Author Archives: Stephanie M. Caruso

About Stephanie M. Caruso

When not trying to find the precise adjective, avidly tweeting, or contemplating the meaning of life, you can find Stephanie doing things outside, from running to picnicking. She is a graduate of the University of Denver and works for General Assembly in New York. @smcny911 in all things.

This Sydney UX Designer’s Advice Will Inspire You to Change Careers

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General Assembly Classroom StudentsAs the tech sector continues to top employment charts with the highest number of job openings, you may be wondering how you can land one for yourself. Many people leverage web development and data science skills to transition into a tech career. But in this high-demand, highly competitive field, user experience (UX) design know-how can be a powerful asset, too. In the past five years alone, jobs requiring UX skills increased by 15% with an average advertised salary of $99,177, according to a report by GA and Burning Glass Technologies. The UX industry is exploding.

Wondering how top pros enter the field and navigate the UX universe? Here’s what Damian Norton, a Sydney-based UX/UI designer at Qantas, had to say:

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GA Alumnus Reimagines the Ticket-Buying Experience: What’s the Rukkus About?

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Meet Rob Wyant, a General Assembly graduate whose latest work as lead iOS developer for Rukkus has brought virtual reality into the ticket-buying experience. Before Rukkus, Rob founded his own startup, Yapper, while in business school. During that time, he used General Assembly’s workshops to help him build confidence when discussing the technical aspects of his company. In 2014, he moved beyond workshops and graduated from GA’s first iOS Mobile Development course at our Washington, D.C., campus.

Aside from what he learned at GA, Rob is a self-taught programmer and is involved with NYC Swift Guild, a meetup for GA students. He says that none of what he’s accomplished with Yapper and Rukkus would have been possible without taking a GA course. “I tell that to anyone who’ll listen as often as I can!”

We connected with Rob to learn more about his journey with mobile development.

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The Top 5 Podcasts for Aspiring Product Managers

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You are a product manager. Or you want to be. As the fearless leader for your product, you need to be the best-informed and most up-to-date member of your team. From market trends to failed startups, your knowledge of the product ecosystem is critical if you’re going to succeed. Which you will. Ready?

Don’t waste your precious time reinventing the wheel. While each product has its own unique set of challenges, plenty of product folks have been in your shoes before. Learn from their mistakes and accomplishments, then iterate and innovate your own path. We rounded up five of the best podcasts for product managers so you can make big decisions, build your team, and make products people love. And do it better than before. Next time you reach for headphones tune into one of these shows.

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5 Career Changers Who Will Inspire You to Take the Leap

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Change is inevitable. More specifically, career changes are inevitable. Especially in today’s job market, where the median tenure for the average employee is continuing to decrease. Our lifestyle goals and career aspirations are constantly in flux, but changes are scary. It’s easy to stay in a comfortable, unsatisfying position. The harder and braver thing to do is to take a leap of faith and pursue a career that actually excites you.

At General Assembly, it’s our mission to prepare you for this monumental change through skills training, a growing alumni network of over 25,000 alumni, and outcomes support for our full-time students. Take it from these five career-changing alumni: if you have that nagging feeling in your gut that you’re ready for a change at work, it’s time to reinvent yourself. We’re here to help.

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The Top 5 Podcasts For Aspiring Data Scientists

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Big data may be the buzzword of our time. Our uber-connected world is creating more information than ever before, but data on its own is useless. The value comes from data literate professionals distilling all of that information into useful insights. As the demand for data science skills has tripled over the past five years, companies and employees alike are rushing to wrangle the data that surrounds us and use it to our advantage.

Whether you are brand new to working with data or a seasoned data scientist, learning from practitioners will bring you up-to-date on the exciting ways big data is being used to improve our everyday lives.

Here, we’ve handpicked five of our favorite podcasts relating to data science that you can listen to at your desk, on your commute, or during your next road trip.

