Julia Cannon

by Julia Cannon

“So how did I get into tech? Probably the most convoluted and unexpected way possible… I don’t have a degree in Computer Science or anything technical like that. The only computer skills training I had was in grade school typing.

Growing up, coding was either for people with super-human intelligence (think Einstein) or gamers. Even though I was good at math and science, I know I was no Einstein, and games never appealed to me. They were all about hand-eye coordination, of which I have none. Or about simulated combat, in which I also have no interest. In fact, if you had asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have unequivocally told you – “I’m going to be a Broadway star!” I pursued that goal pretty religiously through high school and college, studying voice at North Carolina School of Arts and getting a degree in Acting from Millkin University.

But after college, I decided to take a huge risk by shifting to a different passion of mine – helping people – and joined the Peace Corps. That experience was life altering in so many ways, including my career shift to non-profits.

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After several nonprofit jobs, I landed at an organization that I absolutely loved, but like many nonprofits was tight on resources. We were capturing information on over 400 families that participated in our programs and I was drowning in spreadsheets. I knew that we needed a database and I knew that the only way we would get one was for me to do it. That’s how I ended up finding Salesforce; I signed up for the 10 nonprofit licenses, logged in and clicked Create New App.

It was very strange to me that I would start building a formula or custom object or workflow, and hours would pass that felt like minutes. I definitely surprised myself with how much enjoyment I got out of building automations and planning object relationships. Even when it was time for me to move on from that organization and take a position as a Salesforce consultant, I was reluctant to consider myself a ‘woman in tech’.

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Maybe it was because I still had that genius/gamer stereotype in my head. Maybe it was because I was suffering from imposter syndrome. Or maybe it was because I didn’t see too many people like me represented in the industry. Probably all of the above!

What really helped me get over that was connecting with fellow women in technology. I started attending meetups with Girl Develop IT, Women Who Code and Salesforce Saturday, and the more women I met, the more I realized that I could own that label.

One thing I love about roundCorner is the number of inspiring female leaders. I was so excited about joining because I saw an opportunity to learn from really strong women who had made a huge impact on this company and our products. They’re making marks, and I hope to do the same!”

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