From Lab Coat to Code: Vanessa's Path from Lab Scientist to Developing Lab Software

πŸŽ™ About the episode

Meet Vanessa Vun πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ! Vanessa is a long-time listener of the Scrimba podcast. She's also a career changer who has spent a decade working as a lab scientist before realizing she would be happier coding. She started learning front-end in April 2022. By September, she started applying for jobs. In June this year, she landed a job at a startup making lab software!

However, Vanessa's path to success was not without challenges. She started applying for tech jobs during layoffs, facing rejections due to a lack of relevant experience. In this episode, she shares how she tackled that and whether or not unpaid internships and volunteering are a good idea. You'll also learn how Vanessa created her own curriculum by analyzing what people learn at bootcamps, why it's essential to get outside feedback on your coding projects, and how to make the most out of your LinkedIn, mentorships, and the podcasts you listen to. 

πŸ”— Connect with Vanessa

⏰ Timestamps

  • How Vanessa gave up on coding and became a lab scientist (01:25)
  • Vanessa was surprised at how analog lab management tends to be (02:55)
  • Why Vanessa decided to leave her lab career behind (04:17)
  • How Vanessa learned to code - but this time, for real (05:36)
  • Vanessa has been a webmaster of Lady Crvsh Crew since 2019. What did she learn making a website with Squarespace? (08:58)
  • Vanessa started applying for jobs during layoffs! (09:45)
  • Community break with Jan The Producer (10:22)
  • How Vanessa stayed motivated during tech layoffs, and tackled her lack of tech experience  (12:36)
  • Why volunteer experience is different to just working by yourself (15:07)
  • What is SciShield? (17:01)
  • Vanessa's LinkedIn strategy (18:16)
  • How Vanessa discovered a position at SciShield (19:18)
  • The power of domain knowledge: SciShield liked Vanessa being a former scientist! (20:10)
  • How Vanessa went through six rounds of interviews (21:08)
  • Quick-fire questions: Learning resources, Javascript superpowers, and people to follow (22:27)
  • What Vanessa gained from consultations with a mentor (23:56)
  • Should you go for unpaid internships, or should you always insist on being paid for your time? (25:16)
  • Careful where you volunteer at! (26:53)
  • What is Hack for LA? (27:47)
  • How does domain knowledge help Vanessa at her new job? (29:16)
  • Should a front-end engineer know databases? (32:24)
  • The importance of having a good manager (33:37)
  • Was learning to code worth it? (34:39)

🧰 Resources Mentioned

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From Lab Coat to Code: Vanessa's Path from Lab Scientist to Developing Lab Software
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