This is who I am ...

TLDR: A thinker. A learner. An explorer. I love to get my hands dirty and build stuff. I also love yoga, bodies of water, traveling, reading, growing stuff (including children), and my family.

I was raised in the far southwest suburbs of Chicago where I spent most of my life surrounded by cornfields & suburbia. In college, I studied psychology, social work, and journalism. Graduating right in the 2008 recession and without a job prospect in sight, I bought a one-way ticket to Europe and became an Au Pair in Ancona, Italy. For the first time in my life, I was surrounded by history!

Inspired by the incredible art and architecture there, I chose to attend art school instead of grad school when I returned. It was while studying at the Savannah College of Art & Design that I learned to design & build my first website using Dreamweaver.

Several years later, I became a mom! It was in those bleary newborn days that I taught myself the basics of code by customizing a Wordpress blog (Yep, I was that cliche Mommy Blogger). Using platforms like treehouse & codecademy I learned HTML & CSS plus a little Ruby & Javascript. When my oldest was in all-day preschool, I took a leap of faith and enrolled in Wyncode, a coding bootcamp, where I dug deep into Rails, Ruby, and Javascript. Within two weeks of finishing, I had landed a life-changing remote web developer position.

Working at a startup requires a do-it-yourself attitude. So when I was frustrated about building features that no one was using, I started reading books and listening to podcasts about user experience, design thinking, and product management. These topics fit nicely with my history of studying psychology (empathy) and design (UI/UX). Since we lacked a formal product discipline, I suggested forming a Product Team. It wasn't perfect - consensus based product development isn't ideal - but it was the first step to making sure that the business side and the technical side were always on the same page.

While I still love coding, my heart belongs to product management now.

My Core Values
  1. Prioritize the Living. People, Plants, Animals, Earth > things. Always.
  2. Embrace Curiosity. Never stagnant. Never NOT learning.
  3. Feel the Fear & Do it Anyway. Courage or comfort. Never both.
  4. Be Creative. Use what you have, create something new.
  5. Choose Carefully. Even the smallest decisions have far-reaching consequences.
  6. Optimism Wins. Negativity kills.
  7. Rest. Sometimes the best thing to do, is nothing.
Credit Due

This blog is built by ME using Gatsby.js & deployed with Netlify. (It's my first time using either product and I'm very impressed with both!)