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Are you ready to hear an inspiring story of someone who’s breaking down barriers and creating opportunities for others? Meet L.E. Nichols, a true trailblazer in the tech industry! As the Head of Engineering at a nonprofit, L.E. is a powerful force for good, using her skills to make a real difference in the world. But that’s not all - she’s also the founder of a Facebook group with over 16,000 members, where she offers mentorship to those looking to break into tech. L.E. is passionate about helping others succeed, and her dedication is truly inspiring. L.E.’s journey into the tech industry started in Tech Support, but she didn’t stop there. She worked hard, advanced her skills, and eventually became a Manager of other Software Engineers. Her drive and determination are a testament to the fact that anything is possible with hard work and dedication. L.E.’s story is a shining example of what it means to be a true leader. She’s using her skills and experience to make a real difference in the world, and she’s lifting others up along the way. She’s breaking down barriers and creating opportunities for others, and her impact will be felt for generations to come. So, if you’re looking for inspiration and motivation to achieve your goals, look no further than L.E. Nichols. She proves that with hard work, passion, and a willingness to help others, anything is possible in the world of tech and beyond!

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Alternate Titles For The Algorithm:
From Software Engineer to Head of Engineering
My Journey Into Software Engineering
My Journey Into Tech
The Path From A Software Engineer To Manager


Show Notes

0:00
Hey y’all, this is your host Elyse Robinson. With nobody wants to work though podcasts I hope the stories were inspire you to switch careers. I was an auditor in my past life and I’m in tech, then let’s get to it

0:19
where you we are switched into tech tech resources to accelerate your career in information technology, monthly classes on tech topics. We offer free or discounted exam vouchers, scholarships for you to me courses, free events, free boot camps and more. You can find us at www dot switch into tech.org

0:46
Hey, y’all this Elyse Robinson with nobody wants to work though podcast today we have L E and

0:54
introduce yourself L E, where did you start? And where are you now?

0:59
Yeah, so my name is La Shauna E. Nichols. Everyone calls me l e. And I’m known across social media. And in the tech world, for my work as a technologist and also community builder.

1:16
I typically always been in technology,

1:20
my road to my career, I’m actually a head of engineering at an organization called Scratch. And

1:29
my road to that position, or at least into leadership

1:34
has been very, very unconventional. So really excited to be here and, and talk a little bit more about it. But yeah, I’m currently the head of engineering, infrastructure, infrastructure and back in engineering at scratch. And we are the largest learning code platform for children or students K through 12, primarily.

1:57
And with over 120, something million users currently. And yeah, I manage all of our backend technology. And yeah, super excited to be here with you.

2:10
I’m here is a fun question. What did you want to be when you grew up?

2:16
When I want to be when I grew up, um, I always knew that I wanted to be an entrepreneur.

2:23
And I did, you know, I’ve opened some businesses. But I wasn’t really sure if technology was where I wanted to be. I didn’t have a whole lot of mentors or influences in the technology field. So

2:37
it wasn’t really until I got into my undergraduate studies, I started off, started my undergraduate studies as a business administration.

2:47
I ended up getting a degree in business administration to minor in it. And I knew that I wanted to start businesses and knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur. But it wasn’t really until the middle of my undergraduate studies that I realized that technology was like, where I want to go, just didn’t have a whole lot of influences to drive me into that space. So I started started learning on my own and self teaching there.

3:13
Definitely.

3:16
I’ll say that, that probably is one of the reasons why I didn’t keep at it and pursue is because there wasn’t very many people that looked like me in the industry. I’m gonna, I’m gonna date myself, but almost 20 years ago.

3:30
So yeah, that’s why I try to be a forefront and be a face. And you know, do things like this, so people can understand that, you know, we’re out there. Definitely. Um,

3:45
you kind of touched on a little bit, but where did your career begin? And what was your first career? Because you know, tech doesn’t really mean anything. So where did you start? Yeah, so I started off. So in during my undergraduate

3:59
studies, I started realizing that technology was where I wanted to go, but I didn’t want to, I didn’t want to disrupt my, my studies. So I kept going with the business administration, and eventually got a minor, A minor in it as well. But I started off in tech support. And so I started self teaching myself, computers.

