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Supporting Devs Through Advocacy

Supporting Devs Through Advocacy

Supporting developers is my modus operandi. I’ve been with Okta for three years, formerly as a Developer Support Engineer and now as a Developer Advocate.

Before joining Okta, I graduated from Hackbright Academy, an all-women boot camp based in San Francisco. I learned to think like a programmer through coding in Python and Javascript. My full-stack capstone project was a web application that tracked sugar intake, inspired by the community health service volunteer work I had done with AmeriCorps, San Francisco.

Hackbright Academy graduation

As a Developer Support Engineer, I supported admins, developers, Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), and partners as they integrated with Okta workforce products. These integrations include OpenID Connect (OIDC) and OAuth 2.0, External IDPs, Social IDPs, SCIM, OIN App Submission, Okta SDKs, Okta Sign-in Widget, Token Inline Hooks, and Terraform. I formed alliances with Customer Success Managers, Product Teams, Engineering, and Solutions Engineers and Architects in this role.

In support, I enjoyed listening to and interacting with developers through problem-solving cases. I was often curious about how they ended up in interesting situations; this then gave me some insight into where Okta could improve. I extended the conversation by gathering feedback, and this is precisely what dev advocates do! I’m especially looking forward to applying my experience in support to help developers avoid common problems entirely.

Ikigai diagram

– Source: The Philosophy of Ikigai

Lately, I have been thinking about my “ikigai” - a Japanese concept/way of life which translates to “a reason for being.” Ikagai names the overlap between what you love, what you are good at, what the world needs, and what you can be paid for. Although working in support offered some of these qualities, transitioning to Developer Advocacy allows me to do more of what I love: building a strong sense of community with developers and helping them achieve a goal while learning something new. I’m genuinely grateful for the opportunity and my past and current teams, who have supported my career journey thus far.

Team pic at a boat ride in San Francisco

Team pic at the Okta San Francisco office

I’m excited to put my creativity to work to advocate for developers and build community with my favorite programming language, Python. And with that, I am reminded of a principle set forth by Zen of Python:

“Now is better than never.”

Me helping a fellow developer at Devday 2023

I can’t wait to co-create, collaborate, and slay code dragons with you! Connect with me via my social media platforms and let me know how I can advocate for you!

Semona has been with Okta for three years supporting developers as a Developer Support Engineer. She is excited to transition to a Dev Advocate role - advocating for Okta developer community needs. Outside of work, Semona is a foodie, loves kombucha, and is interested in board games and ultimate frisbee.

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