Skip to main content
Possible Paths

Possible Paths

By Bill Moriarty
Learning How People Change Careers Into Tech
Where to listen
Apple Podcasts Logo

Apple Podcasts

Google Podcasts Logo

Google Podcasts

Overcast Logo


RadioPublic Logo


Spotify Logo


Kat Jost
Kat Jost is the founder of Skilled Not Ill: “a Philly-based mental health club for modern humans who live successful lives in spite of mental illness. We host weekly events that are centered around skill-based approaches to mental health, particularly DBT and CBT.” In this episode, we speak candidly about the career and community she is building while living with bipolar disorder. Kat works as a business analyst and UX researcher. Web Twitter @itskatnotcat  Topics mentioned: Skilled Not Ill Skilled Not Ill upcoming events CBT and DBT The Judge Group Buy Kat A Coffee From Skilled Not Ill’s “about” page: “Skilled Not Ill is a mental health club located in the heart of Philadelphia. We host weekly events that are centered around skill-based approaches to mental health, particularly DBT and CBT. (Definitions for these terms can be found on our FAQ page.) In addition to teaching skills from the tried-and-true DBT and CBT methodologies, we draw inspiration and content for our events from a variety of sources. No matter the topic, our events are always light-hearted, informative, social, and enjoyable. They are an excellent addition to (but not a replacement for) your existing mental health maintenance routine, whether that entails weekly counseling sessions, monthly psychiatrist appointments, or something else. One the best and most unique benefits of our events is that they are designed and facilitated by someone who has first-hand experience being trained on the DBT and CBT skills during numerous psychiatric hospitalizations and Intensive Outpatient Program treatment periods. The quantitative sum of her time spent in daily, intensive mental health skills training at these intuitions is approximately two full years. Therefore, members are attending events led by someone who is living proof that the skills work and that one can live a successful, rewarding life in spite of mental illness. Skilled Not Ill is also a mental health movement for modern humans who get sh*t done. We have jobs, dreams, hobbies, and friendships. We make money, not excuses. We let our goals drive us, not our fears. Whether you do have a diagnosis or you’re just having a tough time lately, our recurring meetups are just what you need to boost your mood.”
September 30, 2018
Pat Woods
From artist to teacher to community manager for a consulting and software engineering company. I found this conversation inspiring in a way related to persistence and giving more than you get. The thread through this episode is continuing to build skills, yet being open to what comes up. Pat woke up early every morning to learn to code, but was open to the opportunities which called for his communication and people skills. This is my favorite line that embodies Pat’s spirit of being willing to get involved in the tech community: “…and then I just kept raising my hand for things.” Twitter @patwoodsdesign Web Topics Mentioned: Merion Art & Repro Center This is what a monthlong hackathon looks like by Pat Woods Pat’s blog with many posts during 2016 when he was learning how to code What is SQL? (link from Bill) Automate the Boring Stuff with Python Codecademy JavaScript Codecademy Git Design Brew Leverage: a project Pat volunteered and helped build Pat’s opinion on his helpful thing: “scheduling time in my day to build new skills even if exhausted” Next most helpful: “putting myself out there and being willing to get involved”
May 18, 2018
Christine Cunniff
From dog walker to iOS developer in 1.5 years. I first met Christine when I asked on Slack about people who changed careers into tech. She easily had the most compelling story with this one sentence: “in the last year and a half I went from walking dogs to working at Comcast as an iOS dev.” Christine graciously let me come talk to her and find out what made her want to change careers into tech and exactly how she did it. We talked about reasons to seek out a career in tech, different ways to learn, how to find a job that fits your life, how to deal with impostor syndrome… I found this to be a very helpful conversation. Her #1 piece of advice if you’re considering changing careers into tech: make sure you really want to do this… see if it’s something you genuinely like doing. If you don’t, there’s always something else. If you do, dabble with the many free ways to learn to find something you like. Topics Mentioned: ROAR For Good How to Reap the Benefits of Impostor’s Syndrome by Oz Chen Hacking with Swift Treehouse Big Nerd Ranch Tonic Design Co. New York Code + Design Academy Jira What is QA PHL Design
April 26, 2018
Meghan Kelly
From working in higher education to full time UX designer in 10 months. Meghan Kelly is a full time UX Specialist at Elsevier. She volunteers as Events Lead Organizer at Girl Develop It Philly, and has served as Events Lead at Code for Philly. In this episode, she is completely candid about the confusing process of trying to find a path to change careers into tech. We also get into what she actually does day to day in her new job. Amazingly, she went from never having heard of UX, to being offered full time employment in that role in less than a year. We talk about exactly what she tried, what worked and what didn’t, anxiety, failures and sticking with it until she got her job offer. Meghan is hilarious so this was really fun to record. Twitter @meghanakelly Web Topics Mentioned: Newbie’s Guide to why your CSS might not be updating by Meghan The Newbie’s Guide to Slack by Meghan The Physical Therapy website redesign we discussed Meghan’s Pinterest Design Project Corey Latislaw twitter: Philly Android dev who moved to SF for Pinterest CodePen PhillyCHI “PhillyCHI is the Philadelphia region’s chapter of the ACM SIGCHI, an interdisciplinary academic and professional group interested in human-computer interaction, user experience, usability, and other related disciplines.” Mockup tools: Omnigraffle, Sketch, Balsamiq, Axure An interesting quote from Meghan: “UX is about reducing anxiety.”
April 26, 2018