4:21
And I eventually got a job as a tech support

4:27
engineer at Apple. And it was a consulting position that went through agency while I was going to school at the same time. And that really, really, that was like, that was the nail on the head or the head on the nail when you say that, but for the most part, that was what really, really inspired me is when I started doing tech support and I was like, Okay, this is where I belong. And so it encouraged me to number one, keep going in my education. I eventually I pursued a master’s degree in it.

5:00
But I also, I didn’t stay in tech support for for too long, I was only there for a couple years. And then I started self teaching myself.

5:10
Web Design and coding. So I was trying to learn application development without taking application development classes. So I started learning Visual Basic, it was a hot mess. I started learning Visual Basic in dotnet.

5:27
And I was privileged to have a lot of opportunities to do a lot of freelance work. So I started basically, with friends, associates of mine, teachers would ask me to help them build their websites, because I was, I also had a little bit of a creative spill in me where I would create graphic designs, and a lot of lot of mock ups and stuff of applications and websites. So I had gotten really, really good at like CorelDRAW. And, and yeah, while I was doing this tech support, I was also like, creating flyers and designing websites. And then I was like, Okay, I can’t just design the sites, I need to actually build them. So I can make some money. So I started doing a lot of freelance work on the side. And,

6:17
and then I kind of spun out from there, I graduated. And I had by the time I graduated, I had maybe about 20 websites online for like friends and family, musicians and my family was designing their websites. I was building my own applications and stuff, like within like a two, two and a half year span. And you know, that that kind of opened up the door for me to get my first software engineering role. It was a web design role, actually.

6:51
We call it a lot of the web design, and development. Now as a software engineer, we kind of, we kind of

6:58
bunch them together now.

7:01
But it was primarily web design. And that that spawned me out to wanting to learn about application development. And I kept going with just learning a bunch of programming languages from there. And yeah.

7:16
Are you giving me flashbacks, I started a web design consulting firm when I was 20. And it was funny because I had this 800 number and my digit was 20. Because I was like, that’s significant. I started when I was 20 years old. And I would go to these mixers. And I wasn’t supposed to be there because a lot of times they would give alcohol and stuff. So I would come home and bring you know, why a bottle of wine bottle to my parents and stuff. And I’d be like, yeah, here’s a wine, you know, mommy and daddy.

7:44
And that’s how I found a lot of my clients go into these mixers. You know, I was, you know, Chamber of Commerce and SBA guidance and all that good stuff. It doesn’t they say you’re supposed to do. And yeah, I build websites, and I did I did websites support, you know, maintenance.

8:05
And then Bush came along, and you know, oh, 809 and it was like, okay, nobody’s buying it. So I had to you know, I had to, you know, crash that. But, ya know, I’m gonna date myself again. But mine was PaintShop Pro, which I think Carell turned into. And I used to have these little dumb websites when I was a kid and a little blog and stuff. And it’s funny because I looked at it on the Wayback Machine. I’m like, take it down. Take it down.

8:35
You can’t be older than me. There’s no way you’re older than me and you’re talking about paint shop when you go away.

8:41
I’m going away back. Okay, I was PaintShop Pro. I never learned Adobe because I was like, I don’t want to take the classes. You know, all that stuff. So I was old PaintShop Pro, isn’t that you know, I kind of stopped when they turned to Carell. But yeah, nah, nah, nah, I, you know, I’ve given you probably around the same age as me, but I’m 36. So

9:03
what do you want? Okay.

9:07
But you’re giving me flashbacks all the way.

9:13
Buddy. Very cool. Well, at least you can relate to what

9:19
you kind of touched on a little bit. Um, you know, the catalyst. I mean, what did your parents say? You know, when you move from business, and you say I didn’t want to do like the business stuff, I want to do more tech stuff. You know, did you have support of your family? You know, what did they say?

9:35
I mean, to be honest with you, like my family has already kind of been hands off with my education. Like, I’m kind of on my own for a while, but it was once they started seeing like, you know, me getting jobs and holding on to a great job and, you know, life was improving. You know, for me.

9:56
They knew that I was on the right path. So really, they really never really had to

9:59
Too much worry about me.

