NEWBIE FEATURE: Emmanuela Onu / Cloud DevSecOps Engineer

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

WHO: Emmanuela Onu

WHERE: Louisiana

WHAT: Cloud DevSecOps Engineer

SALARY EST.: It's 6-figures

She consider herself a Newbie, Techie, POC (Person of Color).

NIT Staff: We met Marie on Linkedin and followed her journey for sometime. We felt it was necessary to shed light on her will to push forward. Even through a Linkedin post you can feel her passion for the work she does and we thought it was best for her to tell you her story.

Marie tell us a little more about your background:

I work for a startup that helps government contractors be compliant for the CMMC 2.0 requirements. I work there because it is a positive work environment where hard work is recognized and I'm supported through any challenges I face.

At some point in my life, I joined others to think I'm confused about what I want to do in life. I started off majoring in Biochemistry and had plans to go to medical school but that didn't happen. I then did Masters in Public Health but I wasn't satisfied because the salary was crappy. I wanted to provide for my family. So I decided to go into Tech. Just like majority of people who want to switch, the first thing that came to me was coding and I registered for Software Engineering. It wasn't long until I discovered that I don't like to code. I went through couple of other areas of Tech before someone introduced AWS Solutions Architect to me and also learned about DevOps Engineer along the way. It was my happy place.

When did you start getting involved in tech? Why did you choose to enter the tech field?

I started getting involved in Tech around 2017 immediately after my Master's degree and realized I was being offered 45K per year as a salary. It was overwhelming and I went from Software Engineering to Cybersecurity to Data Analytics to Scrum to DevOps. It was until I get a mentor who helped me get the most out of one thing, DevOps, that I finally became successful.

How did your traditional education (or non-traditional) prepare you for your current job?

In as much as I would have loved to skip all that traditional education and chosen a Tech Major in undergrad, I think that the background I have gave me the ability to pay strong attentions to details, problem solve no matter how difficult the problem is and also apply various quality improvement strategies.

What technical certifications do you have?

AWS Solutions Architect Associate

What do you do to stay up-to-date on your technical certifications and knowledge?

I coach other people who want to pivot to Tech so that makes me revisit those concepts and methods again and again. I also read a lot of blogs when other Techies blog about their processes. I can be laying in bed relaxing and reading about CI/CD pipelines and when I see something I don't understand, I google it or search it on YouTube.

What coding language (if any) are you most comfortable with?

I don't know any coding language but hope to learn Python one day.

What is your biggest challenge working in tech?

Biggest challenge is working in an unhealthy work environment. My first Tech job was literally hell and of course I left there in few short months. Where I am now has a friendly environment and I'm thriving

NIT Staff: We're happy to hear you were able to quickly leave that work environment. I think so many newbies believe that tech is just this Willy Wonka factory and forget that tech is no different than any other workplace. There are good work environments and bad ones. This is a friendly reminder that everything is always perfect but you can definitely find a good company if you try.

What the coolest project you have worked on?

Building a CMMC 2.0 solution for government contractors
Def. Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC). The CMMC framework includes a comprehensive set of processes and practices to achieve a cybersecurity maturity level.

What are you passionate about outside of tech?

I'm passionate about coaching and mentoring others, makeup, skincare, relationship and Entrepreneurship

Got any favorite tech jokes or embarrassing stories?

While I was trying to break into Tech, the interviewer gave me 2 weeks to go study and come back to demonstrate in a zoom interview. I was supposed to learn Ansible and Docker. I did studied it and felt confident but during the interview, I froze and couldn't launch a simple Hello World. lol. I was so embarrassed and they told me to go and keep trying and come back in a year. hahahaha

What are your goals for the future?

My goals for the future is to get as many minorities like me into Tech

Who’s your favorite Tech celebrity and why?

Jeff Bezos. I love the seamless and incredible infrastructure (AWS)  he created for us

Best advice you have for a Newbie trying to get into tech?

It is worth the time and energy and the growth in Tech is massive so take that leap of faith. Also, get a mentor if you can; it cuts down so much wasting of time and money trying to figure things out by yourself. The information online can be overwhelming and you need someone who will keep you focused and tell you exactly what you need to get from point A to Point B.

Best place you would consider for resources online?

A Cloud Guru is one of my go-to for learning.


Where can Newbies connect with you online?