Let’s say you’re learning how to paint. When you look at the famous paintings at the museum, you might start asking yourself:

“Will I ever be this good? Is this for me? Will I ever understand all of this?”

If these questions sound familiar, it’s because you’re not alone. It’s not just you.

Believe it or not, the same questions can be applied to coding. Some things, like painting and learning how to code, are hard. Transitioning into tech is hard.

But in case you need a boost of inspiration and to be reminded that it’s possible to make it happen, here’s a list of a few successful Rails developers that come from unusual backgrounds.

Eileen Utchichetlle

How many photographers do you know that have turned out to be developers? Eileen is one of them! She has a BFA in Photography and she worked on magazine layout, email marketing, as well as editing as a Production Designer for 2 years before she decided to change her career.

She’s now a Principal Software Engineer at GitHub. She’s also a member of the Rails Core Team and the Rails Security Team.

Eileen has given lots of talks and keynotes, despite being afraid of public speaking!

Gabi Stefanni

Gabi has a BSc in Business Administration. She started as an intern at Shopify. Today she’s an Engineer Lead, leading the Rails infrastructure team.

Gabi aims to demystify coding to beginners via mentoring and teaching programming as well as encouraging others to contribute to open source projects.

Lovisa Svallingson (in memoriam)

This is how Lovisa described her skills:

“With a background in languages, working with people, and various creative endeavors, I bring a unique and well-rounded perspective to the work I do”.

Lovisa’s background was in languages and she was an English teacher. Later on, she attended the Turing School of Software and Design.

Lovisa passed away and I want to dedicate this post in her honor. She was a Bootcamp graduate’s Advocate and she wanted to help more people who are transitioning into tech, just like you.

May her time here on Earth be an example that your diverse background is your strength.

Dr. Barbara Oakley

Note: cheating a bit here because Dr. Oakley is not a Rails developer but consider this a bonus material :)

Dr. Barbara has a B.A. in Slavic Languages and Literature. Later on, she decided to study Engineering.

She has written lots of books about how to learn effectively, all backed up by Neuroscience. She is the creator of the most famous MOOC free course called Learning how to Learn.

She’s an advocate of having multiple backgrounds as it can give you more insights on your new journey.

Changing careers signals that you’re constantly learning new things! It’s an example that learning is part of your lifestyle. You’re being mentally flexible.


What do they all have in common? It took them years to get where they are today. But they all started somewhere and they embraced their diversity. I’m pretty sure they once felt the same as you.

Take a deep breath now. Can you imagine all the great things you will accomplish after you become a developer? The world is big enough for your ambitions, keep going!

If you still need some extra inspiration, I highly recommend you watching this amazing Ted Talk from Amy Cuddy called Your body language may shape who you are.

I hope you’re feeling a bit more relaxed and inspired! Feel free to bookmark this post for these days when you need some inspiration again ✨.