Staff Member Spotlight: Katrina Walker

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CEO & Founder

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Katrina is originally from Silicon Valley and she immigrated to Barcelona in 2016 to explore the rising tech scene from a data science perspective. She comes from a multidisciplinary background starting first as a social worker for the largest provider of reproductive health services in the United States. She has carried out social research with institutes such as the University of California, San Francisco and the University of Ber'Sheva Israel, as well as presented on "Pedagogy and Postmodernism" at the University of Florence, Italy.

In 2017, she worked at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center, during which she carried out a proof of concept for their pilot social analytics team. Prior to launching Barcelona's first all-women coding school, CodeOp, she worked on the central data science team at eDreams.

What is your favorite travel memory?

After college, I spent some time traveling around South East Asia. During a trek in the north of Thailand, we came across a small village where an older man offered us shelter from the strong rain. I will never forget how introduced himself: I am ___. I have one cow, five chickens, and two goats. What do you have? At that moment, I felt like I didn't have anything, which propelled me into some deep reflection. What do I really have?

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

Leading a start-up is no small task and you don't know how to do something until you do it. Since working for my company, I have been riding a steep learning curve: I have learned how to fundraise, how to deal with the impostor syndrome I have felt in a leadership role, I have had to develop my presentation skills and ultimately debug our business daily. I have new stamina for problem-solving!

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

We had a student in our second cohort, who is originally from Korea but residing in Barcelona, break her company's app in her first month of working at a multinational company as a software engineer. The good news is that it wasn't the app in production. She was mortified, but we felt proud. There are a series of rites of passages that every developer needs to go through. We learn the most when we fail. She's doing a great job.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

Easy! I have a data science background, so I have a positive bias for our data engineering course. Often people think data engineering is the same as data science. It is not. A data engineer learns how to manage the data flow of a company, as well as deploy data science models. To do this we teach super cool technology (like Kafka & Spark) in this course and I can't find another boot camp program like it!

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

Less than 1% of all coding schools worldwide are all-women school and yet the gender disparity we see in tech is a chronic problem world wide. I am proud of the fact that we are putting 100% of our effort into supporting folks who have been at the margins of tech, as well as supporting the trans and gender non conforming community.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

Having a company is about building community, and by building community, I mean building relations with our staff, our students, and our applicants. We care for the community, which means our work is inherently personal and intimate. When you incorporate humanity into the corporate space, the environment is enriched and people feel more connected. This is the key to success.