An Unconventional Path to Blockchain Developer

Jo embarked on her journey into tech in a rather unique way. For about five years, she worked as an international English teacher, traveling the world to teach in countries such as Spain, France, and China. Jo came to Australia to pursue a Master’s Degree in International Relations. While studying, she took a job as an online English tutor for students in China. However, as she was completing her degree, China changed its education policy, causing all online English tutoring platforms to shut down overnight. Faced with losing her job, Jo had a choice: find a position at a school or change careers. Despite her love for teaching, she wanted to avoid dealing with state testing, so she decided to teach herself to code with the goal of rebuilding the platform she had been using for tutoring. She gave herself six months to succeed or she would return to teaching.

After just one month of learning, Jo began sending out her resume and projects. Within another month, she secured a position as a junior developer at a startup specialising in blockchain development. Although she was initially unfamiliar with blockchain, she focused on front-end development. She found mentors, one of whom encouraged her to learn Solidity, enabling her to write and deploy smart contracts—a highly specialised and in-demand skill. With her mentor’s guidance, Jo advanced her skills and moved to Labrys, the largest onshore blockchain consultancy in Australia. In less than a year, she had completely transitioned from English teaching to blockchain development.

Teaching herself to code, particularly in a complex field like blockchain, was daunting at first, but Jo quickly learned a lot. Most of her learning came from finding mentors and building personal projects by following YouTube videos. Her GitHub now boasts over 150 open-source projects showcasing her learning journey and work. Jo is passionate about passing on her knowledge and enthusiasm for this emerging technology to other women. She believes that more women need to get involved in the blockchain space to counteract the “crypto-bro” culture and help the technology reach its full potential.

Jo looks forward to sharing her knowledge with others looking to move into Blockchain development. She hopes her story will inspire others. She is eager to contribute in any way she can and is open to questions about her journey. More details about Jo and her projects can be found on her LinkedIn or her website here: Jo’s Website, which also includes live examples of her projects: Jo’s Projects.