It’s easy to feel lost as you advance in the tech industry when you are an outlier in a sea of homogeneity. Conventional wisdom ignores the cost of being different. Guidance for people from underrepresented groups mostly focuses on the early pipeline, leaving those who progress with empty catchphrases and depressing statistics. What if you don’t want to lean in or become an attrition statistic when you grow up? This talk is a pragmatic look at surviving the center of the leaky, acid filled pipeline delivered to you directly from the trenches.
A lot of my thoughts on this topic crystallized in early 2015 when I hit 10 years working in tech, saw several of my friends leave, and had a life-threatening hospitalization that gave me plenty of time to think. In this talk, I will discuss some of the unique challenges underrepresented people in tech may experience as they approach mid-career, provide suggestions for navigating them, and sprinkle some supporting anecdata throughout. Some of the talk will draw from my personal experiences as a queer woman with invisible disabilities trying to navigate being a mid-career software engineer.