In the final episode of Series 1 of the Leap-podcast, we meet Kate Dorrer, a Software Developer with an edge. After working for two amazing startups in California, Kate is now back in Helsinki working for ZenRobotics as a Software Generalist. Here is a preview of her story.

Pivot from a business focus to web development

Kate kicked off her studies at the Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences majoring in International Business. Then she continued her Master’s at Aalto University, where again her focus was on business. However, here Kate took advantage of the interdisciplinary learning Aalto University offered. She took different courses from different schools and fine-tuned her technical skills along the way. As a result, this helped Kate to pivot seamlessly into web development.

Coding since 12

For Kate, transitioning from business to the more technical side of things was a natural shift. For starters, she was already building websites at the age of 12. Moreover, most of the jobs she undertook before and during her studies involved web development too. So after landing a project and then a full-time job as a full-stack developer during her studies at Aalto, she knew this was her career calling. It was also around the same time she heard about Startuplifers and decided to send in an application. This in return took her all the way to Silicon Valley as a Software Developer, first to Crowdmade and then Mashgin.

Topped it all off with a triathlon

Last summer while in California, Kate made a pact to compete in a triathlon with a group of her co-workers. Interestingly, she later learned that one of those colleagues had just learned how to swim! Anyhow, they spent the whole summer training together by running, swimming, and cycling. They would go on 50km bike rides on Friday nights or long hikes during the weekend. So what was the result? They completed the triathlon which was the half Olympic distance. Kate recommends for those sports enthusiasts or someone up for a challenge, to sign up for the many sports events and races organized in the Valley.

Kate shares a lot of pro-tips on how to land a role at a top startup, to survive and thrive in California. Tune in now to listen to the full episode.