Susana Barnwell‘s wanderlust took her across the pond to complete her undergraduate degree in Rome, and it also served as the main inspiration in one of her recent app projects — Adventure Planner. Following a recent trip to Chile, Herrera created an app for extended-stay travelers during her time in General Assembly‘s Web Development Immersive Program to keep track of activities, stops, lodging and more.
As she grew her programming skills, Herrera also honed in her problem-solving as she learned to break down issues and tackle them piece by piece. Now, Herrera wants to find a company where she can put her new perspectives, both in international relations and programming, into practice and help build software from the ground up. We hear she’s a craft beer enthusiast as well — so cheers to this new developer!
What is your previous education?
I attended The American University of Rome in Rome, Italy where I studied Business Administration. The idea of studying abroad for all 4 years came through a family member who encouraged me to pursue my passion of adventure along with my education. Studying abroad gave me a different perspective on life — truly allowing me to understand users and clients as well as learn a different language. Being originally from Venezuela, I also wanted to continue exploring different cultures and points of view.
Why the interest in the technology field?
I was in the Property Management industry for 7 years and it wasn’t until the end of 2016 that the idea started creeping in my head. A few friends of mine went through web development bootcamps and after looking through their portfolios, I became enamored with the idea of creating something with my own hands while creating value for the end user. I also wanted to be a part of an industry where I could continue to learn and be challenged.
What tech projects have you worked on?
The most fulfilling project I’ve worked on is BeerCult. I love everything about craft beer so I wanted to create an app that would allow users to keep track of their favorite breweries and beers. I would love to incorporate an external API so that users can search for beers and where to buy them.
I also created an application called Adventure Planner that allows users to keep track of their travel itineraries. I am a huge advocate of traveling and wanted to facilitate a way for users to plan their trips. I was inspired by my recent trip to Chile, where my husband and I traveled for 3 weeks and had to keep track of an extensive itinerary. This app would have made everything so much easier!
What tech tools are essential to you as a developer?
Google. Nowadays, you can find everything and anything on there — ranging from how to debug to brand new technologies. We are lucky that we have pretty much every resource available right at our fingertips because of Google.
How do you stay on top of emerging trends?
I love reading about trends and technology. I’ve subscribed to Medium and other blogs. I also find that going to meetups every week keeps me up to date on many emerging trends. By talking to people, you can gather so much information on new technologies and friends. Developers are friendly and always willing to share ideas.
What are your best technical or creative skills?
Learning to think as a developer has been the most important skills I’ve acquired these past few months. The ability to break down a problem and tackle it one piece at a time is a skill that I know I’ll need for the rest of my career, regardless of where I end up working.
What’s next on your list to learn?
I would love to learn React Native and Redux so that I can continue to expand on my React knowledge. I am very interested in exploring other frameworks that focus on the user’s mobile experience.
Are you interested in working for a startup, mid-size company, or a corporate giant?
I am interested in working with a company where I can continue to grow and learn as a developer and where they value teamwork and collaboration.
Want to meet Susana and 20+ other Jr. Web Developers looking for a job? Come by General Assembly’s Student Showcase this Thursday the 27th to talk potential hires in a relaxed reverse job fair.