10:02
But yeah, I never really switch I’m actually happy that I did go to school for my my business administration undergrad degree because it helped me when I was in, you know, I’m still in the corporate world, but it is it’s helped me understand how businesses work. And I think that is those are fundamentals and foundational elements a lot of Tech’s don’t have when they come into the field. And so when a company like when a company’s laying off, when a company is making cuts, when the company needs to fill positions when the company is adding, you know, acquiring a new company, like those things aren’t really taught in a computer science world in the world of computer science. So I’m grateful that I, you know, took a lot of business classes, because now, you know, as the head of engineering, or I understand budgeting, I understand what it is to build a team, I understand what it is I have soft skills, all those things that come along with how to operate in businesses is what I’m very grateful for. I’m not grateful for. And I know I’m a little bit off topic, I’m going back to that in a second.

11:16
What I’m not really grateful for is,

11:20
is probably not doing both, because I think that the fundamentals of computer science would have allowed me to get ahead quicker.

11:31
Whereas a lot of that stuff, I had to self teach and to do a lot of research. I had to find mentors to help me get on the right path.

11:40
But it would have been good to like maybe do a dual degree or only focus on computer science. And then also somehow some way maybe flip it where my met my Master’s or my graduate program was in business but

11:55
so as far as like how my family felt they saw me maneuver and then that way, and they were they were grateful that they didn’t have to too much worry about me. I left home at 18 I moved to Texas and went to college there. So I was away from family by myself for many years, really my entire 20s. And so like, you know, so I’ve been kind of on my own for a minute and just being resourceful and,

12:22
you know, always kind of

12:25
looking out for myself and trying to make the right decision. I started. I started

12:30
maturing early in my early career, so didn’t really have too many family didn’t have to worry too much about me. They were when they realized that technology was like what was driving me they were like, Okay, we see you do it. Okay, good. Good. Good. Okay. Keep going. Keep going. So, yeah.

12:49
Yeah, I have to say my parents never worried about me, like, honestly say, like, I always hated school. I barely graduated high school, even though I graduated a whole semester early, if you feel like, oh, look, I’m a 4.0 new No, no, no, like, the guy graduated with a 2.46.

13:08
And, at a certain point, my mom was like, you know, okay, like, you’re 16 like, we ain’t gonna talk to you about this no more like, you know, you can work at McDonald’s, and we won’t.

13:19
Um, so that was like, you can stay at home like, because I didn’t leave home until I was 22. And, but you got to go to college, you got to get you a job, or you got to be entrepreneur. And I did all three before the age of 22.

13:35
And, you know, I doubled and dabbled in everything. And then I ended up, you know, getting my first federal job at 22 and moving to Boston, and oh, that was a whole experience in itself. But, and I’m originally from California, and people were like, what, what are what the hell are you doing here?

13:54
But, no, I can I can definitely relate to that too. Because my parents didn’t didn’t really care or worry about, like, pretty much anything that I did. They were like, Okay, well, you know, we’re not, you know, you’re not, you know, eff up like, you know, do do what you want to do. But I will say my father when I left my federal job, he was like, why why why would you do that? And I’m like, Well, my mom was sick. You know what I’m saying? Like what was I supposed to do? Um, you know, then I ended up moving to Mexico after that and you know, it’s funny because my my sister is like, Yeah, Dad never brags about you to anyone he brags about me though.

14:33
People were whatever, you know, doing all this amazing stuff, but my parents never left the country so they don’t know what it’s like and you know, all that stuff. So I’m first generation on a lot on a lot of things. So you know, is like just like whatever but you know, they will they will eventually understand and see you know, when that when that time comes so I get you on that

15:01
Ah, Shoshana. I don’t know if you read Shonda Rhimes book, I forget what it’s called, I read it like, almost, maybe 10 years ago, but she’s she, she’s, she, she wrote a book, she mentioned about how her family when she became

