Greater Than Code

Greater Than Code

254: Transitioning Into Tech with Danielle Thompson

October 13, 2021

01:17 - Danielle’s Superpower: Empathy & Communication

01:56 - Going From the Hospitality Industry => Tech

@CodeSchoolQA /

04:58 - Education Technology (EdTech)

Disruption = Reinvention

07:18 - Anthropology + Tech / Working With People

Anticipating Needs

10:25 - Making Education Fun + Inclusive

Cultural Relevance
Revamping Outdated Curriculum
Connecting With Kids

16:18 - Transitioning Into Tech

27:57 - Resources
Virtual Coffee

32:39 - @CodeSchoolQA /

34:08 - The Streaming Revolution

New Opportunities For Connection
Hybrid Events
Introvert Inclusive
Reaching New Markets

39:45 - Making Tech Safe, Secure, and Protected

Greater Than Code Episode 252: Designing For Safety with Eva PenzeyMoog

44:03 - Advice For New Devs: Work on Technical Things Sooner


Mandy: The secret in tech is that nobody knows what they’re doing!

Danielle: Ask questions and lean into community. Tech needs you.

Arty: Don’t be afraid to reach out to community members for help.

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ARTY: Hi, everyone. Welcome to Episode 254 of Greater Than Code. I am Arty Starr and I'm here with my fabulous co-host, Mandy Moore.

MANDY: Hey, everyone! It's Mandy Moore and I'm here with our guest today, Danielle Thompson.

Danielle is a newly minted software engineer working in the education technology sphere of the nonprofit world, after making a major career change from working in hospitality and events for many years. As a code school graduate herself, she loves to help demystify tech for others with non-traditional backgrounds and works to open doors into tech with her friends at Code School Q&A, weekly on Wednesday nights at around 7:00 PM Pacific at

Outside of work, she can typically be found with a nose buried in a book, hanging out with her doggo, and making delicious craft beverages.

Welcome to the show, Danielle!

DANIELLE: Thanks so much for having me, Mandy and Arty!

MANDY: Awesome. It's great for you to be here. So before we get into the meat of our conversation, we always ask our guests the standard question of what is your superpower and how did you acquire it?

DANIELLE: Totally. I think that my superpower is a combination of empathy and communication. I think I came by both pretty naturally—popped right out of my mom having both, I'm assuming. But both have definitely been amplified over the years by all sorts of experiences and hardships and just keep working to make them even more of a superpower.

MANDY: That's really great.

So I want to know about before we dive into your experiences as a new developer, I wanted to know about how you came into technology from your career change in hospitality, because I did the same thing.

I was a waitress when my daughter was born 10 years ago and I was working for about a year before I was able to walk out. It was Mother’s Day, my boss was being a complete jerk to me, and I was making enough money at that point that I just said, “You know what? I don't need this. I quit,” and I started my career in tech full-time. So I'm curious about your journey as well.

DANIELLE: Yeah. Obviously, COVID has happened in the last couple of years and that was one of the major factors in me getting to this point of leaving hospitality and getting into tech. But I had already kind of been thinking about what comes next. I've been a manager for a few years and was trying to figure out how else I could gr