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Fingerboard to Keyboard: Transposing One Profession to Another

Fingerboard to Keyboard: Transposing One Profession to Another

Whether you are considering a career change, job change, or a new project, many others have taken leaps from seemingly unrelated paths. This session will share the presenter’s journey from an arts to a sciences career and how to navigate challenges in a big change.

We will see how to apply already-learned skills to any new path and gather a few of the presenter’s tips for making it easier. We'll also get tips and tricks for looking for opportunities to prepare you for what you want to do next. Join this session to assemble some tools for pursuing your goals and jumpstart your next adventure!

Jennifer Reif

March 08, 2024

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  1. Who is Jennifer Reif Developer Advocate, Neo4j • Continuous learner

    • Technical speaker • Tech blogger • Other: geek Jennifer Reif Developer Advocate, Java [email protected] @JMHReif linkedin.com/in/jmhreif
  2. My history Long story…short • Music lessons (violin) • Orchestras

    • Pursuit of music major • Skill-building: • Practice + theory + history + side business • Business minor -> MS CMIS
  3. Entering tech market Adulting • Edward Jones • Programmer analyst

    • JavaOne conference • Attend -> Speak • Neo4j • Developer relations engineer
  4. Transition And Challenges • Crafting your story • Preparing •

    Applying what you know • Navigating what you don’t know
  5. Crafting your story You write the narrative • Highlight what

    excites you • Fast-paced or time to think? • Focus on strengths • Things you’re good at and will propel you • Find your “why” • Looks are deceiving • Not just for fame and fortune
  6. Jenn’s version Example • Introduced to programming • Discovered a

    new interest • Overlapped with things I already loved • Logical: music theory -> programming constructs • Creative: Emotion / interpretation -> solutions / content • Found way to do one and enjoy the other • Progress towards balance between creativity and logic
  7. Preparing a transition • Upskill / research • Prerequisites or

    homework • Gaps you can fi ll? • Communicate • Avoid confusion, enlist help • Plan • Things you can do ahead of time?
  8. Brainstorm Example What skills will be helpful in the next?

    • Music • Consistent work • Preparation for performance (practice) • Performance skills • Collaboration / communication • Balance logical and creative skills • Finding patterns • Other • Research and writing • Projects (music library) • Prioritize - work + school • Learning at a fast pace • Business skills • Carving unique road
  9. Jenn’s thoughts • Preparation helps • Be honest • Be

    willing to learn • Willing to work • Relate to known concept • Unknown -> Known (for next time) :) Photo by Denise Jans on Unsplash
  10. Tips and Tricks And stories :) • Be curious! •

    Determine your method • Read? • Build? • Teach? • Find something to apply
  11. Ways to practice TL;DR - Do It! • Build something

    • Present • Write / record • Expand / experiment • Collaborate
  12. Examples: My Experience • Teach to learn • Interacting with

    community at events • Writing code • Spring Data Neo4j • Querying a database • GenAI • Writing blog posts
  13. Your art And sharing it • Create content • Mentor

    / teach • Share your perspective • Contribute to something • Find / Create your path! Photo by hannah grace on Unsplash
  14. Set boundaries • Stepping out of comfort zone • When

    it’s good, when it’s bad • What you can / can’t sacri fi ce • Can change over time
  15. You don’t say you’re not good enough. You let them

    tell you you’re not good enough. Don’t talk yourself out of trying things. If it’s not the right fi t, life will guide you to the right one.
  16. Taking Risks From the risk-averse • Story: 2nd week training

    • Calculated risks • Plan A, B, C, etc • You set your level: • Small risk, small reward / fail • Big risk, big reward / fail
  17. If at first you don’t succeed… Try, try again? •

    Story: live demo disaster • Plan, execute, perform…repeat • Other options: • De fi nition of insanity • Tweak the path / approach • Try something else • Success stories -> those who overcame challenges
  18. Finding opportunities Easier said than done • “That kinda sounds

    fun…” • Saying “yes” • Tag along with a friend • Find a mentor or group • Online chats, forums, etc • Tangentially related
  19. FIDO Forget it, Drive on • Haters gonna hate •

    How someone treats you is more a re fl ection on them than it is you • Outside expectations • Do / don’t do x • Because of criteria • Credibility / respect • Be genuine
  20. Closing Thoughts Jenn’s highlights • Remember: • Never too late

    to learn / change path • You can add value to the conversation • Carve out your space and own it! Photo by Rachel Loughman on Unsplash Jennifer Reif Developer Advocate, Java [email protected] @JMHReif linkedin.com/in/jmhreif