A non-traditional path to UX Design & Development
- May, 2006
I have a Masters in Latin American History from Emory University. I love the process of research and discovery! I also enjoy writing as a way to process and teach.
- June, 2006
I spent a year doing research in the archives in Oaxaca City, Mexico. As much as I loved the research, I also loved living in Mexico and practicing my Spanish!
- January, 2007
I spent ten years teaching college level history at local universities including UNCC, Davidson, and Wingate. I become a PowerPoint master (gah!), and taught courses online using Moodle and Blackboard. My favorite part was mentoring my students.
- March, 2016
I decided to create a WordPress website for my spouse and loved the process of designing and developing it! I attended WordPress Asheville several times, and won a Women Who Code Scholarship and to attend the national WordCamp in Philidelphia. I had several freelance projects and also worked as a WordPress Designer for the Child Health Mortality Surveillance Network (CHAMPS).
- May, 2016
I did a variety of freelance jobs that utilized my visual design skills. I did social media marketing for a tech startup, and created print marketing materials for UNCC Center for Human Rights and Queen's University Center for Peace and Social Justice.
- November, 2016
I won a full "Community Forward" scholarship to attend The Iron Yard. This three month, full-time program taught me the basics I needed to get my first job in tech!
- May, 2017
I worked as both an intern and a junior developer at Gordian, a local software development company. I researched design systems and accessibility for the UX lead. I worked with a project manager to bring an MVP to life. I also helped create Angular shells of my prototypes.
- November, 2017
Giving back to my community has always been an important part of who I am. I have served as the Partnerships Coordinator and am currently the Co-Leader of the Charlotte chapter of Girl Develop It, a nonprofit whose mission is to help women find a career in the software development industry.
- May, 2018
I believe it is my responsibility to learn how to incorporate accessibility practices into my workflow. I attended the CSUN Assistive Technologies conference and the John Slatin AccessU conference for training.
- July, 2018
As a designer, I participate in the complete design process of digital apps. This means I have contributed to persona creation, storymapping, feature mapping, sketching, low-fidelity wireframing, and prototyping. Our team uses the Adobe Creative suite for most of our work.
- October, 2018
I have just started a volunteer project doing UX design and frontend development for the nonprofit "Miles 4 Migrants", a nonprofit that donates frequent flyer miles to refugees and asylum seekers.
"Code is Poetry"
Afterwards, I started as a software developer intern at Gordian Group. It was during this internship that I knew I was in the right career. I loved designing, coding, researching, and the agile workflow. As a Junior Software developer I really grounding down into learned my coding fundamentals at an intermediate/advanced level. I focused on HTML, CSS3, Angular4, Sass, and Bootstrap4. I also served as the UX Coordinator for the implementation of an enterprise level Design System.
Currently, I am a UXUI Designer at Compucom. I get to flex my design skills around mobile applications that incorporate augmented reality mapping and conversation design features. We start projects with design thinking sessions and then build with persona creation, storyboarding, feature mapping, wire-framing, and rapid prototyping.
My mission is to infuse the web with clean, beautiful design and empathetic flows. My coding and design skills allow me an opportunity to transmit important messages to the world. There are so many good ideas, movements, missions, and businesses out there trying to make our world a better place. In my opinion, you can't underestimate the value of the platform that you use to reach out and connect with others. I love researching design and development solutions that deliver clearly communicated messages in a pleasing format.
Why did a professor of history and social activist turn to a career in web development? Well, my love for design and development began with a story. On NPR I heard about a young Syrian immigrant woman who developed an app to help people flee bombs being dropped by the Assad regime. Her app helped people find safe spaces quickly.
I was floored by the implications of her story. I realized that my passion for social activism and bringing positive change to the world was going to be rooted in tech. That's why the values of WordPress (inclusion, accessibility, and the democratization of publishing) align so well with my own. In the future, I plan to develop enough skills to write and implement such meaningful software as did the young Syrian woman. She is my inspiration.