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Spotlight 76: meet SheNomads founder LaToya!

Happy Friday everyone! Time for the first Spotlight of October, time passes by so quickly. This week we’re going to discuss a topic that’s of great interest to me: remote work! At GitHub,  I have the amazing opportunity to work remotely, and I’m really grateful for this. As some of you may know, I have relatives living in South America, and it’s been such a great experience to be able to work from there and to be with my family at the same time. It makes me very happy :D

But enough about me :-) This week we’re going to meet LaToya Allen, she’s coding for Big Cartel and building SheNomads in the meantime. She’s also co-organizer of ChicagoRuby, and you may know here from her inspiring articles on diversity in tech.

Name: LaToya
Job: I’m building SheNomads while working for Big Cartel
Favorite App: Zombies, Run!
Favorite Book: Women who Run with the Wolves
Twitter: @HashtagLaToya and @SheNomads
Site: SheNomads.com

What inspired you to pursue a career in IT?
My yoga class got canceled, and I needed something to do.  I stumbled upon some free coding tutorials and started playing around with those. I was hooked! I’ve been writing code ever since.

What does your work day look like?
It’s always different depending on where I am.  If I’m working from Chicago, I’m up by 6 am for either weights, kickboxing, or a walk.  Then I’ll grab a coffee, and get online for Big Cartel anytime from 8 am to 11 am depending on who I pair with. I’ll do an hour of work for SheNomads before bed; editing the podcast, adding listings to the job board, interviewing companies that want to be on the job board to make sure that they are a fit for us. By that I mean, they have to be committed to diversity and inclusion.

If I’m working from EU, I wake up and explore whatever city I’m in, have a late lunch with friends, and then work.

What is the coolest project you have worked on and why?
For SheNomads, I think the remote work retreat is the coolest thing at the moment.  It’s in Mexico City, and yoga will be lead twice a day by Jessica Jones, who is a traveling yogi. I was able to get Garage Cowork to sponsor the co-working space, and MealSharing.com to sponsor an authentic, home-cooked, Mexican meal for us.

Do you have a hero or someone who inspires you?
Muhammad Ali, Prince, Michelle Obama, Solange

Why do you love working in IT/Tech?
I love the work I do.  Other than that, I don’t think there is much to love about working in Tech.  But I’m excited that people are working on fixing it, and are being given more visibility than ever.

Do you have a degree in IT? If so, what taught you the most? And if not, did you miss some important knowledge?
I dropped out of school three times!

What would be your advice to everyone who is interested in a career in tech? (or learning to code ?)

Advice: Get started, find mentors, negotiate, and don’t take the equity.

Could you tell us a bit more about SheNomads?
SheNomads is a community of folks who work in tech.  Rather it’s writing code, creating digital content, or providing support, we all want to enjoy our lives in and outside of the workplace.  For some of us, this means landing a remote job.  For others, it means having the resources necessary to unplug at the end of a long day.

As the SheNomads community continues to grow, we will stay committed to:

1. Diversity & Inclusion

2. Wellness & Self-Care

3. Mentoring & Knowledge Share

Do you want to know more about SheNomads? Head over to SheNomads.com