Are you searching for an extraordinary success story that encapsulates the life-changing potential of a career shift? Allow us to introduce Jessica Lair, a former opera singer who transformed her narrative from music to technology, guided by the influential mentorship of Tech Talent and Strategy (TTS). This captivating tale of transition led Jessica to become the COO of the Sonic Sphere and the Director of Engineering at Sephora. Join us on this remarkable journey as we explore Jessica’s story, the invaluable role of TTS, and her passion for the awe-inspiring Sonic Sphere.

A Quest for New Beginnings

Jessica’s life story was set against the backdrop of the foster system, but her love for opera provided a beacon of hope. Witnessing her first opera at the tender age of nine ignited a lifelong passion. Music became more than an art form; it became a means of tracing her roots and connecting with her biological family. Her determination was unwavering, shaping her path until an unforeseen obstacle—a vocal polyp—threatened her musical aspirations. As her dreams of becoming an opera singer were dashed, Jessica faced the daunting task of charting a new course for herself.

Discovering a Passion for Tech

Through unwavering determination, Jessica embarked on a journey of reinvention, finding a new calling in the realm of technology. Inspired by her friends’ experiences in computer science, she began exploring the world of coding. It was during this exploration that she encountered Tech Talent and Strategy (TTS). Jessica’s enrollment in TTS’s Ruby on Rails immersion class proved transformative, sparking her interest in backend development and coding. This newfound passion, coupled with her creative spirit, aligned perfectly with her quest to impact lives through technology.

Tech Talent and Strategy: The Catalyst for Transformation

At TTS, Jessica found not only technical education but also a community that nurtured collaboration and innovation. The training emphasized peer programming and teamwork, values that Jessica carried forward into her subsequent roles. TTS became more than a coding boot camp; it was the foundation upon which she built her thriving tech career.

The Sonic Sphere: Bridging Music and Technology

Central to Jessica’s journey is her role as the COO of the Sonic Sphere—a project that seamlessly intertwines her love for music and technology. The Sonic Sphere is a revolutionary concept that reimagines the concert experience. Picture a 360-degree spherical concert hall where immersive sound technology and custom LED lights converge to create an otherworldly auditory and visual encounter. Jessica’s journey with the Sonic Sphere began at Burning Man in Nevada, where she stumbled upon the awe-inspiring installation. The moment she entered the Sphere, she felt an inexplicable connection—this was where her passions for music and technology converged.

A Symphony of Passion and Dedication

Jessica’s involvement with the Sonic Sphere is more than a professional venture; it’s a personal calling. As the COO, she helps orchestrate an experience that touches people on a profound level. The Sphere goes beyond mere entertainment; it’s a conduit for evoking emotions, triggering memories, and inspiring change. Through her role, Jessica seeks to promote empathy, collaboration, and shared experiences in a world often dominated by isolating technology.

Embracing Challenges and Turning Doubts into Fuel

Despite her remarkable journey, Jessica doesn’t shy away from acknowledging the persistent imposter syndrome she battles. Her history of self-reliance and childhood challenges, coupled with imposter syndrome, drive her to achieve more, learn more, and shatter any self-imposed limitations. It’s a testament to her resilience and inner strength that she channels these doubts into motivation, emerging stronger each time.

Charting Your Own Path: Advice from Jessica

For those considering a career change to tech, Jessica’s message is clear: Just do it! She encourages individuals to overcome financial concerns and explore coding challenges online to gauge their interest. She explains how the return on investment is so much greater than the initial cost and learning to code is accessible to anyone with the willingness to put in the effort, and imposter syndrome should never hinder personal growth.

Jessica’s story exemplifies the transformative potential of seizing new opportunities and embracing change. Her partnership with TTS helped her leverage her passion for technology and music into a flourishing career as the COO of the Sonic Sphere and the Director of Engineering at Sephora. If you’re seeking inspiration, look no further than Jessica Lair, an opera singer turned tech dynamo, whose journey illustrates the boundless possibilities that await those who dare to embrace change.

Are you ready to take your first steps towards a transformative career change? Explore the opportunities Tech Talent and Strategy can offer and begin your journey toward an exciting future in technology!

From Computer Science at Boston College to Data Science at Tech Talent & Strategy, Kalel Lopez strives to work with Artificial Intelligence to potentially create a ‘sentient’ AI model that can casually interact with people. Although he knows many people fear this sort of technology, to Kalel, it is exactly where humanity is headed and he wants to be a part of the people that bring it into this world. Let’s get to know a little bit about Kalel:

What were you doing before TTS?

I had recently graduated from Boston College in May 2022 and began searching for work opportunities soon after. I found TTS on Handshake and decided a boot camp would be good to hone my skills.

What have you learned about yourself over the past year?

I’ve learned that I work well in peaceful environments and when I can focus on one aspect of whatever job I am doing. I’ve also learned that I am better at coding than I originally thought after graduating from my university.

