Mary Dickson Diaz

Code, Life, Learning

the least qualified person to cross this street


No, you go first.

Taking a walk and it was time to cross the street. I asked Jones if he was ready and he said, “Mom, I am the least qualified person to cross this street.”

My friend Bonnie’s young son has a healthy sense of his limitations. Though as far as I can tell they crossed the street anyway (hands may have been held).

Last week I gave notice to my employer that I will be leaving in January, for a period of self study and learning towards the goal of working in technology. I’ve spent the last ten years working in education non-profit development (after three in a middle school English classroom) and have been contemplating a career shift for the last few. With all the attention these days on the need for gender diversity in the tech field, and ample resources for learning here in Seattle and online, it seems an ideal time for me and my transferable skills to take a leap!

This is tough to explain to well-wishers, who feel compelled to remind me that coding is a lot different from fundraising. Well, yes, and, while I am probably not the LEAST qualified person to cross that street (thank you Jones for taking that one for the team), there’s a long way to go to become employable in software development (or, I dunno, something techie? that maybe intersects with social justice? you can see how this conversation devolves quickly).

To that end I’m developing my own curriculum of classes, books, experiences and projects to which I can devote myself full-time starting mid-January. I’ll share more about The Plan in coming posts. This webpage is one piece of it: building the page will be an exercise in web development; posting regularly will be an opportunity to develop content; and documenting the process will perhaps help (or not) someone wishing to take a similar leap.

In the meantime, this comic has been hugely inspirational, as well as my colleague Janet who up and moved to Australia this past month. The things I have loved about non-profit development–building relationships, generating resources, being a story-teller, connecting people, communicating effectively, managing projects–these things I still love and I’m not planning to give them up. It’s just that I think I might be good at other things too, and it’s past time to find out. I hope you’ll stick around for the journey.

1 Comment

  1. Wow, just caught up on your life. Lots of big adventures ahead!

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