Ep. 17 - From Teacher to a Software Engineer at Amazon (Bonus Primesode)
With our dear friend and ex-colleague Jennie Buechner
This is an episode about everything, in the same way that Amazon is an “everything store.” This sort of makes sense because all three of us worked on the same team at Amazon before.
Wait? Three of you? Isn’t this supposed to be a metasode where Arnab and I just ramble about random stuff?
Last week, we spoke to the team behind the Women Who Code Podcast and Arnab thought it’d be a good idea to have our friend Jennie on the WWCode reflection metasode because of her experience as a woman/career-changer in tech.
So, here we are — this week we have a guest joining us for what was supposed to be a two-men show. We decided to make it a special edition primesode (17 is a prime number, get it?) with an attractive title, which will hopefully be good bait for some clicks on LinkedIn.
To our utter surprise, Jennie prepared a very cool intro of us, which was totally unexpected and very nice of her. I learned that if I get Arnab drunk enough, he’ll sing some heavy metal karaoke. He didn’t disclose what songs he likes to sing, so next time we meet in person, karaoke it is! Hoping it’ll be something by Rammstein.
Jennie also complimented one of my superpowers, which you’ll learn about if you listen to the episode…
A large chunk of the episode is dedicated to switching careers to work in tech though.
Jennie was a teacher for 12 years and then she went through the Ada Developers Academy bootcamp, landed a software engineering job at Amazon, and eventually ended up on the team that Arnab and I were leading. There are some profound reflections in the episode, which helped me, a white male, better empathize with different ways of perceiving the world.
I heard there are podcasts out there that stick to the point... Metacast is not that kind of dry, boring podcast, so we also talked about everything in between. The usual stuff. ChatGPT played a big role in this one as we were asking it for advice. Spoiler — it wasn’t very useful but we had a very good time making fun of it. Wait for the Clippy part at the very end.
Finally, we got some great feedback from Jennie, who is a super fan of ours and have listened to all of our episodes, even those that haven’t been published yet. We learned that we are almost professional micro-celebrities running a minor podcast and begging for comments at the end of each episode.
Gotta change this, so please leave us a 5-star rating, a comment, or a send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be less obnoxious in the next episode.
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When you asked a question, you can… not answer it and make it fun. I asked Jennie a philosophical question and she responded a very fun way.
Margins on swag are very low. If you sell t-shirts, mugs, etc. you’ve got to sell a lot of them for this enterprise to be worth the time.
Unprocessed audio is shitty and hard to listen to. I’ve been repeating this ad nauseam but it’s true. Jennie said the same thing.
Keep the laughs. When the conversation goes really well and people laugh, keep those laughs in and it’s likely the listener will smile along.
Where to find Jennie
The Big Who Loved Me on the Hard Fork Podcast
Organizations for women who code
Audacity — a good free DAW for beginners.
This episode was produced by Mike Semashko
Get in touch
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Bye for now.
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