What does the world need more of?

In truth, the world needs more people that are capable of making decisions for themselves rather than following whatever is most popular now. These people should be able to think about their position in the world, how they could make the world better, and how their actions affect even the smallest things in life. I strive to be this kind of person.

How has what you learned at TTS impacted your life?

The things I learned at TTS really allowed me to test my knowledge on data science and gave me confidence in my ability to code. Learning new languages like R and SQL was incredibly helpful. Even with the subjects I already had experience with like Python and Excel, I found myself learning much more and becoming much more comfortable with coding.

What is something that makes you unique?

While I focus the majority of my time and study into computer science, I am actually more of an artist at heart. I’ve done much traditional and digital painting throughout my life and occasionally make commissions for people. I also play the piano, guitar, and ocarina for fun. Apart from those hobbies, I also studied Japanese for 8 years and am proficient in it.

Any advice for others looking to explore this path?

It will be incredibly daunting. This is a world where there is an insane amount of information constantly being created and released in the internet. The important thing is to focus on your objective and not get distracted by how complicated the code may seem. In the end, we work with these languages like Python and R in order to understand them and then manipulate them for our own purposes.

“Que buena vida” is a saying that Anabelle Capois Espinal holds close to her heart. Translating to “What a good life,” the quote is what her father likes to say sarcastically when he calls Anabelle after she has just woken up from a midday nap. However, the saying has come to take on a great meaning for Anabelle. She has it written down on her white board as a reminder that no matter what is going on in life, there is always something good in every situation, no matter how difficult it is to find it at the moment.

As a member of the TTS family and participant in our Data Science training, we see Anabelle embody “Que buena vida” through everything she does. Let’s get to know a little bit about her:

What were you doing before TTS?

Before joining the TTS bootcamp I was a recent MBA graduate. Close to a year into my graduate program I was seeking opportunities to gain new data analytics skills and improve on the ones I already possessed from previous schooling. By some fate of the universe I received a message from TTS via my school Handshake profile telling me about the Graduate Accelerator Program scholarship. Unfortunately I was not able to grab a spot in the first cohort after graduation, but once the applications opened again I reapplied and the rest is history!

Anabelle in cap and gown, smiling.

What have you learned about yourself over the past year?

The most important thing that I have learned about myself is that I know myself best. When it comes to being in a place of transition, it can be hard for others to understand why you are doing what you are doing, especially when there is an easier path. Loved ones will come from a place of concern for our well being with their advice, and others may be coming from a place of fear because they would not do the same if they had the choice. Listening to others’ advice is an important part of the journey, but it’s up to me to decide. I think of it as running a race. My loved ones, schooling, past work experience, have helped coach me to win based on their own experiences, but only I know what’s going on with my body and mind come race day. In that moment I am the only one making the decisions that will get me to the “finish line”.

What does the world need more of?

The world needs more representation in tech! Tech is shaping our world, and it needs to be shaped like all of us. Different gender identities, skin colors, cultures, languages, religious beliefs, etc. We also need more places where people can be comfortable sharing the difficulties they are facing in life, be it personal or professional; being open about not having everything in life figured out should be less of a taboo. We need better and more affordable access to resources where we can learn new skills to help be better equipped to face challenges and grow. Too many people remain feeling stuck because they do not know where to turn.

How has what you learned at TTS impacted your life?

The main reason I wanted to go through a data science bootcamp, besides learning new skills, was to improve my confidence. As an immigrant and afro-latina woman, there are many things that make you believe you are not good enough to be where you are. I know that I have the skills and have put in the work to get to where I want to be. However, there is always that insecure voice inside that always manages to sneak up when it really matters. Going through the bootcamp was no easy feat, but I put in my best effort and made it to the end, working on challenging projects and learning complex topics. That is something to feel very confident about.

Name a woman (or women), past or present, whom you admire or look up to.

The women that I most admire have been the women in my family. I have seen them put so much heart and work into everything that they do without getting all the admiration and respect they deserve. I can thank particularly my mother for always showing me from a young age that women can do anything. From raising three children, to doing DIY construction projects around the home, to being a business owner of over 10 years, she set a great example. She was not raised in an environment that provided her the tools and resources to get to where she is today, but despite struggles and barriers, she has shown that there’s always a way to get things done.

Anabelle and family - smiling in wedding attire

Any advice for others looking to explore this path?

It is not about knowing everything, it is about getting started. The bootcamp will help give you a strong foundation to succeed in your chosen career path. Do not be afraid of not knowing, that is what this time is for. To connect with other people who are also trying to figure it out. It will be challenging, but effort is the most important thing to bring with you to class each day. In terms of a career in tech, it is not as intimidating as it seems coming from another industry! People are happy to help you if you are willing to put in the work.