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#STEMStories: Jennifer , JavaScript Developer, USA

1. Say hi :) who are you what do you do?

I’m Jennifer Wadella, a JavaScript developer, international speaker, and the founder of Kansas City Women in Technology, a non-profit working on growing the number of women in technology careers.

2. How did you arrive at this career? Was it always something you knew you wanted to do?

I fell into being a developer by accident - I went to school for graphic design and business management,  but when I graduated the economy was awful and I couldn’t get hired. I was able to book freelance gigs as long as I could build the websites as well as design them, and ended up falling in love with the development work more than the design work.

3. What about your job makes you jump out of bed in the morning, especially on those cold, dark mornings?

I love solving problems - whether with code or otherwise, so any time I’m working on something that’s challenging me I’m excited to get out of bed and work on it.

4. What is your personal cure for stress or how do you raise your spirits in times of doubt? Can you share a Story?

When I’m stressed I’m a big fan of handwritten to-do lists. It’s a very tactile activity that helps me feel calmer about everything I have to work on when I physically write out the things I need to do over the next week.

5. Who is your role model? If no one, any thoughts on this?

I don’t have specific role models, that’s a lot of pressure on one person. I tend to draw inspiration from acts of others, whether it’s a woman gathering the courage to submit and speak at her first technical conference, or a woman finding ways to pay her success forward and help those behind her.

6. What advice would you give to your 18 year old self?

Don’t worry, you’ll find your people some day. Also, be less judgemental.

7. Top 3 tips for girls starting out in STEM?

  • Don’t compare yourself to others, if you do you’ll lose sight of the unique things only you have to offer.

  • Figure out what your learning style is, and do everything you can to learn new things and set yourself up for success.

  • Find your tribe. Having a community of those who share your interests, inspire you to be better, and help lift you up when you’re feeling down is crucial for success.

8.  How do you measure your success?

I measure my success my setting goals and accomplishing them to my satisfaction, while also making sure I’m always learning, growing, and challenging my own viewpoints.

9.  Where can we find out more about your work?

https://jenniferwadella.com

10. Are you social? Will you share your Twitter handle, or LinkedIn profile, or Facebook so that young women can connect with you?

Twitter is best: @likeOMGitsFEDAY