15:16
super famous. She,

15:21
you know, she had all these television shows that were simultaneously being ran on ABC, NBC that she’s a writer and producer, she talked about how the majority of her career, her progress is took off and turned out to be fantastic. But her she didn’t have the acknowledgement from her family. And she was she said, when she would go back home during the holidays, nobody was like, Oh, I saw that I saw, you know, I saw scandal, man, I’m so proud of you look at look at you, man, you’re a millionaire. Now, like you doing it. She said, No one acknowledge any of that. And it was, it was hard for her in the beginning to, to deal with that, because she felt like if anybody is supposed to give you, you know, shout out of praise, Pat, on the back, it would be your family. And believe it or not, a lot of people go through that same situation where they don’t necessarily have the acknowledgement from their family, but they’re doing fantastic. And if you can continue to do great. And, you know, not necessarily have the pat on the back, but the family, he keep doing that it will come eventually, in my opinion. So I feel, you know, I was always of the mindset that I don’t need a pat on the back, you know, you know, because people, people think that, you know, you’re supposed to get a pat on the back. And, you know, I’m like, I’m just gonna do what I want to do. And you know, if it comes to come, you know, I’ve never won an award for anything, you know, or, like I said, my GPA was never on on a roll. Or I’m never going to be valedictorian, or nothing like that, or get kudos. But you know, I know what I’ve done. And, you know, I tell people all the time, you know, it’s like, the recognition would be cool, but at the end of the day is like, you know, I’m just, I’m out here, that’s

17:10
gonna keep going regardless.

17:14
So, my whole motto is don’t don’t expect kudos, because a lot of times, you ain’t never gonna get it.

17:22
Very good policy to have, I’ll tell you right now save you a lot of headache and heartache as well.

17:30
All Things come at a cost. What did it cost you along the way? Um, you know, what did you have to give up? Is there anything you had to give up? I mean, I’m, so I’m a mom. And I got married in the latter years of my 20s to my son’s father. And so

17:50
I was, you know, in my 20s, I was like, really rambunctious, I was doing a lot, I was working a lot of different companies or doing a ton of freelance. I was up at three o’clock in the morning coding, I was, you know, Barnes and Nobles.

18:03
ASP dotnet for Dummies, I was studying a lot. I was, you know, yeah, it was, it was a grind.

18:10
But when my son came, I realized that, okay, as scattered as you can be, you should probably not do that with a child, you should probably like, figure out your path, okay, you far as education, you’re fine. But education alone is just not going to get you to where you got to go. Like, you’re gonna have to use your brain and you have to put the plan together. And, you know, force yourself to go in that direction. So I, I slowed down a little bit. But my son came, and I said, Okay, I’m gonna stop hopping companies, you know, I’m going to, I’m going to, I’m going to get really, really good at development, I’m going to focus on the front end, I’m going to focus on these programming language. So I started putting things in place.

18:58
And so when it comes to costs, I would say that, you know,

19:03
when you decide to have a family, as a woman in technology, and the woman, software engineer and woman in development, or engineering in general, anywhere in the tech space, that you’re a woman

19:15
you know, the cost could be your family, if you put technology first or your career first. There’s, you have to weigh it out, you know, and

19:26
I had to slow down in put family first because I got married and I had my son after that. And so I would say that I probably would have been moving a little bit faster

19:39
towards a more lucrative career if my son came, but I had to slow down and it did. It did help me focus though, so I would just say that in terms of costs, time,

19:53
you know, it costs me time, you know, to from the time that I

20:00
decided to have a family where things sort of slowed in, I was just kind of focused on just, you know, maintaining the career and being a mom and a wife. And, and then all the way up until my son got to an age where I can be away from him a lot, you know what I mean? Or I could spend more time externally and do things inside of the community. And, you know, so I would say, in terms of cost, like not, not monetary monetarily, it’s more time. You know, being great in technology or anything within the tech space requires time. And that was something that I really had to juggle early in my career. And so now, you know, it’s my son is in the perfect his last year in high school, and I couldn’t be away from him. I travel a lot now. So, but I had to give it up in the beginning. And now I’m able to do all that stuff. So

20:54
definitely, definitely my I have a nephew, he just turned 10 Last month, and my sister is like, I’m so happy, like, I can just leave him by

21:04
to watch him. And all that good stuff. And you know, like, Yeah, but my, my nephew has always been pretty independent. I think he, he’s like me, he’s my twin, he probably should have been my child.

21:18
And we look just alike, just.

21:21
But, ya know, I get it. I do.

