Brittany is a developer, podcaster, and a fitness advocate with a passion for making our industry more diverse. Oh, and she plays roller derby too, under her alter-ego, Norma Skates..
What’s the biggest challenge about running a podcast?
The biggest challenge is finding the right mix between experienced guests that will draw listeners and convincing new members of the Ruby community and podcasting to make an appearance. When one of those new guests strikes a cord with the audience or causes me to see a different viewpoint, it makes all of the work hosting the podcast worth it.
Do you have a favorite episode (or type of episode)?
At about 70 episodes recorded under my tenure as host, that is a tricky question to answer! I was incredibly nervous to interview Scott Hanselman (#282 - Rails on Windows is Fabulous with Scott Hanselman) since he is so well regarded in the software community. Turns out, he was incredibly inviting and insightful. I'm also quite proud of one of my earlier episodes (#251 - An Honest Take on GraphQL with Ankita Gupta) because I met Ankita at RubyConf Malaysia and was impressed with her GraphQL knowledge. This was her first podcast episode and you certainly couldn't tell.
How do we inspire more women to enter tech?
Aside from earlier STEM education, we need more females and non-binary advocates in the tech industry to be vocal about the creativity and stability a technical career can bring. They could publish or guest on podcasts, write content and speak at conferences. Unfortunately, this group can have a lot of fear about repeating insights from others but in actuality, it amplifies the message that we matter in tech.
Any advice for other folks that are looking at (or currently in) a bootcamp?
I love this question because I'm a bootcamp graduate (tech is my second career) and was a bootcamp mentor for years. A lot of bootcamp graduates are not taught basic project management skills and how to collaborate with an engineering team. When they are sole developers coding CRUD apps, they can get away with ad-libbing features. Prioritize learning how to properly submit pull requests, estimate feature size and to balance work and life.
Does Norma Skates have a nod to her technical self?
Why yes, Norma Skates, my alter ego in roller derby does have a shoutout to software. While playing, I like to hit hard but will often get knocked down. I bounce right back up with the status of 'OK'. Of course, my jersey number is 200.