We at Thunkable can’t do what we do without the talented folks behind the scenes. In this blog series, we’re spotlighting a Thunkable employee, sharing their history, how they ended up at Thunkable, and more. In this latest installment, we’re introducing O.M. Miles, a Software Engineer at Thunkable.
Miles at a Glance
Pronouns: She / They
Based: Los Angeles, California
Favorite place you've traveled: Gullfoss Falls, Iceland
Favorite song/album/artist: I’m too much of a moody Gemini to answer this one. Today alone, I’ve listened to Steve Lacy, Charlotte Adigery, Arthur Russel, Bad Bunny, LEENALCHI, and also checked out Lady Shaka’s new boiler room set.
Go-to karaoke song: A song by Cardi B that is not work appropriate (are any of her songs?)
Advice you'd give your younger self: (1) You are exactly who you’re supposed to be, and it’s fab! (2) There’s no need to shape shift, and, “You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep others warm.”.
Any hidden talents: No hidden ones, no!
Favorite book: Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston.
Pet peeves: I’m a bit of a misophobe, so if you’re ever wondering why I have headphones on often in-person, this is why. Depending on the context, especially, and controversially, when people smack their food. I SAID WHAT I SAID. (To clarify, misophonia is when you have a strong, often visceral reaction to common sounds. The condition is common and affects up to 20% of people.)
Guilty pleasures: None; pleasure is for everyone, babes.
Favorite cuisine: Indian
Growing up in California, Miles loved to dance and dreamed of becoming a dancer. She attended an arts-focused high school and continued their studies in college, graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Modern Dance Performance with a minor in Film.
After college, she took an unpaid internship as a film archivist for a dance organization in New York City. In need of a way to make money, Miles answered a job posting on Craigslist for Blue Bottle Coffee.
“That was the beginning of my career in specialty coffee. I completely switched from doing dance and performance and choreography to being a barista. Then, [I] became a retail manager and learned how to roast and educate,” Miles shared.
Miles spent the next 12 years in the specialty coffee world, working in a variety of areas including education, supply chain, development, trading, and more. It was in a role as a business development manager that she began to think about tech.
Miles shared, “The product I was selling was a coffee roaster, and it came with this app you use to roast with it. I would think to myself, ‘How does this app work? How did we design it? How was it built? What was the code behind it?’ I knew I liked being a business development manager at the time, but I didn't see myself 30 years down the road doing this as my [career].”
Making the Jump to Tech
Initially interested in data science, Miles didn’t want to start all over and figured becoming a software engineer might be the perfect way to marry her interests.
“Before I committed to something bigger like a grad program or a boot camp, I said, ‘I'll give it three months and see what happens when I do this self-paced and pay for courses.’ I was doing this while [working] my full-time job, and I really enjoyed it. I think if you enjoy doing something outside of your working hours, then that's usually a good sign.”
Encouraged by how much she enjoyed her coding courses, Miles made the jump and enrolled in a full-time bootcamp. After completing bootcamp Miles landed at Thunkable initially as an intern.
She shared, “Thunkable was one of those companies that was hiring for engineers. I applied here, started as an intern, and three months later I became full-time. It's a winding road, but that's how I began to work here in tech.”
Blazing a Path
While some may believe the tech industry has a reputation as being a (predominantly white) boys club, Thunkable prides itself on its diverse and inclusive staff. Still, being the first doesn’t come without challenges.
“I think being a femme in tech, it's so easy to minimize your experience and doubt yourself. I had seen so many videos and listened to so many podcasts of other femmes in tech saying stand up for yourself, ask questions, like, don't gaslight yourself,” Miles shared.
Miles is committed to helping more folks break into tech, stating, “I think it's nice to open the door and cut out some of the gatekeeping that exists. I've only been in this for a year, but I encourage people to reach out, especially LGBTQIA folks, especially people of color. I'm happy to field questions from other people that are new to [tech].”
Miles has now been at Thunkable for more than a year and is an essential and valued member of the team. Miles wanted to make it clear that if you’re a member of the LGBTQIA community or a person of color interested in a career in tech, you shouldn’t hesitate to reach out directly on Linkedin.
Join the Thunkable Team
We think Thunkable is a pretty great place to work (...but we may be biased!). We encourage you to continue to get to know our team in this series of blogs or through the interview process for one of our many job openings and see for yourself!
If you’re interested in opportunities at Thunkable check out our job openings here.
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