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From Electronic DJ to Systems Architect for NASA: How One Alum is Crafting Her Dream Career

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General Assembly alumni Jade
Jade Johnson is a recent grad of User Experience Design Immersive at General Assembly’s Los Angeles campus, where she met “a crew of like-minded thinkers.” After graduating from GA, she briefly worked for NASA as a systems architect. Now, she is living in Berlin and pursuing her career in UX Design. Jade’s love for user experience has helped her build a rewarding career around her artist lifestyle.
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5 Historical Figures Who Mastered the Art of the Hustle

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What separates the heroes from the one hit wonders? Why do the names of some men and women echo throughout history while others fade into background? While some might call it luck, we’d like to think it’s something else: Hustle.

Whether you’re building an empire or embarking on your own small business, there is much to learn from the creative thinkers of yesteryear. From Grace Hopper to Henry Ford, we’ve compiled a list of five innovators who mastered the art of the hustle and never took “no” for an answer.

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A University Sophomore Discovers His Passion For Entrepreneurship at GA’s Business Accelerator

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Introducing a new kind of alumnus to the General Assembly community. Boris Shou completed the 2015 Business Accelerator Programwhile working hard on his undergraduate degree. 

Last year, GA teamed up with Colgate University for the first ever Business Accelerator Program, now the Tech Intensive. A one-week immersive experience for undergraduates, the program covered the startup world’s most in-demand skills with hands-on lessons and visits from industry experts.

Inspired, Boris put his learnings into starting his own venture. He and a friend are developing an online language learning platform where language enthusiasts can practice speaking with one another. Although it’s a “simple website” so far, the product is complete with a problem to solve and a target user group.

As one of the program’s alumni, Boris talks about his unique student experience, the projects he pitched, and his entrepreneurial goals for life after graduation.

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Students Help Beer App Barly Find a Smooth Finish

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Craft beer rating app, Barly, recently released new features that shift the focus from simple ratings to smart recommendations that learn your taste in beer over time. The founding team at Barly started as a group of musicians who appreciate a frosty beverage, but after one fateful round of drinks, they realized that most beer menus are hard to decipher for the casual beer drinker. Nick Norton, Craig Vermeyen, Mike Weil, and Hunter Knight moved quickly to create an app, sourcing expertise to get their idea off the ground, including help from UXDI students at General Assembly’s Los Angeles campus.

Students in the User Experience Design Immersive work on client projects as part of the curriculum to gain real world experience using their new skills. Aaron Barnes, Samantha Burke, and Ken Sugai were assigned to work with the app.

For Barly CEO Nick Norton, it was an easy decision to go with the students at General Assembly. “They were great. Sam, Aaron, and Ken put in so much work over a short period, and were clearly excited to be working on this project,” he said.

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Meet Lady Mafia: Two Female Makers on a Mission to Change the World

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For Gaby Ruiz-Funes and Sarah Bump, learning web development was not just a pathway to a new career, but a creative spark that would lead them to start a movement. Since graduating, the pair has led the charge of creating a network of individuals comprising the Lady Mafia project. Together, they highlight women and men who are agents of change and who make the world a better place through their hard work and innovation.

Sarah came from a marketing background and Gaby was working as an industrial engineer before enrolling in General Assembly’s Web Development Immersive course in Chicago. “I was a little lost,” Sarah said. “I knew I didn’t want to stay in that field, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do instead.” Gaby was already intrigued by web development but realized she needed a structured environment to learn brand-new skills. “As an engineer I was trained to be able to create the things that were in my imagination,” Gaby said. “It felt frustrating to be limited on the web and I wanted the tools that would help me create the apps and websites that I imagined, especially those I hoped would help make a positive impact on the world.”

When the two met during their course, they started a friendship that would become the basis for their project — Lady Mafia, a website that aims to catalog humans who are “moving the earth.” We caught up with Gaby and Sarah to learn more about their experience as the super-cool founders of the Lady Mafia movement.

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