Jessica earned a B.A. in Sociology and Urban Policy.
“The job market was even more competitive than I expected, and it was six months before I finally got a full-time offer. In addition to applying for jobs I kept myself busy by working odd jobs (barista, research assistant, campaign volunteer) and getting into long distance running!”
Though she appreciated the value of social research work, Jessica found that producing research papers wasn’t motivating, and she craved the experience of building something more concrete with a more direct impact.
“I started to learn a little bit of statistical programming in Stata at my job, and it was the one task where I found myself getting into a state of flow. It was so fun and engaging, and I wanted to do more!”
“It awakened parts of my brain and a sense of play about learning that had been dormant for too long. I was also really excited about the idea of using technology to improve government and social services. I had gone to an Open Oakland civic hack nights and was so inspired by the projects they were working on. I wanted to contribute but felt that I didn’t know enough about coding to be of help.”
She ultimately decides to research coding schools.
“I’m working with a team at Code for San Francisco to develop a web app that visualizes the construction pipeline in the city and encourages people to attend public hearings in favor of new housing.”