Woman admiring paintings at a museum

Will I ever get to this level? There's so much to learn!

Feel like coding is not for you? You're not alone. To give you a boost of inspiration, here's a list of a few successful Rails developers that come from unusual backgrounds.

Let’s say you’re learning how to paint. When you look at the famous paintings at the museum, you might start asking yourself:

“Will I ever be this good? Is this for me? Will I ever understand all of this?”

If these questions sound familiar, it’s because you’re not alone. It’s not just you.

Believe it or not, the same questions can be applied to coding. Some things, like painting and learning how to code, are hard. Transitioning into tech is hard.

In case you need a boost of inspiration and to be reminded that it’s possible to make it happen, here’s a list of a few successful Rails developers that come from unusual backgrounds.

Eileen Utchichetlle

How many photographers do you know that have turned out to be developers? Eileen is one of them! She has a BFA in Photography and she worked on magazine layout, email marketing, as well as editing as a Production Designer for 2 years before she decided to change her career.

She’s now a Principal Software Engineer at GitHub. She’s also a member of the Rails Core Team and the Rails Security Team.

Eileen has given lots of talks and keynotes, despite being afraid of public speaking!

Andromeda Yelton

Andromeda is a librarian and technologist. She used to work as a math major and a middle school Latin teacher. Eventually, she got a library degree and ended up working in a library technology startup.

She transitioned into web development by doing software contract work (Python/Django) to help librarians learn to code through teaching, speaking, and writing.

She’s now a full-time software engineer, building things that empower people through code. She inspires others to combine their skills to bring more perspectives to the software world.

Lovisa Svallingson (in memoriam)

This is how Lovisa described her skills:

“With a background in languages, working with people, and various creative endeavors, I bring a unique and well-rounded perspective to the work I do”.

Lovisa’s background was in languages and she was an English teacher. Later on, she attended the Turing School of Software and Design.

Lovisa passed away and I want to dedicate this post in her honor. She was a Bootcamp graduate’s Advocate and she wanted to help more people who are transitioning into tech, just like you.

May her time here on Earth be an example that your diverse background is your strength.

Dr. Barbara Oakley

Note: cheating a bit here because Dr. Oakley is not a Rails developer but consider this a bonus material :)

Dr. Barbara has a B.A. in Slavic Languages and Literature. Later on, she decided to study Engineering.

She has written lots of books about how to learn effectively, all backed up by Neuroscience. She is the creator of the most famous MOOC free course called Learning how to Learn.

She’s an advocate of having multiple backgrounds as it can give you more insights on your new journey.

Changing careers signals that you’re constantly learning new things! It’s an example that learning is part of your lifestyle. You’re being mentally flexible.

What do they all have in common? They all started somewhere and they embraced their diversity. I’m pretty sure they once felt the same as you.

Take a deep breath now. The world is big enough for your ambitions, keep going!

I highly recommend you watching this amazing Ted Talk from Amy Cuddy called Your body language may shape who you are:

I hope you’re feeling a bit more relaxed and inspired! Feel free to bookmark this post for these days when you need some inspiration again, and share it with your friends ✨.