Hacking Barriers Spotlight: Nyairah Howard (she/her), Full Stack Developer

Reading Time: 4 minutes

“We will always be judged by someone but I try to not focus on others options of me. I am not an anomaly and I love that.”

What prompted you to explore a career in tech?

I was outgrowing my current career and I was looking for a complete change of environment. I have always been tech savvy and I’m really good at solving problems so I decided to make a hobby into a career.

What is your ideal tech job?

I don’t know my ideal job as of yet but I would love to be at a company who’s mission is to develop tech that helps people.

Tell us a little bit about what a typical day looks like for you.

I usually have a long day lol. I work overnights, so when I get home around 9am I make myself breakfast and relax for a while. After relaxing I take a cat nap for some energy. When I wake up I study my TreeHouse course for a few hours. It’s then time for dinner. After dinner I study again for at least an hour. Before I go into work I’ll read a book or do something that is self serving to reward myself for the day…then it’s back to work and my cycle continues 🙂

How do you stay motivated to get your tech degree work done?

Being 100% transparent, it is a struggle!! I’ve fallen off of my schedule a lot because life gets in the way or I’m too tired, but knowing that my new career will put me in a better place financially and having a career with purpose is motivation enough.

Who are your biggest fans and cheerleaders as you pursue this certificate?

My family and my mentor Brett !

What’s your favorite study snack?

Brownie Brittle ❤️

What’s your trick to destress?

I love watching syfy movies or YouTube videos

Are there any apps, software, or tools you cannot live without?

Codepen! As someone that is a visual learner codepen helped me see my code in real time.

If you’ve ever had to face obstacles because of perceived identity, can you give advice on how you overcame them for those reading who may be going through something similar? 

I’ve never had a perceived identity affect my job drastically, but I have deal with coworkers who have judged my work performance or my capabilities based on how I look. We will always be judged by someone but I try to not focus on others options of me. I am not an anomaly and I love that! The more you focus on yourself the more peaceful you become.

If I would have gotten out of my own head and just have done it , I could only imagine where I would be right now. Don’t be your own obstacle.

What’s your favorite thing about being a part of the Hacking Barriers cohort?

The program itself is great but my favorite thing has to be connecting and building relationships with these awesome people at Hacking Barriers. Everyone is so nice and supportive and they really make a great environment for you to start a new chapter.

If you had to pick an intersection of tech what would it be? And Why? (Ex: TechXArt, TechXFashion, TechXSocial Good)

TechXFashion and/or TechXBeauty. I am very much a girly girl and I have a passion for both fashion and beauty. So if I can incorporate tech with my other passions that would be a dream.

What is a piece of advice you would give to others who want to apply for a tech Bootcamp or something you wish you could tell your past self?

Stop procrastinating and just do it!!! I was interested in tech years ago, but I didn’t have a CS degree so I thought it was a lost cause. If I would have gotten out of my own head and just have done it , I could only imagine where I would be right now. Don’t be your own obstacle

Tell us about a time you felt extremely accomplished in the past couple years.

I feel like the last 4 years I have been extremely proud of myself for keeping up salary wise with my friends and peers who have went to finish their bachelors degrees and even higher education. As someone who does not have a degree I’m happy with where I was able to get myself. I’m grateful I was able to get this far and also prepared for my continued growth.

How can readers support you:

Just a like, share, or comment whenever you see my (very limited right now) face lol. Whether it includes tech , beauty or fashion 🤗

Favorite Motivational Song?

Sevana- Be Somebody

Favorite Quote?

“Please don’t settle. Not in a job you hate, not in a town where you don’t feel at home, not with friendships that aren’t real, and especially, especially not in love.” – Marisa Donnelly

Where can we find you?

Follow me on Ig so it’ll force me to go on there!


Hacking Barriers is a remote learning collaboration to decrease barriers of entry into the tech industry by  WITPGH  in partnership with Team Treehouse + The Center On Interracial Relationships + Neighborhood Allies.  The cohort features an entirely remote learning and support program for BIPOC women that employs a multi-pronged approach to the popular bootcamp method of learning programming and design related technical skills. The program includes local networking and work-life balance resiliency workshops with a structured 6 month online technical bootcamp featuring tracks for Python, Front-End Web Development, Full-Stack Development, User Experience, and PHP.