AMA: a woman in a tech science. How to change your profession without the diploma.

Jagoda Dworniczak
Jun 13, 2018

I'm a pharmacist working in a software house as a Technical Documentation&Marketing Specialist who learn to code.  

I got here after medical studies to take my first steps in the IT World as a Technical Writer, steps which led me to advanced digital marketing and the beginnings of coding.

Ask me anything you'd like to know about making first steps in IT, changing professions without proven abilities and a tech world from the perspective of a woman :)

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If you could change your profession right now to anything else in the world, what would it be and why?
Jun 20, 10:05AM EDT0
How has your profession changed your life? Is there anything from the pharmaceutical world that you miss in tech science? If so, what is it and if not, why not?
Jun 20, 7:47AM EDT0
Having a husband who is a developer, do you often go to him for advice regarding your work? Do you think that maybe one day you'd like to start up your own business in the tech world with him?
Jun 18, 8:33PM EDT0
Do you think that marketing depends mostly on anticipating your clients needs and their reaction to it while the tech world is more scientifically based? Which one of them is more predictable?
Jun 18, 12:08AM EDT0
How different are the challenges in IT from the one in marketing? Do you appraoch them the same way? If not, then how?
Jun 17, 7:11AM EDT0
Are you actively pursuing web developing? What are the steps you've taken towards that?
Jun 17, 2:12AM EDT0
Why transition from your first job in IT if you want to pursue web developing? Why not stick with IT till you reached your goal?
Jun 16, 7:02AM EDT0

I don't plan to quit IT. I'll don't know what future will bring but if only I manage to, I'd like to become a developer and stay here in tech science.

Jun 18, 3:12AM EDT0
What mechanisms do you employ to keep your data clean?
Jun 15, 10:12AM EDT0

We use SF to gather and sort our data. To see our toolkit you can follow our post about marketing stack that got us first 100 paying customers

Jun 18, 3:04AM EDT0
Did you have doubts about your ability to make it in the tech industry? How did you push through them?
Jun 15, 1:46AM EDT0

I still do have doubts, learning new things and getting out of your comfort zone is always challenging but I think you should risk and test your limits when the occasion comes. My husband is a software developer so I have a huge support and the source of tech knowledge next to me. Next to my hard work, he was (and still is) the main reason I was able to stay here and get deeper into the IT. So similarly to most challenges in life, your success depends on your hard work, some luck, and most importantly, people you have around you.

Jun 18, 3:03AM EDT0
How do you go about optimization of your lead scoring model and your nurture strategy as a technical documentation specialist?
Jun 14, 2:00PM EDT0

Marketing automation platforms have brought dozens of new lead generation techniques to businesses of every size. But the democratization of these tactics is also making them less distinguishing and ultimately less effective. Like I said before we rely on SF and content marketing. Last year we've been working hard on SEO and it kinda works for us. We wrote a post with marketing stack that got us to a first 100 paying customers, you can read it here. Hope you'll like it :)

Jun 18, 2:50AM EDT0
How do you track lifecycle stages using Marketo and SFDC?
Jun 14, 12:46PM EDT0

In Vouchrify we use SF. Our team has written series of posts which describe tracking with SF, you can find it here.

Jun 18, 2:46AM EDT0
What are some good resources to learn coding for beginners?
Jun 14, 2:01AM EDT0

freeCodeCamp is a great place to start. I also like to learn from books, however, can't give you any titles because it changes very fast. Lots of new books are released every today Worldwide so there are lots to choose from. 

Jun 18, 2:33AM EDT0
Do you miss your pharma job anytime? If yes, what aspect of your pharma job do you miss and if not, why not?
Jun 13, 10:31PM EDT0

Sometimes I miss my colleagues from a Pharmacy and contact with patients which I could help. Nevertheless, the pharmacy industry it's not a nice place to work for now (at least in my native country, Poland) so I don't regret quitting it especially then my current job in Voucherify gives me lots of satisfaction.

Jun 18, 2:31AM EDT0
What are the basics that a person should learn before pursuing an IT or tech job?
Jun 13, 10:24PM EDT0

It depends what kind of job in IT you'd like to apply for. For sure you need to have good English skills but other useful abilities are dependent on whether you'd like to code or be a digital marketer or a software tester? For more technical jobs like developers and testers, or apply for other IT job (there are lots of possibilities here), it's needed to have some basics of programing language you want to work with. In case of digital marketing, English can be enough but it depends on how lucky you are and if you find people who'll believe in you and give you a chance. 

Jun 18, 2:27AM EDT0
What, in your opinion, is the main difference between technical writing and other types of writing?
Jun 13, 9:38PM EDT0

Technical writing requires very specific language and it's directly connected to the product you are writing about.  As a technical writer, you need to learn terminology which fit the product and also is easy to understand for the customers. I would describe it as a writing which not always tells the story like typical writers do, but a writing which explains things and should make them easy.

Jun 18, 2:20AM EDT0
In your experience, how often do career changers need additional education to meet their goals?
Jun 13, 8:38PM EDT0

I can't say how it looks outside medicine or IT but here in tech science you can start a job without much skills and many companies are willing to learn you everything (or rather they don't have a choice because there are not as many people as it's needed). In medicine there is no way to get any job without an additional education, you need to have a diploma.

Jun 18, 2:16AM EDT0
Did you have trouble fitting in with the team you worked with when they had much more experience than you?
Jun 13, 5:21PM EDT0

Early weeks were quite a shock. I had to get used to more than five tabs being open in my browser, and learn the way my new team consisting of developers worked. In pharmacy, no one had heard about Slack, Trello, or Stand-ups. The fact they were much more experienced was not an obstacle, they gave me (and still do) lots of support and patience. I wrote about it in my story published on the freeCodeCamp blog, hope you'll like it :)

Jun 18, 1:58AM EDT0
What role did lucky play in you getting your first job in tech?
Jun 13, 1:19PM EDT0

It was 90% of luck, almost two years ago when, just by coincidence, I heard about a job offer that was supposed to be about “writing technical articles in plain English”.

Jun 13, 1:51PM EDT0
Where do you think your career will take you next or do you plan to stick with digital marketing for the foreseeable future?
Jun 13, 8:39AM EDT0

I hope I'll become a developer soon, I have no idea what future holds but I'd like to stay in IT.

Jun 13, 1:52PM EDT0
What regrets do you have about spending so many years in a field studying something that ultimately didn't factor in your career path?
Jun 13, 7:42AM EDT0

I believe that you should never regret things that have learned you something new. In case of Pharmacy is not wasted time, the diploma I have is my guarantee that I'll never be worried about a job. It's my solid backup and a chance to help many people. The difference is I do it for free now:)

Jun 13, 1:55PM EDT0
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