Daun Davids found a love for programming at a young age and pursued a BS in Computer Science and an MS thereafter in Computational Sciences and Robotics. She started her career as a corporate developer and independent consultant. Most recently, she was working as a professional Java developer and struggling to find a way to learn Android development which was at a level that went beyond the basics. She also didn’t live in an area with a thriving Android developers community to help her grow.
During her search, her daughter unfortunately started getting sick, requiring Daun to pull her out of school. She approached her manager about working remotely or from home, but neither of those solutions fit. In the end, she decided to quit her job in order to allow herself to be available for her daughter.
Looking to find a convenient way to keep her skills relevant during her time at home, Daun found Coursera and the Mobile Cloud Computing Specialization. According to her, there were no other programs online that offered such a compelling end project for such a low cost. She signed up and went through the entire Specialization and final Capstone project.
“I saw the Capstone as an opportunity that was just not available anywhere else. It isn’t everyday that close to a thousand of my peers participate in a project like this. The Symptom Management project that I completed is still the most difficult and complicated app that I have worked on. We had to design and code both the server and the app on our own—that isn’t easy stuff! The Capstone really took me to the next level in my skill set. The professors and the forums were amazing and the fact that I was able to get so much peer feedback on my project was super helpful. I took this opportunity very seriously and I challenged myself daily to learn as much as possible. When I received the email that I made it into the top peer-reviewed apps it really boosted my confidence and gave me that push to finally start working as a freelancer.”
After the Capstone, Daun put the app on GitHub README and pointed to the project on LinkedIn. Thanks to her upgraded profile, she’s been getting steady inquiries and jobs as a part-time developer. She currently has three apps in the app store, with more on the way. With Coursera, she finally has credibility and flexibility to manage her time and career.
In addition, Daun is the founder of a Girl Develop It (GDI) chapter—a non-profit that empowers women through computer programming. Since 2014, she has 175 members with over 30 meetups. She prides herself in connecting members with the right people, programs, or businesses that help them make progress to their goals. Daun prides herself in defying the odds as a Native American woman who has worked professionally as a software engineer for over 20 years. Her mission is to empower women who are beginners to learn and grow technically. She love getting emails from members when they say they got their first technical job. It means the world to her.