21:26
I’m gonna rephrase this question a little bit different. Because you you pretty much always been in tech.

21:32
What would you say? Was your, your process into getting into tech? Because everyone’s process is different? Yeah, no, I definitely talked about my process and my, my business versus tech brain, you know, because I didn’t start off in tech. And people like I, you know, I took a bootcamp. I was self taught, you know, I studied in college, like, you know, what was your path? Yeah, I mean, my path was, you know, like I said,

22:04
though, I had the education like that didn’t, didn’t really matter.

22:09
My path was like, you know, figure out what you want to do. Okay, I knew I wanted to be a software engineer, I knew I wanted to be

22:19
heavily embedded in tech. And I knew I wanted to be a leader. But that was really my goal, my goal was to get in to be in some sort of a leadership role within technology, ideally, technology management, because I not only equally enjoy programming, but I also just enjoy, I enjoy networking, I enjoy information systems, I enjoy technology in general. And so I, my, my goal was to get really, really good at one thing, and I did, I started learning C sharp, I started learning JavaScript, I started learning a few different languages. And I really focus my attention on learning those and become an expert at those eventually, I started teaching part time on the side, but but really, my path to my 15 year, software engineering career was really just to get good at one or two or three things, and then stick to that a lot of people like to do a bunch of stuff. And then they don’t, they don’t have the opportunity to be an expert at it. And so with me, we zone in on those three programming languages. And this area of development allowed me to go to any company, I want to fill out a resume on my resume and get in no problem. Because I specialize I really, really focused on becoming an expert at those areas. And so I would say that, for anyone trying to pick their path, the real goal is like to really just focus like to figure out

23:56
one, two, I would say Kappa, that three things that you can be an expert at. And really, really, really become an expert at those because those are the things that are going to keep you employed. I have not been unemployed. Since 2000, and Z, my son was born in 22,006. I haven’t been unemployed since 2002. I’ve been nonstop unemployed all this time. So So and it’s mainly because I focused on those three things.

24:28
And I became an expert at him. So I became an expert at front end development. I got really, really good at and became an expert at JavaScript became an expert at C sharp, I even crossed my my knowledge of C and C sharp and dotnet over into iOS development when Apple became a thing and so I haven’t that connection with those different languages really just allowed me to maneuver my pathway whichever I want to and really, that was just that will be my

25:00
My,

25:02
that’d be my suggestion to anyone. But for me, it was just becoming an expert at those things and like really, really driving towards them in everything that I did.

25:12
How long did you How long do you think it took you to become this expert,

25:18
I would say, non stop, I would say about four to five years, non stop, like grinding four to five years, really, you know,

25:28
becoming good at frameworks, you know, an understanding, like, we have react, we have Angular, and these things didn’t exist. When I first came in, we’re so blessed to have these things now. But like, you know, getting really good at JavaScript.

25:43
You know, understanding object orientated programming, and like just really zoning in, I would say, took me about a good four to five years, it’s not, it’s not about the amount of time that you put in, it’s really it’s it, I mean, it is about the time you put put in, it’s about

26:03
it’s, it’s about how you learn. So I was blessed to have friends. Eventually, I became friends with a lot of individuals who I would pair code with, we get together on the weekends and pair code.

26:19
And so yeah, it’s it’s about, like really zoning in on on the technology. And, you know, it does take time, you got to spend time, but

26:31
just trying to become an expert at one or two or three things, ideally.

26:37
Um, oh, gosh, I lost my question.

26:42
I was gonna say that.

26:46
Ya hear her? It took her four to five years. And, you know, I guess my question was going to be, you know, what were you doing in the meantime, but you were doing tech support, which was very different than software engineering. My question is, do you think because, you know, the thing is, now that you can be in tech, and not have to learn to program. And in my mind, I was like, You need to know programming, because there’s so many people that want to be in tech. And they’re like, Yeah, I don’t want to program and all this other kind of stuff. And I’m just like, you know, you can’t really get around tech, you know, without the programming part of it. But that’s just, that’s my opinion on it. Because even when I was in cloud, it’s like, okay, they were trying to put me on DevOps, because I didn’t know how to program. No one on my team knew how to how to program. So it’s like, okay,

27:38
so what is your end? I mean, you can you can go without learning programming, but But

27:45
I mean, if you’re looking at like a lucrative career, like programming is where it’s at, there’s, there’s, I think, last statistic, I saw, there was like, over 300,000 jobs in America right now, for programming. I know, we just went through a bunch of layoffs with some of the top 10 large tech companies, but like, programming is like the intro to a lot of areas. And so it is, it’ll always be like, the most lucrative career in technology, like learning how to code. And understanding how programming algorithms work. And the fundamentals of programming is like, it’ll always be the top paying job in technology always, always.

