#39: Carly Robinson – Chicago Actress who became a Software Engineering at Slack

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From dancing to coding, Carly Robinson left her theater career in New York and Chicago to break into tech. She attended Hackbright Academy and is now working as a software engineer at Slack.

Prior to coding, Carly got involved with Freedom For All, a nonprofit organization that tackles issues related to human trafficking. She continues to do so up to this day in her commitment to make a difference.

Carly’s secret sauce to success is sheer mastery of the fundamentals topped with good networking. It’s all about putting in the work, having that tunnel vision, committing to it, and deciding that you’re not going to give up.


Years in Tech 2
Lived In New York
Current Job Software Engineer
Date Recorded 3/9/2017

Show Notes:

[01:14] Prior to her job at Slack, Carly was working at New York-based nonprofit org, Freedom For All that tackles human trafficking issues

[02:06] Growing up to a family of artists, Carly talks about how she got into the musical theater world, the lessons she got from her mentors, and the sacrifices she had to make

[07:45] Carly gives us a taste of what theater life is like, not having any job security but being in it for the passion.

[13:09] While working in theater professionally, Carly realized she wanted to make a difference until she eventually started learning how to code through Codecademy.

[23:00] Here’s an example that when you have a compelling story, people will go out of their way to help you.

[27:45] The parallels between learning ballet and coding, why she chose to go to Hackbright Academy in San Francisco, and how Katie Ford changed her life

[35:17] Carly recalls how getting rejected at Hackbright the first time actually opened up another opportunity for her to learn the fundamentals and master them.

[42:26] Carly describes her Career Day experience and the one thing that makes bootcamps worth it!

[45:50] More about Slack, what her day-to-day life looks like, and their interview process

[51:07] Carly still manages to get involved with Freedom For All including AnnieCannons, that teaches human trafficking survivors how to code.

[53:33] Never stop learning! Carly shares her one piece of advice to those considering opportunities beyond the field they’re currently in.

Contact Info:

Carly Robinson



Twitter: @carlyhasredhair

Articles & Mentioned Resources:

Learning Resources



Design for America

The Starter League

Hackbright Academy


Freedom For All


How Slack Supports Junior Engineers

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