Philly Tech Week Career Changer Panel & Happy Hour

May 1, 2018 · Philadelphia, United States of America

Come learn about the experiences of four GDI members who went on to make successful career changes into technology during a special Career Changer Panel and Happy Hour for Philly Tech Week 2018. They'll share methods, insights, and advice to help you plan your own transition into tech. Then, stay for a happy hour to mingle with our panelists and meet fellow aspiring career changers and GDI members.

This year, we will also have career change mentors available to chat with to make sure you can get all of your burning questions answered!

We know that attending a meetup can be a little stressful, especially if you're new to GDI or are attending alone, so we are making our panelists, career change mentors, and GDI organizers easily identifiable. Please don't hesitate to say hello or ask us any questions!


Our Panelists

UPMA SINGH, Interaction Designer at Digitas Health - @upmasingh
Upma started her work life back in the early aughts as an independent filmmaker. She produced and edited videos for a decade before morphing into a user experience designer. She feels extremely lucky to have a second career she loves that allows her to help people, solve problems, tell stories and communicate with clarity. Upma loves to cook, watch television, and spend time with her family of two cats and a husband.

BETH DICKERSON, Front End Software Engineer at Elsevier
Beth was a hairdresser in South Carolina for 10 years before deciding to completely switch gears and careers. She picked up her life and her lab mix and moved to Philly last summer to attend Launch Academy, a software development bootcamp, in Center City. She recently began work as a front-end software engineer at Elsevier and, when not coding, she's probably getting into cooking or karaoke.

NAYONNA PURNELL, Software Developer at HighPoint Solutions LLC - @nayonna1
Prior to becoming a software developer, Nayonna was an educator for over 7 years. After being introduced to GDI Philly 2 years ago, Nayonna began a journey in learning how to code to build web and mobile applications. It has been a roller coaster ride of Nayonna starting out as a self-taught developer to taking classes at Montgomery County College. She has had countless opportunities since she has made the career change. It is not always easy for her but it is always a rewarding adventure.

KATE MEDAGLIA, UX Designer at Cerner - @katemedaglia
Kate is a graphic designer whose background includes the planning and designing of wayfinding, interpretive, and branding programs. She discovered her passion for enhancing user-centered experiences while working on an analysis for a large public transit authority. She knew the next step in here career was to take on a truly User Experience Design role so she could refine her process and continue to advocate for user needs.

She began learning about front end development and the UX process in early 2017, and by the end of the year started a new position as a UX Designer at Cerner, a company that develops intelligent solutions for the health care industry. When she is not TAing or taking GDI classes, she is walking with her dog at Wissahickon Creek and ballroom dancing with her husband.


Our Career Change Mentors

CHRISTINE CUNNIFF, iOS Developer at ROAR for Good
AMBER BURGESS, Project Manager at PromptWorks - @amberlynnesque
CANDACE WORTHEN, Web Developer - @CandaceWorthen
ADRIENNE McDONNELL, Software Engineer at Elsevier - @adrienne_mcd


GDI is gender inclusive and open to all who would like to join. We hope to see you there!

All attendees are expected to abide by the Girl Develop It Code of Conduct (

Event organizers
  • Girl Develop It Philadelphia

    Girl Develop It teaches women who want to learn software and web development through in-person, hands-on instruction. After the jump, you'll find more information about: our mission, how to apply for a scholarship, how to volunteer with us, and how to join our Slack channel. About Girl Develop It Our vision is to create a network of empowered women who feel confident in their abilities to code and build web and mobile applications. By teaching women across the country from diverse backgrounds to learn sof

    Recent Events

Are you organizing Philly Tech Week Career Changer Panel & Happy Hour?

Claim the event and start manage its content.

I am the organizer

based on 0 reviews