Hannah Jane, you’ve had a very interesting career path. How did you get to Movable Ink?
I don’t know that it was a very interesting career path as much a series of left turns, back tracks, and leaps of faith. I’ve been at Movable Ink for about a year now and was previously at Priceline.com as a front end engineer. Prior to that I worked with the coding bootcamp I went to and prior to THAT I graduated with my master’s degree in Public Administration. I was connected to Movable Ink through the CTO–Michael Nutt is good friends with one of my old boss’s from Fullstack and he passed along my name when he heard they were looking for someone. So, moral of the story–listen to Jena’s advice about networking, it’s gotten me every job I’ve ever had!
Also, can you just tell us – what does “engineer” even mean these days?
That’s a tough question (and commonly debated among engineer/developers/programmers on hacker news and Reddit). In my discipline, software, at the most basic level engineers are people who build software. I work at a company that builds software as a programmer so I consider myself an engineer. (JV edit: Well that’s some engineering logic if I ever saw it!)
So you went to a bootcamp. What was that experience like and how did you pick Fullstack?
I did go to a bootcamp–but almost four years ago! It’s a pretty different scene now from what I can gather. In short, it was the most intense learning experience in my life, coupled with extreme culture shock from moving to New York City. Every day is pretty intense, and there’s a lot of pressure to learn as much as you can as fast as you can. I met some of the smartest people I’ve ever interacted with and am happy to say some of them are still friends and colleagues. At the time, I picked Fullstack because I worked with Nimit–one of the cofounders–during one of my interview, and I had a really good gut feeling about him. I could tell he was not only passionate about teaching people this craft that he had built a career in, but he was also patient and an excellent communicator (I turned out to be right!)
Good stuff. Okay now the fun stuff, what do you love most about your job?
There are a lot of things I love about my job but one of them has to be working on something that affects people so directly. Movable Ink has served billions of impressions for some of the most notable companies in the world. There’s probably an e-mail in your inbox right now that someone used our software to build. Getting to play a part in building that and creating is satisfying from a purely technical standpoint, but it’s always great to know you’re making someone’s life or job easier through your work.
…and what could be a bit better?
I’m not going to lie, the intensity of the tech community is remarkable. There’s a lot of pressure to stay relevant technically while also keeping afloat of wider industry standards. It’s great in many ways because you’re always learning, but it can definitely get tiring trying to keep up. And while I know this isn’t exactly your question, I would love to see more diversity in technology–it is an industry that needs people of color, diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, and women in order to be successful. There are tons of organizations and people thinking about this and I’m looking forward to seeing how the industry shifts over the next 15 to 20 years.
This has been awesome Hanj. Now, if someone is looking to make a career transition into coding, what do you advise they do?
That really depends on your current life situation, but I always tell people that there are tons of resources online and in their local communities. Start with an online class or go to a local meetup workshop. Everyone was a beginner. If you like it you can always move forward with something that is a more serious commitment.
WIDW: Hannah Jane, Engineer
August 2, 2017