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This month’s WIT spotlight questionnaire focuses on Chloe Frank. She studied Political Economics and International Development at Tulane. As a project manager for LookFar, a local software development company, Chloe helps startups & small businesses launch and accelerate ideas and new systems. This is her first year serving on WIT’s board as co-Chair of the Workshops Committee, where she is bringing new topics to this year’s agenda.
- Name: Chloe Frank
- Job: Project Manager at LookFar
- Where are you from? Cleveland, Ohio
- How long have you lived in NOLA? Seven years
- How did you get into Tech? I suppose my short stint as a social media strategist for multiple restaurants in New Orleans was my first “serious” interaction with technology. I thought navigating the vast sea of hashtags was my calling, until I took my current job and transitioned into a Project Manager position, and now I’m pretty sure my calling is configuring JIRA.
- Favorite Website, App or gadget: I of course love Spotify and use Uber a ton, but the best new app out there is Pupular! It’s a an app for dogs to connect with other dogs and their humans, and it was built by a New Orleans local, Harry Boileau.
- What is the most influential piece of advice you ever got? Years ago, pretty soon after I started my job at LookFar, which at the time was Carrollton Group, my boss laid some good knowledge on me. Although he can’t take credit, because it’s from Ghostbusters, he said, “When someone asks you if you’re a god, you say YES!” This has guided me through the years, and through many career path moves. When someone has asked me if I can do something, even if I’m not 100% sure I’m capable, I say YES. The truth is that nobody is always 100% capable of everything, but having the confidence in your own ability to accomplish anything is what matters the most.
- What is your favorite Mardi Gras Krewe/ Parade: I’m partial to say the Sirens of New Orleans because I’m a Siren! We march with Nyx every year, and it’s awesome to be a member of such a philanthropic and woman-positive organization. Oh, and being a mermaid is pretty cool too!
- What was your earliest interaction with technology? I admittedly was never super into technology when I was young. My parents were never very techy-savvy, though my Dad has perfected the cat-meme facebook post. We had one computer in our house…The only “videogame” I had was JumpStart, which I loved because I was a huge nerd and loved to learn and that damn frog. Not a great answer, I know! I wish I was one of those kids who was taking computers apart under the covers past my bedtime, or hacking into my parents’ phone line to listen in on conversations with my teachers, but I was pretty old-school, I guess. Just books and riding my bike.
- Who is a woman you really admire and why? Do I have to pick one? My top three are Gloria Steinem, Lucille Ball, and Julia Child. I try to be a combination of all of these women. Gloria was and continues to be a true and relentless pioneer for feminism. Her strength is unquestionable and her ability to speak among both proponents and opponents of her views is inspirational. Lucille Ball is both a fashion and attitude icon for me, personally, and reminds me not to take life too seriously. And I took a lesson from Julia Child’s book on cooking not being a chore, but a passion.
- What’s your favorite New Orleans food? Aiy, this is tough…I’m super into food. I cook a ton, but I don’t really fool myself by trying to cook a lot of New Orleans food, so I like to go to Jacques-Imos or Willie Maes and leave it to the professionals. Can I say oysters? I had my first oyster ever here, and I like them every way they’re served.
- If you had time to learn a new technology, framework or language what would you choose to work with next? I’d really love to get into Angular. Our developers are super enthusiastic about its capabilities and I think it’s a great tool to have in your dev belt.
- What inspired you to join New Orleans WIT? I am naturally drawn to any organization that is made of women helping other women. One of our greatest downfalls as a sex is seeing competition and pinning ourselves against each other. The first meetup I went to was a discussion circle about what it means to be a Tech Expert, and the challenges of being a woman in our space. Everyone was so insightful, and it was great to not only hear that we had experienced similar things in our workplaces, but that people had solutions. The goals that we set when we become members of New Orleans WIT are attainable, and with each other as support, they will be achieved.
- What advice do you have for anyone who is interested in a career in tech? (or learning to code?) Don’t be afraid to take a job that is “tangential” to what you want to do. In my experience as a PM at a software development company, your coworkers and superiors will take notice when you show them or tell them that you’re interested in moving deeper into a tech-heavy position such as a programmer. They will be impressed when you’ve taken it upon yourself to start learning a new skill on your own, and start throwing you tasks. So even if you enter as a Junior PM, or a QA or BA, you are learning extremely valuable information about the technology that can be transferred in any direction so long as you show initiative. If you’re learning to code, and this serves the last answer as well, pick something that you’re passionate about, and build it. This might be a WordPress blog about food, or a grocery list app, or a simple website to show your portfolio and resume with a contact-me form. It will be frustrating, and hard, but it really is the best way to learn. A developer I admire once told me, “When you’re building something, you’ll come to a moment when you truly hate it, but that’s when you know you’ve learned something, so keep going.”