28:25
You know, you can be a project manager, you know, you can be a product manager, you can be tech support, and now they’re returning code.

28:33
There’s there are, there are things you can do that don’t touch coding, or don’t touch programming. But those areas aren’t, as in demand as a software engineer, as a programmer. And that’s why you can find companies like my company who are willing to pay people, two 300, or $400,000. To come in as a programmer, because it is it is a

29:00
it’s a very intense

29:02
it’s a very specialized area of technology that requires you to really be logical, critically think, and you know, and that’s usually those type of jobs are what pays the most money. So if you’re looking at where to go, you know, what area of technology you belong to ask yourself, like, am I looking for something easy? That, you know, that just sparks my interest? Or am I looking for something challenging that pays me well, and if you’re looking for something challenging, that pays you well, is programming, and like you said, it touches in so many different areas, like if you’re in the cloud, you might have to write a script, you know,

29:43
our TP O’s, they write, they look at pull requests, they’re looking at code, you know, they’re suggested just in comments.

29:52
You know, even if you end up being a project manager and you’re working in JIRA, some of those little specialized plugins require

30:00
To write a script or write a piece of code in those applications, so, so it does touch a bunch of different areas and different focuses within tech.

30:10
My suggestion is, and what I’m trying to do is bring more people of color into the programming space because it is still very, very underpopulated. There is a ton of jobs available, and not enough people to fill them. And with AI, and all these more sophisticated

30:28
technology focuses like machine learning, that are now becoming a thing.

30:35
In programming, as programmers are going to be even more in demand. So it’s like why not? Why not be a part of, you know, revolution and help drive the future of technology, which is basically a coding.

30:48
Right?

30:50
And I didn’t mean that, you know, there was no jobs. I’m just saying that, to me, software, engineering, coding, whatever you programming, whatever you want to call it is the foundation. I mean, it’s literally how computer science and tech began. And you know, and I think that you should at least probably have maybe one course on it, so you understand the fundamentals and the basics.

31:14
But yeah, I mean, people, you know, say these jobs and things like that, like there was one not too long ago, not too long ago, and they were like, Yeah, you can be like you were saying a technical program manager. And I was like, No, I’ve interviewed for those. And I want you to understand a lot, which includes programming, you know, you may not necessarily be programming, but they want you to understand it, and that that equal now even equals fooling with the cloud. So I mean, we have extra stuff that you have to put on top. So you know, it’d be good, it would be good if they put programming as 111 required prerequisite to any program, like even if you go to school for graphic design, you have to take at least one class of programming. If you go to school for business, take one class of programming, if you go on for

32:04
an architectural design, take one class, it should just be embedded into to give people exposure, it should be a household thing. My opinion? Look, I wasn’t going to take a programming class in an accounting program.

32:20
Like no, no wasn’t gonna do it. I was not gonna do it. You know, I was mad that I had to take statistics, you know? Because to me, statistics isn’t the traditional math, you know, but, you know, I did statistics all up and throughout when I leaned over statistics, data science, data science, right?

32:42
Or right, and so, you know, actually, I’m getting my master’s in data science and stuff like that, because I actually didn’t love the statistical part. When I actually put it in motion. I was mad that I had to take it when I’m in my program. But um, yeah, you know, I would say Excel would be another one is to pivot tables, and all this other stuff I was doing, you know, what I’m saying? Like he said, my accounting programs, I’m just like, I actually just took an Excel course. But never I went and took a computer science class.

