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Spotlight 26: Miriam Tocino

This week I’m introducing you to one of my dear Rails Girls friends: Miriam Tocino. I’m *super* proud of what she accomplished and I think her story is really worth reading. Enjoy!

About
Miriam Tocino went to college in 2002 and studied architecture. During her career as an architect she worked in Amsterdam, Vienna and Frankfurt. Yet recently she turned her former professional life down and taught herself how to code. She is still interested in building things, but this time by coding, and she also feels inspired by contributing to the growing community of women in tech. She works as a web developer at Springest.

Name: Miriam Tocino
Job: Web Developer at Springest
Favorite website, app or gadget: Asana
Twitter: @miriamtocino
Site: http://www.miriamtocino.com/

What inspired you to pursue a career in IT?
Love ♥ ! Back in 2002 I went to college and studied architecture. After that I worked as an architect in different countries around Europe for 5 years. It was fun! But in the middle of it I started to date my husband. He is a programmer and is very passionate about what he does, which made me extremely curious. He is not into web development but he works in the games industry. We started to have some conversations about programming until I was totally trapped and decided to give it a try. I finally switched careers a couple of years ago and taught myself to code.

What does your working day look like?
I work at Springest, an education platform online. I normally work on single projects, like adding an extra field to an existent form, as an example. Before I started to work there, I thought that something like this would be easy and quick to do, but there is much more work involved and lines of code that you need to write to get it done: updating the frontend and backend, writing tests for the new feature, integrating corresponding tracking tools… I love to be involved in all parts of the project!

What is the coolest project you have worked on and why?
Springest is by far the coolest project I have worked in these two years. It is also the biggest one, which gives me the possibility to read a lot of existent code that I can learn from. I am also discovering new collaboration and management tools, learning how to integrate third­party libraries and even dealing with infrastructure and security issues, which is all new for me.

Do you have a hero, or someone who inspires you?
I don’t have a hero but there are definitely tons of things that inspire me. If I would need to choose one, I would say any good teacher from Treehouse, Code School or The Pragmatic Studio inspires me a lot!

Why do you love working in IT/Tech?
Because you can build any great idea that you cross your mind. It is not only about coding itself but it is about changing the world around you through coding. I love the open possibilities that it offers and how you can choose to work in any field that you find interesting, like education in my case.

Do you have a degree in IT? If so, what taught you the most? And if not, did you miss some important knowledge?
I don’t have a degree in IT, and of course I am missing some knowledge. However I think that the best way of discovering them is working in the industry and learning daily in a real work environment.

What would be your advice to everyone who is interested in a career in tech? (or learning to code?)
Go for it, work hard, keep inspired and don’t let anyone to steal your motivation. It’s fun!

Extra question from Ludwine: Do you think you will still code when you will be 50 or 60? (Career wise)
That’s the plan! Although I wouldn’t like to do it full­time, but rather part­time. In that way I could combine it with other things that I want to do in life, like teaching yoga

Thank you Miriam!