March 24, 2022

Transitioning to Tech and Writing What You Know with Kara Luton


When it seems like everyone around you has worked in the same field for a really long time, making a career pivot with confidence can be tricky. But not everyone’s been coding since their early college days like Robbie and Chuck. Kara Luton started on track to become a professional ballerina. After college and a stint in music publicity, burnout prompted Kara to make a hard left and begin a career in tech. 

With all the developer bootcamps and online resources now available, making the switch has never been more accessible. Not to mention, the skills Kara learned as a ballerina and a music publicist helped shape the developer she is today. From staying dedicated and detail-oriented, learning to write and learning from burnout, Kara wouldn’t change anything about her unconventional path to software.

In this episode, Chuck and Robbie talk with Kara about her experience learning and relearning Ember, why she loves the Ember community, her advice for those looking to switch careers, Kara’s cool home office, and why every developer has something valuable to offer. 


Key Takeaways

  • [00:58] - A brief introduction to Kara. 
  • [03:16] - A whiskey review. 
  • [08:51] - Kara’s non-traditional path to tech. 
  • [15:57] - Kara’s experience in a bootcamp and her thoughts on bootcamps as a developer launchpad.
  • [17:34] - How Kara found Ember. 
  • [23:10] - Kara’s advice for people looking to make a career pivot.
  • [28:44] - Why Kara’s looking forward to contributing to open source projects. 
  • [32:30] - How Kara’s home office setup has evolved. 
  • [37:57] - Kara’s thoughts on NFTs. 
  • [40:17] - Why Kara loves animals and a deep dive on her two pet dogs. 
  • [47:48] - More of Kara’s hobbies outside of the web and a chat about Marvel movies. 
  • [58:48] - A soccer and sports-themed whatnot. 


Quotes

[15:20] - “Ballet, it’s very detail-oriented and I feel like that’s something that’s really helped me in my career as a developer, like missing a semicolon or understanding the different syntaxes — it’s really helped me a lot. I’m really really grateful for my time doing ballet.” ~ Kara Luton

[29:37] - “Contributing to the framework that you use will give you such good knowledge of it, even if it’s something small.” ~ Kara Luton

[31:59] - “You never know if something you say, the way you phrase something, will just make it click for somebody in a way that they haven’t understood it before. I really really recommend people writing blog posts.” ~ Kara Luton


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