Go for liftoff at Okta!

avatar-quorralyne.jpg Heather Downing

T-minus 3… 2… 1…

I’m blasting my way into the Developer Relations world like Alice discovering Wonderland and it’s fantastic cast of characters. I am so curious, and excited, and all of the feels that come with coming to Okta! Officially stepping into the Developer Avocado (er… pardon me, Advocate) role and bringing the love of .NET, voice and IOT to the party.

My face

Who is this Lady Nerd?

Well, for starters I am obsessed with the current space rocket industry. No, seriously - I watch live streams of random launches every other week and will be happy to talk your ear off about the science of propulsive landings. Grateful to have the privilege of traveling all over the darn world, and find the similarities in tech but differences in societies fascinating. Huge horse lover, archer, used to sing in Tolkien’s Quenya elvish (we all have a past) and can make some mean guacamole. Currently inhabiting Kansas City, Missouri - part of the Silicon Prairie, as it’s lovingly referred in our local tech scene - but originally from southern California.

What Kind of Techie?

My background in tech begins with a much-delayed career change. After years in hospitality management, I was eager to get back to my childhood wonderings about how things work and do some real building in code. In 2011 I jumped into a half year boot camp course in Kansas City that taught me how to get a Microsoft Certified Professional certificate in Application Development, focused in ASP.NET. I absolutely loved learning about the real world projects this boot camp provided. During my time there I even landed an internship during school at a cutting edge mobile app shop coding for their service stack. From there, it was off to the races! I’ve spent most of my time working on enterprise scale services and proof of concept apps, ranging from APIs to mobile to voice. After the past several years of speaking at tech conferences internationally, I’m so thrilled to have been invited to join the DevRel team at Okta, and spread the love full time! I can’t wait to build more in C#, and integrate with all of the modern technologies that have come out in the past several years. From machine learning to transforming data on a cosmic scale, there has never been a more exciting time to be a .NET developer.

Why is She Here?

I chose Okta because of the incredible team of developer advocates that are already here. Yes, the product is super cool (security is pretty important, yo!), but first and foremost these people are developers and they really care about teaching. After years of spending time with many corporation’s technology departments, I finally get to write and speak full time, giving back even more to the supportive community that made me the engineer I am today. Insanely stoked about joining this team and getting to know all of you!

Where Can We Find Her?

All of the normal places like Twitter, LinkedIn or GitHub (might post on Okta’s GitHub too). Send me a note to heather.downing@okta.com. I’ve also got an obligatory website with a blog focused on technical thought leadership and you can find my slide decks on SlideShare. Of course, you’ll find me representing the C# love on Okta’s developer channels too. I am super excited for questions and suggestions about how working with Okta for the .NET community can be done easier. Let’s start a conversation!

Now onto the important question: Star Wars, or Star Trek? Which universe would you most want to software to be like?

Cheers, and stay curious my friends.