33:15
One programming Python, you know,

33:19
but I will admit, I will admit it audit is kind of quasi accounting and, and, you know, sometimes I would look at systems and I would, you know, sit down with someone, and you don’t have to look at the system, and sometimes the code and things like that, and it would have helped in that regard. So I guess it depends on what type of audits you would have been doing. So there’s that? Yep.

33:43
Cool.

33:45
Final question. Um, you know, you talked about getting more people into tech, just in general, you know, that, that look like us? And, you know, what are some tips and tricks that you would, you know, give to someone that wanted to be in tack?

34:03
Yeah, I would, I would suggest you, like, start to do as much research as you can.

34:09
I always say, there’s, I’m here in the Bay Area, and there’s always something that happened. There’s a lot of social events that happen here, locally. So,

34:20
you know, start attending networking events, start attending tech events. You know, of course, don’t, you probably don’t want to target something that has a special

34:30
specialization like, like, you don’t want to go to a Python class, or Python meetup and you have no idea what Python is. Unless it’s unless there’s an invite for people who are beginners or who may not be in it, but like, you know, pick and choose which social events to go to, but start finding social events to attend and get familiar with the different areas of technology to a lot of research. I’m on clubhouse a lot. I do a lot of podcasts.

35:00
Just

35:01
hop on clubhouse, there’s always some sort of breaking into tech or transitioning to tech or something, some sort of a tech related

35:11
chat going on where there are different people are talking about the things that they do start doing research.

35:18
Start being in the spaces where other texts are.

35:21
Take a class,

35:24
there’s a lot of free training online.

35:27
I would say, I have a Facebook group called breaking the tech, we have over 16,000 people join the Facebook group join. It’s, it’s breaking into tech. And there are career coaches in there who talks about, you know how to navigate or how to start your career search based off of what your current

35:50
specialization is, or whatever your career goals have been, or career background has been, and how that how those can apply to a career in tech.

36:00
You know, find Facebook groups,

36:02
and then start doing as much much research as you can start looking at the popular things that are happening in technology, we’re hearing a lot about AI, we’re hearing a lot about robotics, you know, we have a lot of things going on where tech and science meet, start becoming interested in those areas and start listening. And then if you hear something or see something that sparks your interest, go do research on it, that’s I still do this to this day. Like if there’s something that that interests me, I will probably binge research for about a week on that one thing, because I want to learn about it. And so you, I think a majority of

36:44
new Tech’s

36:46
they, sometimes they want to get into because it’s the money. But it really would help you if you were really interested in the space, like if you really had an interest in the space because

37:00
yes, there’s good money, the money comes along with it. But like if you really are taking interest to the tech, the tech field in general, like the space,

37:11
you know, it’ll help you focus your attention into those areas. And it really started doing research in it that if your research spans you, or takes you to a space where you’re like, you know what, I’m gonna go to a boot camp from the fine, you know, I’m gonna find a,

37:30
I don’t know you’re in Houston, we have these things called like RFPs and occupational programming here at the adult schools. You can take tech programming there. But your research has been new to kind of want to learn self learn or go to a program or something somehow, some way. But I would say, Yeah, start there, network and research. Those are those are the two things I would suggest for any new person who’s interested.

37:58
I am not originally from Texas, I’m a Cali girl. So I’m very familiar with the ROP programs. Back when I date myself again, back when I was in high school, they didn’t have tech stuff, it was more so like nursing assistant, medical assistant and, like, shoot, I don’t know what they had for me and but like, Yeah, I’m happy they got that for ROP. Now. That’s, that’s really exciting. That’s really exciting. I hope that you’re definitely pushing the young people into that because I mean, it’s like, it’s like free 99

38:31
And I also will add community college, you know, I took a lot of, you know, rare courses at the community college and those are the type of people that are in the industry, you know, that are teaching these courses. So their their knowledge is very relevant and very recent.

38:49
One of the courses that I took way back when was intro to careers in in tech or you know, computer science or whatever. And it was a it was actually a black woman that came. They were having different people that came and it was a black woman that worked at HP and stuff and she came in I was like, Okay, this sounds so exciting, because I’m like, you know, like I think it was the only black person in the class and they actually had a black woman come in. It was super exciting. But yeah, do not skip out on Community College. And I know for a fact if you’re in California, and you’re poor enough, you can like literally go for free.

