Learn More About Rachelle Rathbone - Former Teacher, Engineer, and Author

Hey everyone, if you’re here I’m guessing it’s because you’re interested in finding out more about me. I’ll kick things off with a brief overview and then dig in a little more to make it easier for you to decide whether you want to continue reading or whether you want to move onto bigger and better things.

High overview of my life right now: I’m an Aussie living in Seattle and currently work as a software engineer at Nordstrom. I recently authored a GatsbyJS and React course for Packt Publishing and used the app from that as the template for this very site. I love to joke around, get hanrgy when I haven’t eaten, am not a fan of selfies, and always have a supply of bacon in my freezer.

Still here? Well, let me roll back the clock a little and talk about past me. Past me when to university to be a primary school teacher (elementary teacher for my American friends) and that’s exactly what I did for almost 10 years. I taught all grades from K-6 and took on leadership roles during an 8-year period back in Australia, then picked up teaching again here when I moved to the US. I’d known for sometime that I didn’t want to be a teacher #forlife but had no idea what else I wanted to do. What else does one do with a Bachelor in Education then educate?

When I taught here in Seattle, I worked with a class of highly capable students and was forever looking for additional resources for my students who would clearly be smarter than me by the time they hit middle school. I discovered Khan Academy and encouraged my students to pick up the math tasks I assigned them if they were looking for extra homework. Before long, I realized Khan Academy also had coding lessons so, because it was something that had intrigued me in the past, I started playing around with the lessons and was instantly hooked. Yes, something that is targeted at children is what made me decide to pursue a career in software engineering.

From Khan Academy I moved to Pluralsight, built the first version of my website, and found that all I could think about during the day is getting home so I could code. Within months I knew I’d found the thing I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I started researching coding bootcamps, settled on Galvanize, applied, got in, and retired from teaching.

My 6 months at Galvanize was a grueling but rewarding time. I graduated in January 2017 and instantly ran back to Australia to see my family before beginning the job hunt. While I was there I got a call from the CTO of a startup called Migo telling me he had heard good things from my instructors (Galvanize runs classes and rents spaces to startups) and wanted to interview me when I got back. I interviewed a few days after returning to Seattle and got the job, officially making myself the first graduate from my class to obtain a full-time position.

The career change from teacher to software engineer was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’ve learned a lot in my first few years on the job and look forward to learning more, and helping others learn, as I continue down this path.

Feel free to reach out in the comments section below. :)