Like many in our community, I came to opensource though a non-traditional path. In this session I will share my journey to open source technology professional from a beginning where my parents were told, while I was bright, I would never learn to read or write - my learning disabilities were considered too far a reach to allow it.
Through a series of pivots I learned to read and write, became an accomplished child vocalist, completed a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Studio Art and minoring in Theatre, earned a certification in Non-Profit Management, went on to complete a Masters of Fine Arts in Theater and became a technology professional.
At many points in my life, I was in the right place at the right time, grabbing opportunities where they could be found. Whether it was learning to read because I wanted to sing in a choir, or happening to be part of a crazy online project with a Dance company when the World Wide Web was in its nascent form, or pushing the boundaries of what an MFA in arts administration really ought to be - understanding those moments where your life pivots and taking full advantage of them can make the difference between success and failure.
I’ll also openly share my own pitfalls -- professional, medical, and academic. Any of them could have become a weak link in the chain that brought me to my current role, but I clawed my way through and kept going.
This session is directed at anybody who lives their professional life through the lens of:
* Imposter's Syndrome
* Having Learning Differences like dyslexia and ADD that challenge success
* Finding their way to Drupal in non-traditional ways and feels "different"
* A parent of a child with these kinds of challenges
* Surviving of an acute condition (I'm a cancer survivor) that impacts you professionally and personally
This will demonstrate:
* Recognition of your own moments when everything can pivot, in ways that will positively impact your life and career
* Realisation that perceived weaknesses can, in fact, be strengths
* Shared Experiences, I hope my experiences resonate with some of your own.
In the end, this will be a celebration of the diverse ways people can, and do come to amazing communities like ours.