Patricia Ehrhardt is a courageous individual,that through determination, intelligence, and the help of some colleagues along the way, was able to completely change her professional life. After a 20+ year career in administration and operations she made a decision to switch industries and pursue her passion by teaching herself how to code. This is a process that was terrifying, and there were obstacles to overcome, but she pushed past any and all blockers to achieve her goal of becoming a software developer. In her own words:
“Originally I wanted to learn to code to help my friend Rebecca run her startup Cake Health. She said
As Patricia continued to pursue her education and new career goals, Women Who Code remained an important element in her life.
“I heard about WWCode at my very first hackathon, which was Railsbridge. I had decided to switch careers from 20+ years in administration and operations to one of software developer and was going to do it all for free! WWCode was brought up as an alternative to the online MOOCS at Coursera and Stanford that I was taking. I did not yet know the power of paired programming and meetups so I wasn't ready to leave the comfort of writing horribly bad beginner code in my own home for coding in public. BOY was I wrong.”
During the process of reimagining her career, a twist of fate suddenly thrust Patricia into the world of tech, forcing her to make use of her skills sooner than expected. Luckily she was ready.
While Patricia was able to successfully navigate a path into the tech industry, moving to the next level and becoming a mentor, leader, and role model wasn’t easy. She had to overcome a lot of her own self doubt and uncertainty along the way.
“Imposter Syndrome is a lot of the reason that it took me so long to feel I had the skills to help others. When I first understood that anyone, at any level can help each other out was when I attended an Android Mobile Dev Meetup with WWCode. I was completely lost in the SDK and got someone to help me figure it out. The next week that I showed up, now only my second time there, someone was having the exact same problem (API issues) and I was able to help them resolve it. This led me to have the confidence to be a mentor in 2015 at the My Brother's Keeper(MBK) Hackathon in Oakland.”