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With International Women’s Day around the corner, we’re shining the spotlight on an important team member in our organization, Sara Currie! Sara helps #PressforProgress every day by challenging stereotypes and biases, and interviewing and hiring women with vastly different interests and backgrounds. How do you #PressforProgress?

Currently listening to: Havana – Pentatonix

1. What do you do at Linux Academy? 
I’m a Talent Advocate! If you’ve applied for a job and had a phone interview in the last 9 months, you’ve most likely spoken to me directly.

2. What did you do before this? 
I actually came from a completely different industry, physical security, where I handled Human Resources and the full-cycle recruiting efforts for a local security company. The company I was with ended up being bought by a large national corporation and suddenly I was dealing with a very cutthroat, revolving door culture. It felt like all the joy was sucked from the job as one of the things I enjoy most about my role is getting to know the person behind the resume and finding them the perfect fit in the company. Shortly after that transition, one of my close friends mentioned Linux Academy would be the place I could do what made me happy and they were looking for an internal recruiter. I took her advice to apply and I’ve honestly never been happier! I get to do what I love and see my efforts reflect positively on the people around me.

3. What do you like most about what you do?
Getting to know so many different people! I’m usually on the phone most of the day talking to people that have vastly different backgrounds and personalities. Every single one is unique and I have the chance to find out what they are passionate about and their hopes and goals for the future. Even though they may not be a fit for the position, it’s always an honor that they took the time to speak with me and let me ask them random questions for a while.

4. What’s your favorite part of working at Linux Academy?
For me, it has to be the people. It was a bit terrifying moving to a new industry where I had no real knowledge of the terminology or needs of the company. From the first day I started, I have never felt like an outsider or that I was annoying someone even when asking simple questions like, “What’s the difference between Ruby and PHP and why is each important?” People are always willing to share their passions with me and let me know what makes what they do special. It’s an environment that allows and encourages learning new things and I cannot express how much I love that.

5. What do you like to do in your free time? 
I’m an aquarist and between caring for my tanks and Stardew Valley, I don’t have much free time left. I currently have three tanks at my house; a 40-gallon tropical tank, a 35-gallon betta tank, and a 65-gallon planted goldfish tank.  I’m working on getting the materials for a planted nano tank to go in my office but I feel terrible shipping anything live in the weather we have now so I’m holding off until spring rolls around. I’m planning on a low-tech shrimp tank which will be a first for me but I think it will look perfect on my desk. My goal is to have enough space for an entire fish room one day!

6. Favorite food
It has to be a tie between Pot Stickers with a good dipping sauce or cookies dipped in hot coffee. Both are comfort food for me for different reasons and will make a stressful day instantly better!

7. Favorite quote and why?
My favorite quote changes with what is going on with my life. Right now it’s, “You did not wake up to be mediocre.” I’m focusing on my career and it helps me get motivated and hit the ground running every morning.

8. What’s something you’re really excited about right now? 
I have a vacation to Las Vegas planned in June and it’s the first time I’m taking a vacation with my husband since our honeymoon 6 years ago. We’re spending over a week there and finalizing details of what we’re going to do now. Coming up with fun ideas like ‘spend the whole day by the pool’ is incredibly exciting!

9. What do you like to collect?
I collect old forgotten books from abandoned places. I get to do a lot of urban exploring thanks to some family connections and I almost always come across some old forgotten books. My favorite find was a medical encyclopedia from the 1920s that I rescued from an abandoned hotel. It gives me a unique view of the past and reminds me of how far we’ve come since then. 

10. If you could have any superpower, what would it be, and why? 
The ability to temporarily freeze time. I could clean the house, answer my emails, and take a nap without missing out on daylight! It always seems like I need more hours in the day to do everything I want to do.

11. You’re a new addition to the crayon box, what color would you be and why?
A brilliant blue holographic crayon because I try to be super positive and make people smile.  Also, blue is my current favorite color and I believe it’s very calming.

12. Teach us something we may not know in 10 sentences or less.
The brain forms connections, branches, with your memories. That’s why you associate scents with people and become biased against things based on something seemingly unrelated, like color or texture. But your brain is changing and forming those connections repeatedly and those connections can always change – sometimes drastically, like with brain damage. Your brain is also unreliable when it comes to memory recall and you will never remember a moment the same way. For example, when thinking back on a conversation you may remember the person you spoke to wearing a blue shirt but the next time you remember it, suddenly it’s red. Our brains make us who we are and control how we react to people and situations, so finding out how those connections and memories impact your day to day life is important to understanding who we are on a fundamental level.

13. If you could interview one person (dead or alive), who would it be?
My answer will always be Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter. His passion inspired generations to learn and respect even the scariest wildlife. Every time he spoke you could feel the love and respect he had for life. I would like to know how he kept that passion going and if he knows how much of an impact he had on my generation as a whole.

14. What’s one thing on your bucket list?
I want to visit Rottnest Island and take a selfie with a Quokka. Which is odd I know, but who could resist being around the happiest animal in the world!

15. Can you give some advice to people looking to work at Linux Academy?
Breathe! It’s totally ok to be nervous about the process but don’t let that get in the way of showing us who you are and what you’re passionate about. We want to know who you are and what you love to do so don’t hold back on sharing that passion with us because it doesn’t necessarily fit what’s in the job description. And speaking of job descriptions, you don’t have to match every single skill listed. Take a risk and apply for the job if you want it! Some of the skills you don’t have may be easily taught as part of the job or not 100% necessary to be successful. If you never take the chance and send in your resume, we will never know you’re interested! Your resume is a chance to let us know why you’d be the best fit for the position. So if you don’t have all the necessary skills or experience, write a compelling cover letter that shows us your reason why. We keep every resume that’s sent to us so even if you don’t make it to the next stage for the position you applied, we will keep you in mind for others.

P.S. We’re hiring – Apply here and you may get scheduled to interview with Sara!


Image of arun
2 years ago

I would like to know if I am capable of getting a job in the Cloud computing industry after doing an AWS Certification. I am a geek at heart and have also cleared the RHCE exam a few years ago.
But my Graduation degree is of Commerce and I have 14 years of experience in the teaching profession (English Literature).
So will i be able to get a foothold in the computing industry with my diverse background. I would like to know this before I invest a lot of money on the course, exam and on hands on scenarios that are available on the net

Image of PhilZona
2 years ago

Yes, you can start a career in cloud computing with a non-technical background. I have a degree in English, for example, and worked in the insurance industry for several years before I started in tech. There are advantages to having a computer science or engineering degree of course, but I’ve found that having a different background has helped me approach problems and understand technology in ways that I wouldn’t if I studied it in a more academic way. I’d say only about half of the people I’ve worked with in this industry have that kind of formal education, so my situation isn’t extraordinary by any means. If you put in the time and effort, it’s absolutely possible to start a new career in cloud computing.


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