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Her life was not easy, but she wants yours to be.

 

Gabby Taylor

Gabby Taylor, Linux/DevOps Content Support Team Lead

 

Encompassing all that Gabby Taylor is, into a simple blog post, is a nearly impossible task. The numerous stories she carries within her are both inspiring and enthralling. And when you chat with Gabby, you should be seated because you won’t want to get up from what she has to say. She is constantly bubbling with an inner joy so strong, that at any given moment it threatens to spill out onto her lips into a broad smile and contagious laugh. So who is this woman? We are proud to call this charismatic and powerful woman “Linux/DevOps Content Support Team Lead”: a fancier way of saying, she’s the one who’s got your back.

And if there’s anyone our students need in their corner, championing their goals and improving content every moment of the day, it’s Gabby. Quite frankly, she can’t stop talking about you. She’s so absorbed in better addressing learners’ needs, that it was difficult to get her to talk only about herself. But that’s who Gabby is. She is selfless and intent on listening to your feedback, positive and negative, and using it to better our materials and better your chances of landing that promotion, new job, or cloud understanding. She is a true force for getting you to that next step. But it wasn’t all that long ago that she was fighting to figure out her own next step.

 

Wonder woman is not a myth.

Almost 10 years ago, while working as a caregiver in an Alzheimer’s unit, Gabby noticed something strange. In the midst of caring for others, she almost ignored her own health concerns.  She noticed a large bump on the side of her neck that seemed to grow almost daily. Her grandma encouraged her to seek a doctor and even told her plainly

“I think you may have cancer.”

After multiple concerned looks from doctors, Gabby found out in 2010 that she had an aggressive form of Lymphoma. After an initial fear of treatment at such a young age (19 years old), Gabby’s family and doctors convinced her to go through chemotherapy. Which included lots of medications, very large needles, losing hair, and questions for what the future might hold. Finally, after over ten months of chemotherapy treatments, Gabby was grateful to be declared, and remains to this day, in remission! However, the extensive and painful treatments left Gabby with looming medical bills and in need of a job, quick.

That’s when a friend of hers encouraged her to join a hosting company, which sparked her interest in software systems and the cloud. Looking back on this time in her life, Gabby laughs at herself and mentions,

“When I started, I didn’t know anything about Linux except how to spell it.”

So for 8 years, Gabby worked tirelessly to prove herself. We mentioned in a previous post that women and minorities are struggling to make their voices heard in tech, and Gabby was not immune to this problem.  She considered that employer

“a very male-dominated atmosphere, they didn’t want to help someone like me.”

but through her tenacity and optimism, she continued.

“I just pushed as hard as I could, but when you refuse to take shortcuts, it takes longer.”

But she was determined to learn more and (with no Linux Academy at the time) she bought book after book to supplement her learning- propelling her career and taking her future back. She even took a graveyard shift position because, although not ideal, it allowed her to advance. But eventually, after years of fighting to be seen, heard, and acknowledged for her efforts, Gabby decided it was time to find a new company to call home. Enter, Linux Academy.

Gabby T-1000 and Linux Academy

While the team at Linux Academy knew Gabby had impressive skills, they were still amazed at just how many times she had been promoted at her previous company. As Gabby phrases it best, and you will often hear her say,

“It’s not always what you know, but what you do with what you don’t know”

And she did a lot. Even after an intense car accident a few years ago left her with a permanent implant to help alleviate nerve pain,  Gabby persists. Now she isn’t just a superhero, but some also began referring to her as “Gabby T-1000”. But we like to think it’s probably because of how quickly she completes a ticket. Along with her support team, your favorite content support lead continues to sort through and answer literally thousands of tickets each week.

“We’re focused on achieving that daily turnaround. And I’m always working on formulating better processes.”

So every time you view content and send in your up/downvote, Gabby’s team sees your comments. ALL OF THEM. She works at robotic speeds but with the kindness and understanding of your most trusted friend. However, listening to feedback can not only be daunting but can easily be disheartening- seeing every single negative comment, especially. But somehow, with the heroic positivity of wonder woman, Gabby continues to be fulfilled and grateful for what she does each day at Linux Academy.

“I never thought that I would come to a company like this. No place is perfect but it’s just …I can’t even explain it, it’s just exactly what it should be.”

 

Never done learning, always growing

And we still consider ourselves incredibly fortunate to have someone like Gabby on our team. She acts as a constant reminder to students and staff that truly, anything is possible. No matter who you are, what obstacles you encounter, or how others treat you, you can forge something beautiful.

“If we can all work together to make something better, that’s the best thing in the world.”

At Linux Academy, Gabby has found a place to continue learning, developing her skills, and make a huge impact. Even when pressed on her personal goals and dreams, they always include helping others.

“I’m so happy now, I feel like I’ve gone so far and there’s so much more to go. But I really enjoy helping other people ‘go’ too. I’m just a helper.”

And seeing our learners go further, faster, is what we’re all about at Linux Academy. Which makes Gabby not only instrumental in our plans for bringing the best content to even more learners but also a true embodiment of our deepest values. This woman is “building off of the things [she] built [for herself]”, and we think that’s pretty admirable. And she does it all while enduring chronic pain. How is that possible? She blows our minds. But we can’t decide if she’s fully human- maybe she’s a hero from the future, maybe she’s a friendly robot, but we’re sure glad she’s on our side.

