Tell us about yourself.
Where to begin?! I obviously adore technology (specifically networking and cyber-security). I love being apart of a positive community, Cheese is my most expensive habit (that and wine). I don’t know when it happened but the WWE is my guilty pleasure and I enjoy golfing for the golf and not the golf carts!
How did you decide to get into technology?
I grew up around technology early as my house is full of techies and often went along with my dad who did a lot of PC repairs on the side for extra income. Eventually I started trying to fix my own PC which lead me to learning about programming. However, I didn’t even know a tech industry existed until I was l already working as a nurse in healthcare! There were some breaches happening in surrounding areas and ransomware was running rampant. All of the nurses had to be briefed on what to look out for. There was an extensive 3-day training and I was hooked on researching more about the tech industry and developed a love for networking and cyber-security.
How would you describe your experience in the industry so far?
A whirlwind but so much fun. There has been so much to learn and I’m still learning everyday. The opportunities seem to be endless and more than anything I’m loving connecting with other like-minded women and men who share a common passion – people and ethical technology.
What does a typical day in your job look like?
My days vary greatly. Some days it seems as if I do nothing other than fix little things here or there like hardware upgrades while working on my own small brand @cybercimone and other days it seems as if I’m begging for a network issue to arise so that I can learn some more but I’m enjoying it nonetheless. I love being around tech! It fuels my passion and pushes me to keep going.
Has your expectation of what the tech world is like matched the reality? How?
Well, I expected it to be a heavily male dominated industry and I expected it to be rough at times but what I did not expect was meeting so many amazing people who were willing to pour into me. So in a way, it was exactly and nothing like I expected coming from healthcare.
How do you navigate working with men daily (if you do) and how do you make sure to get your voice heard?
I take it a day at a time (LOL). I’m lucky enough to have people around me who really want to see me grow but there has been a few challenges. I believe being heard and being understood are very different things. If I want to be heard I make my presence known in as many areas as possible especially because remote makes things difficult so I might send a group text, send an email, and post to slack. If I want to be understood I make sure that I follow up and that my message was clear – clarifying along the way.
If you could change one thing about your journey in tech so far, what would it be?
I would start in technology so much sooner because I truly enjoy it that much but I believe everything happens for a reason – healthcare prepared me for technology in its own way.
What was the best professional advice you ever received?
To believe in yourself and have confidence! Sometimes I think the glorification and romancing of tech in media and movies really gets the best of us.
When you’re new there will be much to learn but be confident in your ability to educate yourself and apply what you’ve learned!
What advice do you have for younger ladies aiming to pursue a career in technology?
My best piece of advice that I find myself sharing with others all the time is to have fun!
Learning something new is hard enough – don't stress yourself out by trying to be perfect.
Have fun, explore new topics, find things that peak your interest and dive in without a care in the world for how it looks.
Any other comments?
Visit me on Twitter or IG! I love talking and meeting new people and sharing the ups and downs of tech.
I would like to send a massive thanks to Cimone for taking the time out to answer the questions above. Thank you for sharing your journey into tech and what your experience has been so far. I resonate with the advice of not letting the potrayal of the tech industry in the media, movies and other public forum get to us. It definitely adds so much mental pressure to us when we think that we are not good enough in our speed of programming when we know fully well that there's no way the"programmers" in movies hacked into a whole bank or whatever it is they are "hacking" in to in under 2 minutes!
You can follow Cimone on her social listed above and check out her other projects on Instagram.
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