10/03/12 | Uncategorized

From “n00b” To Engineer In One Year

I am joining Red Hat as a Associate Software Engineer.
By Lynn Root (Founder, PyLadies San Francisco)

It is my great pleasure (and squee!) to share with my friends, family, PyLadies, Twitter nerds, Women Who Code’rs, DevChixen, Systers, and everyone else that I can now say: I am an Engineer.

Yes, the same person that once did not know the difference between a compiler and an interpreter, couldn’t explain wtf __init__.py files do, or conceive of generators versus iterators.

The same person that took her way too long to admit that you can return more than one item in a function. This is the same n00b that was once told by Leah Culver that one “…can’t just learn how to code without a CS degree.”

(I’d like to point out that it’s this exact industry that promotes and cultivates a culture not of ivory tower pedigrees but of free, easy access, and open source education.)

Well my friends: by no means am I an expert, nor am I graduating from n00b status. I am, however, taking my next step. Drum roll…

I am joining Red Hat as a black hat hacker Associate Software Engineer working with OSS projects integrating RH’s security tools down in Mountain View.

Coding, community-building, applied cryptography, what could be better? I’m just so honored and excited that my new manager and those I will be working with are willing to take a chance on me, and to give me the opportunity to grow into a field that I naively fell in love with (you can’t help who or what you fall in love with).


I’m being given the awesome opportunity of a 2-month, unofficial ‘boot camp’ at Red Hat’s Czech Republic location in Brno. HUZZAH!

Personal history insert: I lived in Prague, CZ for a semester in 2006. Loved it. Wrote my senior thesis on its transitional economy. Lived like a queen with beer being cheaper than water. Utterly ecstatic to visit again.

OK I’LL BE HONEST the real reason I’m joining RH is get my own red fedora. #justkiddingnotreally

I’ll still lead PyLadies SF, live in SF, and be heavily involved in the Python community. Just now employed, with health care, and a hard-earn title.

This post was originally posted at My Thoughts, Exactly.

Women 2.0 readers: Who else has learned to code AFTER graduating from school and become a software engineer? Let us know in the comments!

About the guest blogger: Lynn Root is Founder of PyLadies San Francisco. The WomenWhoCode champion is currently building up the Python community within the Bay Area through hosting introduction to Python tutorials, technical interview workshops, speaker events, and hack nights. By day, she is a Python/Django developer for Harvard’s CS team and ActiveFrequency consulting company; by night, a ninja community leader. Follow her on Twitter at @roguelynn.



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