#StudentSpotlight: Marjean Mayo-Baker

December 26, 2017


Marjean Mayo-Baker was inspired to code during a job shadow and now learns coding along with her sons.


What inspired you to learn how to code? 
I have wanted to learn to code since I first logged on to the internet; I just didn’t get the courage to jump in until I shadowed a ServiceNow developer at work. When the job shadow was over, he sent me a very inspiring quote that said: “I wouldn’t know how to do it until I tried.” 


What tools are you using to learn how to code? 
The tools that I am using now are The Odin Project, freeCodeCamp, and JavaScriptIsSexy. I am also reading a book in my offline time: JavaScript and JQuery: Interactive Front-End Web Development by Jon Duckett.  

Are you learning for fun or do you have hopes of breaking into the tech world? 
I am learning to extend my knowledge and move into a front-end development career. I 
have always had an affinity for applications and how they work, on both mobile devices and computers. It is the most logical step up I know of that would complete my goals. It makes me happy when I run my code and it works!

How did you get the opportunity to do a job shadow? What was it like?
I work for a bank, and my employer encourages their employees to learn and grow. I expressed interest in development with my manager, and I was able to shadow with a ServiceNow developer. 

At first, I admit it was very intimidating, coming from an operation, help desk role; it was a new side. Our company had recently moved to a new ticketing system called ServiceNow, which houses service requests and a knowledge database. I was able to build a catalog item within the program, adding items such as ordering laptops and other peripherals. It opened my eyes, coming from an environment that only used manuals, to creating things then presenting these ideas to a group that can either build on the idea or shift to a new idea. This experience motivated me to learn more about development, and I am forever grateful to my job for giving me the opportunity. 


What are ways you stay current? Do you have any favorite websites or podcasts? 
I love codenewbies! I listen to their podcasts, and they are very inspiring. The one that sticks out in my mind is a husband and wife team that learned together and created a meetup. My husband is in technology as well, so I feel I can relate and it pushes me. 


What advice do you have for other moms who are interested in learning how to code?
Do it! What worked for me was to include my kids; it opened a way for me to teach in order to reinforce the skills that I am learning myself. 


Do you have a favorite story involving motherhood and coding?
I took a course through Edx which introduced a coding language (similar to JavaScript) called Scratch. My son learned along with me, and he even made a program for his class to teach them about VR technologies. That made me so proud. 


How do you balance motherhood, a job, and learning to code?
Through an amazing support system. I have a lot of help from my husband and mother, and it also helps that my two sons are very interested in computer science. 


Is there anything else you would like us to know about you?
I also went to school for Culinary Arts, and I worked for Disney world!

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