English Español Deutsch Français Italiano Português (Brasil) Русский 中文 日本語
Submit post
Go to Blog

Q&A with Ashley Chapokas of Girl Develop it Philly & Coded by Kids

Kathleen Garvin
Q&A with Ashley Chapokas of Girl Develop it Philly & Coded by Kids

Can one class change your whole career trajectory? It happened to one young woman in the Philly tech community.

Ashley Chapokas is the lead front-end developer for Seat Engine, Lead Volunteer Coordinator for Girl Develop It and Lead Instructor of Coded by Kids. After taking her first Girl Develop It class, Ashley was hooked — she continued to take courses, attend tech meetups and learn as much material as she could.

Over the course of a year, Ashley made the career transition from an administrative assistant to a front-end web developer. She landed her first position in 2014, and hasn't looked back since. Learn more about her story after the jump.

Question: Can you provide some background on work experience and your journey to tech?

Answer: In 2013, I made the transition to tech. It wasn’t easy, but I really wanted this for myself, so I worked quite hard.

I was working as an administrative assistant at the time, when a colleague of mine mentioned Girl Develop It. I was curious, so I signed up for the “Intro to Web Concepts” class. After those two hours, I was hooked. I started taking oodles of classes with Girl Develop It, Code Academy and Women Coding Collective.

A few months later, I was accepted into an apprenticeship where I learned the core concepts of web development; projecting me further into development and closer to a career. At the end of that year, I had gained enough skills to be hired at a local tech firm as a front-end developer. Success!

Q: What made you pursue a career in tech?

A: I studied Architecture in college. There is a pretty clear connection between architecture and front-end development; we even use the same terminologies! I am a technical person with creative passions, so it truly is the perfect fit for me.

Q: What about this particular field lets you know it's right for you?

A: I love front-end development. Right now I am beginning to learn programming and back-end technologies. I am not a math-y person, but with that being said, I love solving problems, especially logic games. Ideally, I’d like to be a front-end developer who understands back-end technologies, like Ruby.

Q: What are the perks of working in tech and being a woman in the field?

A: The perks of being a woman in tech is that everyone is rooting for you. Especially if you surround yourself with truly incredible, supportive people.

Q: What advice would you give others who are looking to make a career transition or are currently going through one?

A: Keep on pursuing your goals! Don’t be persuaded if there are set backs. Find a mentor, and set aside time for self care.

Kathleen Garvin

Asks great questions and provides brilliant answers.

Kathleen Garvin is an online editor and analytics wrangler for The Penny Hoarder, the largest personal finance blog. She's also a contributing writer for I Want Her Job and started a beginner-friendly digital marketing blog, The Maroon House. Kathleen is the former blog editor at SEMrush.
Share this post



Send feedback

Your feedback must contain at least 3 words (10 characters).

We will only use this email to respond to you on your feedback. Privacy Policy

Thank you for your feedback!