Tiffany Janzen | Software Developer
Happy Wednesday everyone. I'm so excited to share with you today's STEM story, brought to you by Tiffany Janzen (She/Her) aka @tiffintech.
Tiff is a software developer in Toronto, Canada. In addition to her work as a software developer, Tiff has also created an amazing online platform where she shares motivational tips on lifestyle, business, and tech. When I asked Tiff what she loves most about her job, she said this...
"My favourite part of my job is getting to use both logic and creativity. I love that no day is the same, and I am continually working on new problems/challenges. As someone who loves learning, this is another favorite part of my job. I am always learning and growing in my skills. There is no shortage of things to learn".
Tell me a bit about your STEM journey
I never thought that I would end up in the tech industry. I had a misperceived conception of it, which was that you would sit in a tiny cubicle and speak to no one for hours on end - but I was very wrong! I first stumbled into coding through a mandatory Web Development class at University. It was a very basic class but it gave me insight into coding and prior to that, I didn’t even think of it as a career that I would be interested in at all. However, building different things through code and seeing it come to life on the screen was very exciting to me (and I still love it)!
Leading up to getting into the tech industry, I had been heavily involved in the fashion industry: from modelling in Asia to interning at the largest fashion company in Canada. It was scary at first, the thought of completely switching industries, especially when I had dedicated so much time into the fashion industry to grow with it. But I knew it was the direction I wanted to take my career so I jumped in! I found reaching out to people in the tech industry and finding mentors to be very helpful during my transition.
I’ve loved following your journey on Instagram and YouTube. What was the motivation behind starting the TiffinTech brand and do you have any exciting plans for the future?
Thank you! My motivation in starting the TiffinTech platform was in hopes of supporting and inspiring others during their STEM journey. As I experienced first hand, making a career switch to the tech industry can be lonely and overwhelming at times. I wanted to build a place where others felt they too had a community when making a career switch into the tech industry.
From there it grew into both tech and lifestyle. The reason for that being, I wanted to show others who are considering getting into tech (or any STEM field) that it is possible and that it doesn’t have to be this big scary thing. By showing both my day to day life with tech intertwined, I hope that others will feel they can also get into these fields. I do have some exciting upcoming plans for TiffinTech, my e-commerce site (www.tiffintech.co) is something I hope to build out with tech products that can enhance people’s day to day lives. And I am really enjoying the People Who Inspire series on my YouTube where I interview people in STEM, business, and entrepreneurs, in hopes to inspire people to go after whatever it is they want!
As a scientist, I’ve dabbled with coding but I still find it really daunting. Do you have any advice for others like me whonever seem to make much progress?
It was very daunting to me at first too! When I stopped trying to learn everything and just focused on learning some core basics that really helped. When you search “coding” or “programming languages” you are bombarded with so much information and resources that it can feel like there is no way you will ever learn all of it. But like anything, taking tiny steps in the direction of your goal and focusing on specific parts really helps. My favourite resources when initially learning were www.freecodecamp.org and www.udemy.com.
The tech industry is growing so quickly, how do you manage to keep up with everything?
I think the important thing to remember, is that no one can keep up with everything because it is changing so rapidly. Find what parts of it interest you as well as the parts that are required to keep up to date with for your career and focus on that. For me, I like to keep up to date by following tech articles on medium.com as well as listening to podcasts and following others on social media that are in tech (and also different STEM fields)!
What is the greatest challenge you've had to overcome?
Finding my sense of self-worth. For too long I wouldn't go after what I really wanted in life: starting a side business, growing my career in tech, etc… out of fear that I wasn’t good enough and would fail. Once I was able to give myself self-love and recognize that I can do whatever I set my mind to (we all can) it made me feel empowered and confident to go after these things.
If you could go back and give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?
Stop trying to fit in. Be your unique self.
And that's a wrap! I want to finish by saying a huge thank you to Tiff for sharing her STEM story with us this week. If you feel you're in a similar position to where Tiff was and potentially want to make a career transition into tech or any other STEM field then I'd highly recommend checking out her Instagram and YouTube!