Coders don’t tend to stay in the same spot for too long. It’s just how the modern job landscape plays out nowadays.
Brittany Jacobs, however, views the programming landscape a little differently. Working as a programmer for 9 years in a corporate job, Brittany felt as though she was being held back and eventually decided to change paths.
“I used to do a lot of programming for Point of Sale (POS) systems and military messaging software for the Department Of Defense making customized software,” Brittany said. “But I can’t do office politics. I’m too independent.”
The corporate lifestyle is rigid, inflexible with anything else but itself and doesn’t encourage great personal performance.
“Corporate employers are more into what time you punch in and punch out over the quality of your work,” Brittany explained. “I would finish all of my work by noon and sit there twiddling my thumbs until the day was done.”
So Brittany sought out a life that didn’t consist of mindless demands from people used to punching in and punching-out and landed on a career path that is the polar opposite of corporate culture…
Health and wellness.
Love What You Do
“I think the #1 thing is to do what you love. To be successful is to love what you do,” Brittany said. “Healthy living is #1 for me – my brain wouldn’t function if I didn’t workout and eat healthy.”
With a set of full sails and a new heading, it can really feel liberating to be on a new mission – one that always changes and keeps your mind sharp.
Since leaving her corporate job, Brittany was tech co-founder of an internet startup (Kuratur), taught art classes, and even became a health and wellness coach after graduating from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Brittany regularly attended Jersey Shore Tech Meetups to stay in touch with her coding roots.
“It wasn’t until very early 2015 when Bret [Cofounder of Cowerks] asked me to come speak about past coding experiences as a mentor for students of a code.org Hour of Code event,” Brittany said. “That’s when the bug kinda bit me again and I knew I needed to go back.”
Coding was calling.
“I’ll always want to code,” Brittany admitted. “I’ve always been into computers, coding, and problem-solving. It was just the aversion to the corporate lifestyle that deterred me earlier.”
Doing It Right
Brittany currently works for Merchwerks (an umbrella company for Cowerks, Humble Humans, Asbury Fresh, and Bands on a Budget), focusing on backend development and also teaches Sprockets coding classes to youth in Monmouth County. But getting there was definitely not a straightforward journey.
Working in a collaborative space with a team of like-minded professionals that allow you creative license to do your thing is much more effective. A coworking environment with flexible hours encourages a healthier lifestyle than being stuck at a desk all day.
“I never dread getting up on Monday. Everyone can tell in the office, we just have fun,” Brittany smiled. Brittany enjoys when people in the office ask her for health and wellness advice and are genuinely interested.
“I value a health and wellness lifestyle much more than anything else,” said Brittany. “So it’d be nice to stay here for awhile.”
Brittany continues to code and claims not to be much of a reader, yet she’s read almost every one of Chuck Palahniuk’s books. So she has good taste.
When it’s time to jam out to music, Brittany likes everything from 90’s hip/hop to modern indie rock. “I’m into music like Nikka Costa and Cat Power. Basically, I like a lot of chick music.”
The male dominated coding landscape needs more awesome female programmers like Brittany – Girl Power.