Sarah Doczy: On-ramped and On Board

We are **beyond** pleased to announce that Sarah Doczy from our pilot class has successfully on-ramped to a new career in technology by becoming a junior web developer at {{{wait for it}}} SEPHORA!!!

We here at MotherCoders are so, so proud of Sarah. We're also immensely thankful for MotherCoders guest speaker and mentor Jenn Palbusa, Manager and Senior Web Content Developer at Gap Inc., who provided some coaching and encouragement before Sarah's big interview.

Throwback pic of Sarah from our first class in Feb 2014.

Throwback pic of Sarah from our first class in Feb 2014.

And to top it all off -- as if it could get any better -- we're excited to announce that Sarah's joined the MotherCoders board of directors!

Below is a touching note written by Sarah before she got her new job, explaining why she's committed to MotherCoders and our mission to build a more dynamic, sustainable, and inclusive new economy. We're thrilled to have her on our board, and we're certain she'll bring invaluable insight and energy as we build this movement to on-ramp more moms to careers in tech.

Wooooo hoooooo, Sarah!!!! Please join us in congratulating her with a virtual round of high-fives at @SarahDoczy12.

***Note from Sarah***

When I set out to explain to MotherCoders board member Alex Tran, who is childless, about what it’s like to live with a toddler, I told him a story of how my daughter woke me one night with a blood-curdling scream at 2:30 in the morning.  With my heart was pounding and the worst of thoughts running through my mind, I ran into her room as fast as I could to ask what was wrong, only to have her look up at me with those beautiful blue eyes and say, "I can't find my ponies."

"Are you serious?!!", I thought. “Go back to bed! We all have to wake up in the morning to go to work!”

Alex's response: "So, what you're saying is that being a mom is like living in an insane asylum."

Why, yes, Alex, yes, it is! And this is just one example of the daily dose of crazy in any home with children. Thank you for understanding.

My life as a mom

When I became a mom, I put my career on hold for 3 years to care for my daughter. During that time, life slowed down. I spent my time at playgrounds and playgroups and planned life around nap schedules. I spent an ungodly amount of time preparing food and having conversations about how to get my child to sleep and what foods to introduce her to next.

I didn’t realize how much of myself I would lose. Choosing to take time off of work to be with my baby was a hard decision to make. However, I feel choosing to re-enter the workforce is often even harder.

Now that I’m back at work full-time, I feel like I’m constantly running a million miles a minute -- working, mothering, cooking, packing lunches, cleaning, being a wife, etc. I must split my attention between minding my child’s developmental achievements and my own professional ones. There is so much I want to learn, but the only time I have to myself is between the hours of 10:00 pm-5:30 am. These are not ideal hours for good cognition.

Becoming a MotherCoder

I feel like I’m under water every single day, struggling to figure out how to climb out to take a breath.  In this context, how was I going to pick up the important tech skills I need to compete in today’s economy?

Then something magical happened: I found MotherCoders.

For 6 Saturdays in a row, I felt like crying, not because of sadness, but because for 5 straight hours I got to do something for me.  I was learning what I wanted to learn, I was doing what I wanted to do.

For once, I didn't have to explain myself, my struggles, my frustrations, my hopes, my dreams, my wants, my sleep deprivation, my guilt. Because I was surrounded by 5 other moms with similar interests, motivations, and desires -- a group of peers who were on this journey with me.

MotherCoders isn't just about coding and technology. It's about connecting with other women -- and moms interested in tech! And feeling inspired! While there, I didn't have to be anything to anyone else! I geeked out with the other moms, learning about tech and building my web development skills, and did it without feeling guilty or worried because my daughter was being cared for right next door in nurturing space staffed with professional caregivers.

Why I’m joining the MotherCoders Board

After completing this program, I knew immediately that I wanted to help grow MotherCoders so that more women can benefit from what it offers: a safe space for moms to learn the tech skills and knowledge they need to thrive in the new economy; a learning environment that’s supported by a strong community of peers and industry professionals.

I’m thrilled to be joining the board in spite of my crazy schedule because I'm eternally grateful for this experience and want to help other moms on-ramp to new careers in technology through MotherCoders. I’m committed to the MotherCoders mission and am excited to be a part of a movement to help build a more inclusive new economy -- one where moms play a greater role in shaping the technology landscape.

**This post is dedicated to my mother, Kathy Lapp, who has given everything for her family, sacrificing herself and never once complaining about any of it. It took me 35 years to realize her secret: she is superwoman. And to my dad, Will Lapp, who taught me that education is empowerment.**