More and more people are entering the tech sector without tech-specific work experience, and/or with non-technical degrees (if they went to college at all). While many tech giants still require or heavily favor candidates with a computer science background for technical roles, other companies are recognizing the value of staff with diverse experiences and educational history.

As a journalist-bartender-turned-developer, I’m constantly finding ways that my “useless” liberal arts background and years spent slinging pints of beer have, in fact, prepared me for a successful career in tech. For those in tech with non-tech backgrounds, as well as the folks who do the hiring at tech companies, we’ll discuss the myriad – and often hidden – skills that non-CS grads can bring to the table, and how they’re broadly applicable to tech-focused jobs.


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Kendra Jones at 13:35 on 3 May 2019

The statistics provided were very educational. Great topic!

Liked the analysis of different types of experience, education with what skills are needed as a developer.

Erik Espana at 13:39 on 3 May 2019

Fun fact: Hilary read a 1,000 page book in one day.

TJ Draper at 13:42 on 3 May 2019

Good presentation, though somewhat difficult for me personally to rank as I think I'm the "choir" to some extent here as one who does not have a CS degree. But definitely some good insights here like hiring in pairs which almost certainly would have helped at my first technology job where I had major impostor syndrome.

Chris Holland at 13:45 on 3 May 2019

Great thought-provoking talk with very interesting stats & perspectives

Steve Howe at 13:50 on 3 May 2019

Great talk! Can you share a link to your slides or even just the link to your example doc of dev role expectations?

Darren Wright at 13:55 on 3 May 2019

Good talk, good information and experiences shared.

Erik Espana at 14:12 on 3 May 2019


Philip at 19:38 on 3 May 2019

great talk

Philip at 19:39 on 3 May 2019

thought provoking talk

Roger Creasy at 20:00 on 3 May 2019

As someone without a CS degree I can relate to the points Hilary made. The comparisons between tech job skills and experiences in other industries is terrific. I saw a lot of myself in those comparisons. Our field needs people with diverse experiences and skills. Hilary drives this fact home in this talk.

Good thought provoking talk. Having a diverse team with different backgrounds improves the team in many aspects.

Omni Adams at 13:53 on 4 May 2019

Some of my most effective coworkers didn't have CS degrees, and the best organizations I have worked for had lots of differing viewpoints. The other organizations that just have people that look and think the same really need to listen to this talk.

David Trower at 15:32 on 4 May 2019

Coming from a diverse background of experience which includes being a self-taught coder, with a BBA in Management Information Systems, and journalism experience, I had an appreciation for what the speaker had to talk about. As a college instructor, I have concerns about the lack of regulations with boot camps and have known people that have been burned by them. I think having a degree (even non-CS) is beneficial and for those without a CS degree a bootcamp would be a beneficial starting point. The statistics and the comparisons between non-tech jobs and experiences with corresponding tech needs was fascinating. Great speaker that definitely kept your attention.