I was born in Maryland but was raised in Northern Virginia. I've stayed in the area and am currently around Reston/Herndon.
I was actually first introduced to design back in high school. I had a very odd graphic design teacher who made me retouch old photos for his mother. It was an unconventional introduction to the field but I was hooked and the rest was history.
As for why the switch from more traditional graphic design to UX/UI, I just kind of fell into it. At GoCanvas I had the chance to start playing around with UI for our mobile app and it snowballed from there. I've been very lucky to have incredibly supportive coworkers who were happy to help me learn.
I decided to enroll in the Design System Bootcamp because I ended up the design lead for my companies design system Foundry. During Covid, my team shrank and Foundry became my responsibility. I was able to flesh out a decent component library on my own but quickly realized I sucked at documentation. Thankfully, my old team lead sent me the BootCamp link and I jumped on the change to level up my skills.
I very much love not having to put on real pants to go to class. On a more serious note though being able to meet so many people from all over the world was an amazing experience. It was cool to hear so many different stories.
Loved the section design tokens. I didn't really realize the difference between Sass variables and design tokens so having that cleared up was fascinating.
I learn best with real-life challenges and creating opportunities to do actual projects vs. conceptual work can be a bit tricky sometimes.
My days tend to start early! This came in handy while doing the BootCamp as it started at 7 am my time. So I would roll out of bed around 6, grab some breakfast, and get to class.
After class work would start. I would often bug one of our senior devs with questions I had from BootCamp on how we could implement things.
Depending on meetings I would stop for lunch around 11:30 am. Because I work from home I like to fit in my daily workout while my food is heating up.
After that, it's back to work until 4 or 5.
After work, I would watch a bit of TV until its time to start making dinner. I love to cook while listening to the podcast My Favorite Murder. Then it's dinner with the husband, dog walkies, and winding down until bed at 9 or 10.
I work from home so I have a little office setup with my company-issued laptop. If you can't tell I love knick-knacks. Sadly this is after cleaning up the 17 checklists I keep on scraps of paper around my desk.
I got very into fitness during quarantine so I use the Peloton app on a daily basis. I'm cheap so I don't have one of their bikes but you can get the app for $13 a month and just use a cheaper bike. In addition to cycling I also like yoga and meditation so having it all in one app is convenient.
I finally had the time recently to get back into linocut printing and had forgotten how nice my flexcut carving tools are.
Honestly, I'm much more of a podcast or TV rerun kind of person. I'm happiest working with reruns of Frasier in the background.