JT Kaufman dabbled in a whole lot of things before learning to code.  She worked as a nanny,  at a restaurant, as a janitor, and a load of different office work. At some point, she found her way into recruiting and eventually specialized within tech recruiting, which allowed her to learn about all of the different areas of tech.

After realizing that she was burned out from recruiting,  lost, and unhappy in general, JT took a  massive leap of faith and moved across the country to attend a coding bootcamp. She is super creative and she discovered that learning to code would be a super creative form of expression. Code ignited passion for her from day one. 

We talk about how to differentiate yourself from fellow bootcampers and how to get your foot in the door as a developer. As a prior recruiter, she learned tips and tricks on how to smartly apply for jobs. She knew not to just apply for every role out there but instead use the boolean technique.  She landed a role and took those recruiting skills with her started out doing query construction with SQL. Instead of diving into React as so many bootcampers do, she specialized in Vue.js, which has allowed her to stand out as a candidate. And today, she is a Senior Software Engineer at Red Hat working on product vulnerability tooling.

Despite not necessarily “needing it,”  JT is currently working to complete her  Computer  Science degree. She has loved the process of continuing her education and being challenged and pushed technically

She advocates for community and using Twitter, Slack, Discord, to find your community while learning to code. She shares tons of community resources for the listeners to check out!  


- Open Source Software Degree on GitHub 

- Women in Tech chat online (but it’s by invite, if you DM JT, she’s happy to add you!)   

- Frontend Foxes is a great group for learning frontend web technologies for women 

- CodeBuddies Slack has tech-specific channels, social channels, and pairing sessions 

- CodeNewbies Slack

- CodeTheDream the nonprofit that creates a bootcamp-like experience with more structure than solo learning and is free!


Follow  JT on Twitter at  @heyJTK

Read her writing on dev.to

Connect with her on LinkedIn

Bonus Interview:

Jennifer Brazer, author of From Cubicle to Cloud: How to Start and Scale a Virtual Professional Service Business

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