My path in tech

May 12, 2020

In the last few days, people on Twitter have posted about their paths into tech. I originally wrote my timeline thinking about what a privilege it is to 1) know that computer science even exists; 2) be able to go to college (of course); 3) feel confident enough to major in CS.

But it’s also just fun to map out where I’ve been and where I hope to go.

Here’s a timeline:


  • Encouraged to take yet another computer applications class in high school aka where the most technical thing we do is make ASCII art
  • I swear that teacher docked points for out-of-place ASCII characters in said project
  • Meanwhile, my male friend is taking a C++ class


  • Tricked out my MySpace profile with HTML, CSS, and graphics I created myself in Photoshop Elements
  • I have no idea this counts as programming


  • Finally learned computer science is a thing and you can major in it???
  • Wait, upper level math classes?! No thanks, I will stick with my French


  • Got a job on campus doing graphic design and learned Drupal because we were building a website
  • I bought my first domain and decided I wanted to learn HTML/CSS at some point


  • Tired of having a job that doesn't challenge me
  • Looking for a way out, I hear about Ruby/Rails and start to learn it


  • Start going to Rails Girls Atlanta meetups!
  • I meet people in the Atlanta and Athens dev communities!


  • I quit my job as an office manager
  • I go to a 12-week code bootcamp where I learn JavaScript &


  • I become an organizer and board member for Rails Girls Atlanta!
  • I get a 6-month developer apprenticeship at Adult Swim
  • My mom tells me that my dad, an accountant, minored in CS in college
    • He confirms this when I confront him and says he doesn't talk about it because he was bad at COBOL
    • I'm not happy with my dad because he could have told me a lot sooner!


  • I get my first salaried job in tech as an application support engineer at VMware
  • I get to troubleshoot application deployments on Windows, Android, and iOS and work with REST APIs!


  • I can’t shake the idea that I want to be a developer.
  • Let’s try coding again!


  • Maybe not coding? Maybe UX?! I spend months learning Sketch, InVision, and develop a portfolio
  • I don't think I can take starting all over -- let's try being a technical support engineer again!


  • Lots of interviews for TSE roles! I talk to one company for two whole months and make it all the way to the end.
  • COVID-19 strikes and there are layoffs and freezes everywhere!
  • Time to start coding again and keep interviewing as TSE

Sometimes the road looks like this

I'm Mallory, an Atlanta-based support engineer and programmer. Follow me on Twitter or email me at hello at