Innovative Candidates- Tatiana Scott

Our series 'Innovative Candidates' features skilled technologists searching for their next opportunity. Are you an employer looking for the next addition to your team? Here's your read!

This week, we caught up with an Innovative Candidate looking for her first opportunity in the technology industry. We were excited to hear more about her journey and what technologies she’s interested in getting her hands on next. Can’t wait for you all to meet her!

Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Tatiana Scott. My friends call me Tati. I’m from Brooklyn, New York; born and raised. I am a quirky queer Gemini, married to an awesome UX Researcher and Designer, mom of two opposing personality female felines, a spiritual herbalist, and a lover of house music, nature, VR games, Zelda: Breath Of The Wild, Zombie movies/television shows, and tacos.  

I have always been obsessed with knowing the hows, why’s and what’s of everything since I was a kid. I was quiet, and mostly spoke with intention and to inquire. I still do. I feel like I am always and have always been studying. As an introvert, my favorite places were libraries and book stores, surrounding myself with books on a variety of topics in order to figure it all out. This lead me to having a deep affinity for science early on in life and applying scientific methods to most things.

What got you into technology?

I studied Biology in undergrad. I then went on to study Forensic Science in grad school. From there, I worked as a Forensic Scientist in a variety of toxicology and crime labs analyzing either biological fluid, drug evidence, or instrumental data and occasionally testifying in a court room. This work involved a combination of investigating, problem-solving, and all the sciencey stuff I loved.

Ironically, what pulled me into the tech realm was my experience while being unemployed after grad school. I had been online trying to find my first job as a Forensic Scientist and noticed that there weren’t many reliable resources available online for information. So I paired up with a developer and designer (friends of mine), and we launched a popular web resource for aspiring Forensic Scientists. I eventually got a job, and the scope of the website pivoted, but the Twitter account still has a growth of 8,000+ followers seeking current events in Forensics: here. I enjoyed providing a resource that was lacking at the time in the industry. In addition to that, I ultimately enjoyed the brainstorming and seeing my ideas come to fruition with my friends, and I was intrigued by their skills.

In short, I started to learn Python on my own and enjoyed the challenge of it, and kept up with it in my spare time after working my full time job. I then went on to start learning Javascript and realized how much I loved to program. I started researching ways that I could transition further into programming, and found a bootcamp that was in complete alignment with the three things I loved (1) learning new technologies (2) brainstorming ways to use those technologies to build dope things (3) working in a group of badass women in tech to build those dope things. In February, I graduated from the Grace Hopper Program at Fullstack Academy of Code, which is an immersive bootcamp for women. After 10 years in the science industry, I decided to transition fully into becoming a Software Engineer.

What a dope journey! What is your technological skill set? What got you interested in it and how did you go about learning it?

So, I come from a non-traditional and non-technical academic background. My very first line of code written as child was this little digital type-writer game. It taught kids to program the game to ask questions and accept input for those questions and depending on the logic, it would output answers that you programmed. Fast forward many many years later, I didn’t touch any code again until I started to self-teach myself Python.

HTML and CSS were skills that I started learning back in the day when websites like MySpace and Blackplanet were a thing. You could use some basic code to pimp out your profile page. A quick Yahoo search and you could make your site pop! At the time, I thought that this was something everyone knew how to do and was doing, so I didn’t think much of it until now. But that early exposure definitely made a difference.

Years later, I started to learn Python online, via Coursera, for an Intro to Data Science course that I was interested in. I also took an EDX course, Introduction to Computer Science online from Harvard Law School.

Most of my most current technological skill set was learned at Grace Hopper which is primarily Javascript, React, Redux, Node, Express, Sequelize, and PostgreSQL.

Myspace…so much nostalgia. What have you built or what are you currently working on?

While in the bootcamp, I built these two projects with 3 other dope women:

  1. Bookstack: A fully functioning e-commerce website selling books. It was built using Javascript, React, Redux, Node, Express, Postgres and Material-UI. The Google Books api was used on the backend to feature books on the frontend that we wanted to sell. The Stripe api was incorporated for checkout functionality.

  2. Kagu: A Pinterest-like learning curation platform for tech enthusiasts. The site was built with the same stack mentioned above. We used the Youtube, Meetup and News api to provide a user with three options for a tech interest, as they peruse and scroll they can select an interest and save it to the topic board for later. When they revisit the board, they could either decide to sign-up to attend a Meetup, watch a video or read an article of interest on that topic.

My personal solo project, as a part of a three day Grace Hopper Hackathon, where the challenge was to learn a new framework and build a passion project:

  1. Space VIP: I built a VR interactive experience on the moon using A-Frame, which is a framework consisting entirely of HTML, CSS and some Javascript for building VR experiences. This project actually won a peoples choice award, which was pretty sweet!

Lastly, my personal website was built using Gatsby, React and Material-UI.

How and where would you like to grow as a technologist? Are there other things you’d like to learn?

Since graduating, I’ve been attending Meetups, conferences, workshops and other tech related events to make some connections to enhance my knowledge and experience through conversation and networking.

Most of my time, however, has been spent learning data structures and algorithms since many of the interviews I’ve been on require a mastery of these topics that I have not received a great deal of training in. This is definitely an area where I would like to continue to grow and learn in. I haven’t mastered white-boarding but in just two months since graduating and going hard, I am starting to improve.

What type of work environment do you want to grow in?

I thrive in spaces where the core values and company culture includes: leaving ego at the door, bringing some level of empathy into the room, fostering and encouraging learning and growing, and also is devoid of the expectation of knowing it all and being perfect. If I don’t know it now, I will attempt to know it after I Google it.

Work that requires a healthy level of interacting with the team and leadership, which is important to develop and foster team relationships. One that stresses the importance of active and effective communication. One that encourages employees to exercise the option to work remotely, would be ideal. Stressing the importance of work-life balance is always attractive while applying for jobs.

While I do have some ideas and dreams of the industries that I might be a good fit for, as a Junior Full Stack Developer, I am open to a variety of industries as long as the culture and core values are in alignment with my own and my career development, and of course the product that I would ultimately be contributing to.

I look forward to my very first role as a Junior Developer and I foresee myself working hard on a team on a particular feature. I imagine myself being so proud and excited to contribute my own code to the production of something useful, that makes a difference.

Where can we find you and some of your work?

I welcome connections on any of the following socials and my mission in 2019 is to attract new friends with similar passions, goals, aspirations to attend conferences with, work remotely together or simply take over the world by storm.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tatianascott/

GitHub: https://github.com/tatsco

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HelloTatianaS

Personal Website: https://tatianascott.com

Email: hello@tatianascott.com