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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Rated 5

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.

Rated 5

Erik Espana at 13:39 on 3 May 2019

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

Rated 4

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.

Rated 5

Chris Holland at 13:45 on 3 May 2019

Great thought-provoking talk with very interesting stats & perspectives

Rated 5

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?

Rated 5

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


Rated 5

Philip at 19:38 on 3 May 2019

great talk

Philip at 19:39 on 3 May 2019

thought provoking talk

Rated 5

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.

Rated 5

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.

Rated 5

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.