39:29
With the ball. I don’t think they call it the BOG waiver anymore. I’m dating myself, but it was called the BOG waiver. Yeah.

39:37
Yeah. And so yeah, I mean, I love Community College because you know, and they have fast paced courses to an extent and they’re cheap enough and they have courses that you wouldn’t find at a university, you know, so. So in that community college when I was in high school, that’s what I was doing there. My summers I didn’t go to summer school. I went to community college. So when I

39:59
graduated high school, I had like almost 30 credits almost associates. So many. So, community college people sleep on community college, they sleep on community college, they really do. But I really do. Like I have a I don’t know if community college still have a bad signal. But when I was in high school, they were like, Oh, I’m gonna go to college. I don’t want to go to community college just for you know, the the people that didn’t do well in school.

40:25
That’s not true. But that’s not true.

40:29
That’s not true. But outside of that, what else was I gonna say? About Community College? Oh, that’s all gonna say I didn’t do Community College because I actually didn’t know it was an option. So I was outside of community college and you can take classes, you know, for free as a high school student at at the college. I did class. And so I did clip Dante’s and a whole bunch of other stuff that doesn’t even exist now. Matter of fact, they just took one away like a huge program away not not that long ago that you know, you can do credit by exam. So I did lots and lots of credit bytes. Remember those? Ah, but if I had known I probably would have to you know what, I would have graduated with a GED if I knew that was an option, and indeed audit because like, I really hated school, like, everything, I pretty much know it. I pretty much self taught myself. I’m always taking like self paced courses, and, you know, all that good stuff. So it’s like, okay, I don’t I don’t really care about any of that.

41:29
But, boy, yeah, tell us where we can find you.

41:36
Um, so I’m on Instagram, you can find me, Ellie Nichols, tech. On Instagram. I’m on Twitter. I’m il e. Nichols, Dev on Twitter.

41:47
And if you like you can learn about scratch@scratch.org. We are a nonprofit. We operate like a startup.

41:57
And we derived off of the MIT campus. And now we’re kind of our own startups. So check us out. scraps.org. Go and create. We have a platform that allows you to

42:11
we have a block based programming language that we produce.

42:15
And it allows you to go and create applications video games. So go play around on our website, scratch that org.

42:23
And then you should probably Yeah, visit visit scratch.org. You’ll you’ll I think there’s a couple of

42:30
references to me on that website on their main website. But yeah, I’m on LinkedIn as L E. Nichols, l period, e period Nichols. And again on Instagram is Ellie Nichols tech. And then Twitter is Ellie Nichols, Dev.

42:46
All right. Oh, Facebook group breaking into tech. We have like, I think it’s like 17, almost 18,000 people between it’s a it’s a

42:58
intro into tech support groups, that people who are interested in technology, they come and they join, they get to talk to people who have already do the transition. There’s career coaches in there offer free programming and training. Just a place to discuss you know and chat.

43:17
I would still be a part of that. But I do not do Facebook. I used to get in trouble a lot on Facebook. So I’m gonna change one bit now.

43:26
So I decided to stay up off of Facebook like but I’ll make I’ll make no money on Facebook. So I’m on Twitter. My money from the group is

43:38
you write you write you write you so write, but nah, I don’t I don’t for Facebook like that. So I’m I’m gonna stay away and but

43:48
but yeah, thank you, L E for coming on. So my name is Elyse Robinson with nobody wants to work tho. Podcast. You can find us on YouTube. Of course, if you’re watching on Google podcast, Spotify, Apple podcast,

44:04
and subscribe to newsletter because we put that out every week with updates on me with my master’s in data science program, the new episode of the podcast and also classes that I put out that I do for free and paid so

44:24
yeah, until next time. See y’all later.

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Nobody Wants To Work Tho Episodes


Elyse Y. Robinson Elyse Y. Robinson is the Founder of Switch Into Tech where she does monthly seminars, posts weekly freebies to help you switch into tech, Writer of Nube: Switch Into A Cloud Career, podcaster for Nobody Wants To Work Tho, creator of FullTuitionScholarships.org to help you not go into college debt, and in school for Data Science. Elyse is in love with Mexico, researching any and everything, and helping people switch into tech.