOD, which just won a national magazine award. It’s a magazine that is sort of the Rolling Stone of social good. I was there for about 11 months, and then a friend of GOOD’s CEO was looking for his first Community hire at Flipagram. They were about to launch their own network and needed someone to build the Community team from the ground up.

What did you want to be growing up?

I wanted to be an animal behaviorist. In high school, I attended community college for both high school and college credit. I graduated high school with almost two years of college credit already, and then I ended up working for $7.25 an hour at PetCo. That set off the chain of events that landed me in social media. I ended up finishing my Bachelor’s degree while I was at Yahoo.

What is your first memory of being intrigued by technology?

My dad is a computer developer, and he gave me a little computer - the one that had the screen attached to the keyboard, it was all one unit with a little green screen. All you could do was write a program in Basic. I used to write little programs that would ask a question and make a rhyme with whatever your answer was. Silly stuff like that.

From a young age I was also into a lot of online communities and forums and chat rooms.

Have you had any mentors or champions along the way?

I couldn’t call her a mentor because we weren’t working together that closely, but I am very inspired by Marissa Mayer and the decisions that she made with Yahoo, something a lot of people wouldn’t have touched. She’s maintained an incredible amount of calm through the way the media has treated her. It’s admirable that she can be so neutral on so many things.

What has been your favorite project you’ve worked on?

Working at GOOD was great, even though the product wasn’t able to sustain the grant money to get out of beta. It was a really cool play to create something for organizers for social good; something that would have a bit more discretion than organizing something through Twitter, for example.

What do you want to learn next?

I’m studying for the LSAT; I got addicted to doing the logic games, and I thought I should just take the test and see how I do. Now it’s become an exercise to force myself to learn study skills.

I’d also like to learn more UX tools like Illustrator and Sketch. Also SQL; honestly, a little bit of everything. I don’t know if there’s anything I don’t want to learn.

What motivates you?

It changes over time - I get a different answer every time I take the Meyers-Briggs test. When I take the enneagram, I always get 3, which is kind of the arrogant person who is very motivated by external praise and approval. I want to impress people that I respect. Also a quest for knowledge and understanding. How much I’m motivated by particular types of learning and other factors varies over time. The most consistent motivation that I have is just wanting to be in the middle of things, and know what the real story is.

What advice do you have?

Figure out what strengths you bring to the table that can get you in the door. The thing that got me in the door was that I’m a good writer.

If you want to get into the tech field, there is absolutely a startup that can use whatever skill set you already have. I don’t have anything against going to a bootcamp and learning to code, but before you take that route, look around your local landscape or consider moving to a city with more startups, and see if you can find a place where you can get that first job with the skills you already have.

If you want to get into the tech field, there is absolutely a startup that can use whatever skill set you already have. I don’t have anything against going to a bootcamp and learning to code, but before you take that route, look around your local landscape or consider moving to a city with more startups, and see if you can find a place where you can get that first job with the skills you already have.

What do you do?

I’m the Head of Community for Flipagram.

Although some organizations treat community as a marketing role, in my current role the primary function of Community is to ensure that the product team is getting the insights that they need from the community, and that they’re making the right decisions based on our users’ needs. We interact directly with our community to create the right environment for people to feel comfortable and at home, including moderation and abuse management to keep the community safe. We also deal with influencer relationships, and things like push notification campaigns. Basically, anything that touches the user directly, my team has some sort of hand in.

How did you get into your current role?

Mostly accidentally. I was a dog food sales rep, then got a temporary gig helping Yelp launch in Denver, and I wanted to quickly turn that into something else while that was still fresh.

I applied for a social media marketing job, even though I had no idea what that was, with a social network for people with disabilities; they liked my writing style, so I was able to get that position. When that company folded, I landed at another company that had had a content partnership with them.

That company was then acquired by Yahoo; I spent four years there. I was there for Marissa Mayer showing up. I never ended up meeting her in person, but we talked all the time on this massive email list at Yahoo that 8,000 of the 14,000 employees are on, including Marissa.

I ended up leaving when they shut down our office in Denver. I thought, if I’m going to move to California anyway, I may as well look for some other options.

I found GOOD, which just won a national magazine award. It’s a magazine that is sort of the Rolling Stone of social good. I was there for about 11 months, and then a friend of GOOD’s CEO was looking for his first Community hire at Flipagram. They were about to launch their own network and needed someone to build the Community team from the ground up.

What did you want to be growing up?

I wanted to be an animal behaviorist. In high school, I attended community college for both high school and college credit. I graduated high school with almost two years of college credit already, and then I ended up working for $7.25 an hour at PetCo. That set off the chain of events that landed me in social media. I ended up finishing my Bachelor’s degree while I was at Yahoo.

What is your first memory of being intrigued by technology?

My dad is a computer developer, and he gave me a little computer - the one that had the screen attached to the keyboard, it was all one unit with a little green screen. All you could do was write a program in Basic. I used to write little programs that would ask a question and make a rhyme with whatever your answer was. Silly stuff like that.

From a young age I was also into a lot of online communities and forums and chat rooms.

Have you had any mentors or champions along the way?

I couldn’t call her a mentor because we weren’t working together that closely, but I am very inspired by Marissa Mayer and the decisions that she made with Yahoo, something a lot of people wouldn’t have touched. She’s maintained an incredible amount of calm through the way the media has treated her. It’s admirable that she can be so neutral on so many things.

What has been your favorite project you’ve worked on?

Working at GOOD was great, even though the product wasn’t able to sustain the grant money to get out of beta. It was a really cool play to create something for organizers for social good; something that would have a bit more discretion than organizing something through Twitter, for example.

What do you want to learn next?

I’m studying for the LSAT; I got addicted to doing the logic games, and I thought I should just take the test and see how I do. Now it’s become an exercise to force myself to learn study skills.

I’d also like to learn more UX tools like Illustrator and Sketch. Also SQL; honestly, a little bit of everything. I don’t know if there’s anything I don’t want to learn.

What motivates you?

It changes over time - I get a different answer every time I take the Meyers-Briggs test. When I take the enneagram, I always get 3, which is kind of the arrogant person who is very motivated by external praise and approval. I want to impress people that I respect. Also a quest for knowledge and understanding. How much I’m motivated by particular types of learning and other factors varies over time. The most consistent motivation that I have is just wanting to be in the middle of things, and know what the real story is.

What advice do you have?

Figure out what strengths you bring to the table that can get you in the door. The thing that got me in the door was that I’m a good writer.

If you want to get into the tech field, there is absolutely a startup that can use whatever skill set you already have. I don’t have anything against going to a bootcamp and learning to code, but before you take that route, look around your local landscape or consider moving to a city with more startups, and see if you can find a place where you can get that first job with the skills you already have.