Carolyn Stransky - Journalist and Coder via SPICED Bootcamp #113


Carolyn Stransky (she/her) is a software developer and journalist based in Berlin, Germany. She’s currently working with the GraphQL Foundation as part of the Google Season of Docs program. Out of the office, she teaches at ReDI School of Digital Integration, freelance writes for outlets like Curve Magazine and maintains an admittedly ridiculous skincare routine. You can find her most places on the Internet @carolstran.

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A note from Grant

Carolyn Stransky is a graduate of Beloit College with a degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She spent the first few years of her career in roles like communications management and technical writing before deciding to go to SPICED Academy, a boot camp focused on full stack development based in Berlin, Germany.

Since that career change, Carolyn has held down roles in frontend development, software engineering, as well as technical writing. She freelances both as a developer and as a journalist. Over her career, she’s worked for the likes of Contentful, Blacklane, Meeshkan and is now on her own as a freelancer.


“Almost all of the startups I’ve worked for are early stage. So what is a venture capitalist? How do we get our money? What do we need to do to get our next phase of money? How do these phases work? All of these things were things I needed to learn as well as technical vocabulary.”

“I wish I would have realized earlier that programming for many is a new way of thinking, mostly If you’re not used to breaking down problems into logic and putting everything in particular orders. Its a completely new approach to what you may be used to especially if you come from more of a creative field.”

“While I was in my marketing roles I was trying to learn how to code. I would bug our developers and do things like Code Academy. But I hit these blockers and I didn’t really know who to ask. It was hard to figure out on my own. I knew I wanted someone like a teacher who I could bug as much as I want. I chose SPICED because they were full stack java script.”

—Carolyn Stransky

Key Milestones

  1. Carolyn moved to Berlin right after graduating, what drove that change and what was it like to be fresh out of college and moving half way around the world?
  2. What led Carolyn to go to the SPICED Academy and do their full stack development program?
  3. How did Carolyn prepare for the bootcamp and what was the experience like?
  4. What was it like landing a software job after bootcamp?
  5. Does writing complement a career as a developer?
  6. What motivated Carolyn to go out on her own as a freelancer?
  7. Carolyn goes into her experience with imposter’s syndrome
  8. How to leverage journalism to get a coding job?

Additional Resources

Carolyn’s writing and portfolio -

Previous episodes mentioned:
Simon Willison – Data Journalism, The Importance of Side Projects

Connect with Carolyn Stransky

Connect with Grant Ingersoll