A hopeful future

To sum up Gabby, and what she hopes for our learners, she wants you to know this:

“We’re all guilty of not making time for ourselves. You are worth it, you are worth spending the time to get there. And you won’t be alone in that process. We can show you.”

We all start somewhere. And it’s never the wrong time to change your life. Gabby exemplifies what it means to persist with that same spirit. Heck, when we spoke to her she was still putting away boxes of her belongings, now ruined after Houston was flooded during her move. But she was still all smiles and overflowing cheer. And we all need more of that. We all need more Gabby grace and Gabby gusto. So thank you Gabby, for all that you do for us, in heroic fashion.

And if you want to have even more interactions with Gabby, reach out to her here. And let her know how her story gave you the drive to start something new. She’s a friend, mentor, and advocate for so many, so don’t be shy.

3 Comments

Image of Glenn Stenzel
Glenn Stenzel
3 months ago

This amazing woman Gabrielle Taylor.
She is so much a inspiration to all women in the world of technology that is considerably dominated by the Male realm of upper level technology world.
The abilities of ones own mind is never realized until you find urself in a position where you realize you are the one that has to make the decision to fight and go on or let the hardships takes control.
Gabrielle Taylor is a 100 % survivor of her fight with cancer. She had a very hard time in her life at such a young age.
She choose to fight her way through that terrible time in her life and the determination to succeed and survive is proof for all women the battles of cancer .
Gabrielle Taylor is 100 % a survivor and her strength is there for all people to gain positive possibilities no matter how hard it may seem.
The abilities this woman shows to succeed no matter what hardships are thrown in her path.
Look at the strength Gabby has to survive with her hardship of the terrible accident she was in.
Look at the physical effects of her accident and see that she may have to deal with physical hardships that she has no control over.
Wonder woman or Gabby T-1000
is how alot of her co-workers see her abilities to keep pushing forward and give anything she has to he committed loyalty to the company she works for.
The ability to make people see how strong minded and strong spirited she is to succeed and make sure that fellow coworkers and new employees are aware that she is the woman that you should pay attention to and learn from in so many different ways of life.
The loyalty she has for her commitment to success and her commitment to her career is beyond anything that a company could ever hope to find and add to thier administration .
Gabby is the inspiration to all women of the new age of technology.
But she is also a extremely amazing woman in so many ways of surviving lifes hardships and living proof that you if fight for what you want and don’t take no for a answer, then you can accomplish whatever you set your mind to.
Gabrielle Taylor is a survivor in the cancer society 100%. Congratulations to Gabrielle Taylor for being a cancer survivor and still being in remission!
To all the employees and students of linux academy…
This woman Gabrielle Taylor is the greatest example of how you can start from nothing (she only knew how to spell the company name) and make yourself the greatest person of interest that everyone wants to reach out to for guidance and knowledge of the ever so fast changing world to technology.
Reach out to Gabby and you will benefit from everything that she gained and she will pass on to you all you need to grow and prosper in whatever you decide to do.
Congratulations to Gabrielle Taylor for being such a strong survivor in life and Congratulations to Gabrielle Taylor for the ability to come into a company with very little and to surpass all expectations of everyone she touches in many different ways.
This just shows all people no Matter what life throws at you. Reach down and find that inner strength to overcome whatever life throws at you.
Congratulations to you Gabby for being a survivor of all lifes mishaps.
Congratulations to linux academy for finding such a amazingly inspirational woman to represent you and your academy.
Truly a amazingly wonderful gift of lifes miracles if you just believe in yourself.

Image of Glenn Stenzel
Glenn Stenzel
3 months ago

This is a very special story of a woman building a place for herself in a world of technology that is amazing.
Gabrielle Taylor is more than just a survivor of a terrible hardship of cancer at such young age.
She is survivor of transforming her life into a life of determination to change her direction.
Gabrielle Taylor shows the strength to endure lifes struggles and finds ways to help others as they step into a technology world.
For all women to see you can do all that you want in any career that you may choose.
Her abilities to understand the importance of leadership and taking on such a great opportunity to grow with such a great company is a great opportunity for the future of the linux academy and for herself as she seems to grow eminsly with her colleagues.
This lady Gabrielle Taylor is a survivor 100% being in remission.
She is also a survivor of other physical hardships.
Extremely amazing and compassionate story of what can be no matter what life throws at you.

Image of Glenn Stenzel
Glenn Stenzel
3 months ago

Gabrielle Taylor story is one of great pain. the cancer at such a young age and not knowing what the outcome was to be. my prayers go out to the great full recovery of such a hardship. she a example of a strong survivor in so many hardships of life.
The wonder woman and T-1000 comes her friends and her coworkers as they all have gained from all her kindness and her gift of learning what she needed to so she could grow and become the lady she is.
she is a great addition to the Linux Academy as the Academy is becoming aware of. Her ability to take on such great world of computer know how and start totally at the bottom and gain such wide spread praise is totally amazing for all women to gain strength from for any career they want to achieve for themselves no matter what life throws in your path.
Gabby or T-1000 or wonder woman, the names are enough to explain what the wonderful woman has been through in her life. the cancer to body injury from a terrible acident to the flooding of ones home. the strength and determination this woman shows is a extremely amazing story of ones strong will to survive in a world of so such pain and giving so much to others.
the Linux Academy has very wonder gem in thier company and her coworkers and friends have a great and loyal friend.
Gabrielle Taylor story surpasses all that a company could ask for in a employee.
may this lady always be cancer free and always remember that she is a survivor 100% in so many ways.

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