Failed my way to 🥑developcado🥑


It’s been 2 months since the first Teach Jenn Tech launched. It took me 6 weeks to find a consulting DevRel role. It’s taken countless hours going WTF… Learning all of the tech, navigating the networking and politics, and deciphering the layers of learning to code. I found that I failed my way into becoming a developcado.

Last week, my boss invited me to attend a meetup about Customer Marketing. (Yes, I have a boss. I started consulting at Gravitee, more about that later!!) I was a bit skeptical, not realizing how big of a difference there is between product marketing and customer marketing. I still have many questions about how the two complement each other.

There were two speakers, at the meetup, Scott K. Wilder, who spoke about processes, and Jim Lein who spoke about 9 steps, points, or something. Honestly, I was so fascinated to see someone who cared about human connection and curiosity the way I did, that I sat there trying to break down how to put metrics behind human connection. 🤯 At first I thought that I had failed each job I’d ever had due to not fitting into their box. What I didn’t realize is that failing is one of my superpowers. I failed my way to becoming a developcado.

As my boss at Gravitee, Nic, would say, “When you’re on the right path, things start falling into place.” Two blog posts in, I sound like a broken record. But I urge you to keep reading since it wasn’t always that way. Please know here are a few of the items I have failed at to get to this point in my life:

  1. 🏂 Snowboarding – I’ve been carried down by ski patrol 11 out of 12 times. The 12th time I walked just to say I wasn’t carried down.

  2. 🏃‍♀️ Marathons & Spartan Races – Y’all, I truly do believe that you can do anything that you put your mind to, yet my asthmatic bottom-heavy self, would tell you, those are not my cups of tea. There are photos 😂

  3. 🏊‍♀️ Swimming – Not great at it. I tried getting lessons, they’re mostly for kids and it just never clicked. I do this weird half-swim thing. I can stay afloat!

  4. 🧳 Staying in one place – At the wonderful age of 34, I can count up to 30ish moves. Some across town from one home to another, yet some were state to state. Arizona → Idaho → Colorado → Arizona → Indiana → Arizona → Colorado. It may surprise you to hear that I don’t like the desert and sand.

  5. 🤷🏻‍♀️ Fitting in – Many of us came from a background of trauma. I am one of those humans as well. I could never understand why people didn’t like each other, judged each other, or were downright mean. There are times and places to go into the sad or dark times, and this isn’t it. You can check out the podcast Sh!t You Don’t Want to Talk About to find out more about that journey.

  6. Greater Than Podcast

  7. Bartending

  8. Retail

  9. Crossfit

  10. School

All jokes aside, there were items that I failed at that hurt a bit more and had lessons that I don’t regret learning.

  • Being told I’m never going anywhere in my life. There were many points at which I didn’t think I would. In school and each job I heard, Jenn, you’re too noisey. Jenn, you’re too loud. Jenn, you’re such a disappointment. Jenn, all you ever do is take. Jenn, would you stop bothering them?! I really couldn’t understand why I kept messing up, I loved learning about people and their stories. Even when I tried, I’d still hear their life stories.

  • Being ask, why can’t you just get it!? It’s easy! Nope, going from point A to point B may make sense to some, I tend to go A to V to Z to E, and maybe a few more loops.

  • Not being able to describe the how or why. Years before I had therapy, I was asked why I care about this job or that. It’s always boiled down to human connection for me. I applied to be a supervisor at a call center, they asked me why, I told them the truth, it was to become salaried so I could travel internationally… They didn’t like that. I would be told to watch teams while their supervisors were out. The teams would succeed, and I’d be asked how I did it. I didn’t know, I just did what I did. Having no idea human connection is a superpower either. FYI I interviewed for that role over 10 times, and never got the role.

Adding to the slew of failing listed above, I’ve made mistakes in fashion, who I associate with, and even how to get into a routine. 🤷🏻‍♀️

I also learned the power of not giving up. There’s been a lot of being laughed at and kicked while I’m down. I experienced glimpses of kindness and hope. There were humans that believed in me when I struggled to do so. Kindness that I could never repay but can pay forward. Light borrowed from someone else when my light wasn’t bright enough.

That’s how I found being a developcado! Videography may not have been my thing, yet it taught me how to be behind and in front of the camera. My first podcast failed, yet it taught me how to launch Sh!t You Don’t Want to Talk About and Teach Jenn Tech with ease. I was let go of my last job, but now at my new one, I can work on completing what felt unfinished and discover the next level. I was told I’m too stupid, too loud, too curious, and talk too much. I’m now learning to code, create content, and help others succeed.

My failure got me here. I’m here to remind you, YOU got this too!

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