Valentine’s Day may be over but we’re still feeling the love. For this installment of Techie of the Month, we could not be prouder to present as our “Ms. February,” the wonderfully talented, Gillian Newton. Currently working as, a freelance developer, while seeking new opportunities, she utilizes her 15-year background in infrastructure, DevOps, web development and support, Gillian has the opportunity to design and build the products her clients want with a very clear understanding of the overall big picture, in order to meet their true needs.
Her path to where she is now, just as it was for so many of us was a winding one, since her initial choice wasn’t technology, but Dentistry.After attending a summer program at NYU College of Dentistry, she realized that the medical field wasn’t for her. She left school and went to work as a Customer Service Agent for a few different airlines. This afforded her the opportunity to travel the world. She even has some tips and tricks she still uses when she travels now.
Having taken the time to reevaluate her strengths and interests. She decided it was time to finish her degree, and enrolled in an adult re-entry program at Adelphi University. After earning a BA in Computer Science, she went on to complete a MBA with a specialization in Management of Information Systems. “There is always a way to find out something new” is a mantra that seems to permeate throughout her life. She is currently working to complete a Developer Bootcamp, while also working to strength her skills with WordPress and PHP. All of this, along with the short term goal of becoming AWS Certified by summer, proves that her thirst to continuously learn and grow seems unquenchable, and her drive to constantly improve is utterly inspiring.
Women in tech are faced with challenges constantly, Gillian is no exception. One challenge she seems to face regularly, is the assumption she doesn’t really know what she’s talking about, and like many of us, she revels in sweet satisfaction of showing all of her doubters, exactly how knowledgeable she is. When asked what has been the best advice she’s received in her career so far, she offered a quote by Steven Hawking, “However difficult life seems, there is always something you can do and succeed at.” She explained that to her, it’s about not giving up, and using every opportunity to learn, not just about new topics, but also about yourself and the world in general. Your continued growth should not be strictly limited to professional knowledge. For anyone finding tech now and just starting out, Gillian’s advice is simple, “Find a mentor, mentorship is key.” Taking advantage of other people’s experience and expertise, makes a world of a difference.
When asked if she could change one thing about her career, Gillian wouldn’t change anything, saying, “I wouldn’t change anything. I have no regrets. I have learned from every single one of my choices and I wouldn’t be the person I am without them. So, there’s nothing I would change.”
When asked, “Who inspires you and why?”, Gillian’s response was immediate, “Without a doubt, Stefana Muller, She has really helped to bring me out of my own shell and pushed me to put myself out there and develop my personal brand.”
Fun Facts about Gillian:
Describe yourself (5 words or less):
Determined, Teachable, Friendly, Open-minded
What are you passionate about outside of tech?
Travel [Discount], Food, Savings eg. Extreme Couponing
What is your guilty pleasure comfort food?
Veggie stuffed pizza from Gino’s across the street from Queens