Why Jessica Bell decided to start a podcast - Technical.ly DC

Creative

Jan. 24, 2017 10:02 am

Why Jessica Bell decided to start a podcast

The Washington Post web developer is launching DC Tech Stories. It's all about highlighting non-traditional techies.

Washington, D.C., views.

(Photo by Tajha Chappellet-Lanier)

Jessica Bell knows how it feels to be an outsider to that stereotypical definition of a “techie.” The California native came to D.C. for a career in the political/think-tank realm, but transitioned to web development through chance and a General Assembly bootcamp.

Now Bell helps organize DC Tech Meetup and DCFemTech and works at the Washington Post and is so involved in the #dctech world that you’d be forgiven for considering her the ultimate insider.

But her own unusual background means Bell is interested in people who came to tech from similarly divergent backgrounds or experiences. She loves hearing their stories, and relaying them on. One day, not long ago, Bell was telling such a story in the Women Who Code Slack channel when members of her audience (so to speak) suggested that she should make a point of sharing these kinds of stories more often.

The idea stuck with Bell, in some ways, and “I woke up the one day and was like ‘I should do a podcast!'”

Bell describes herself as a huge radio fan since childhood. “When podcasting started becoming a thing I was all about it,” she told Technical.ly over lunch in Chinatown. But that doesn’t mean she knows how to make one. “I don’t know anything about podcasting,” she admitted.

So Bell contacted her boss at her first job in tech, a guy who is a sound engineer by passion, and asked if he’d be willing to help. He was, and even better he already had all the audio equipment Bell would need and was happy to lend it.

Advertisement

Jessica Bell. (Courtesy photo)

Jessica Bell. (Courtesy photo)

Called DC Tech Stories, Bell’s forthcoming podcast will be devoted to, well, telling the stories of #dctech. But Bell imagines her focus will be on the different, off-the-radar stories.

“I want to focus on people who aren’t part of that general group when people think about techies,” she said. This means women, people of color, the LGBTQ community and others who just generally stay out of the spotlight. Bell is also taking suggestions for people to profile, though — nominate someone here.

And for now, as she gets her feet wet in what is a brand-new world, she’s sticking with interviews that are somewhat comfortable. Her first interviewee? Kate Rabinowitz of DataLensDC fame. “I’m specifically picking people I’m kinda friends with at the moment,” Bell said, grinning.

Given her infectious enthusiasm, we’re fairly certain that Bell will be friends with all her interviewees before they know it.

-30-
JOIN THE COMMUNITY, BECOME A MEMBER
Already a member? Sign in here

Advertisement

These were our 10 most-read DC tech stories of 2018

Here’s how the DC region is getting connected during #GEW2018

Amazon is in ‘advanced talks’ to locate HQ2 in Crystal City, Va., reports say

SPONSORED

DC

Learn to lead digital transformation at Phorum 2019

Washington, DC

Nava

Infrastructure Engineer (DC, SF, NYC)

Apply Now
Fulton, Maryland

Circonus, Inc.

UI/UX Engineer (Remote)

Apply Now
Washington, D.C.

LawIQ

PRODUCT MANAGER – ENERGY INDUSTRY ANALYTICS SOFTWARE

Apply Now

MakeOffices is offering podcasters a membership option at one DC location

DC Tech Stories: How I/O Spaces is building community for African Diaspora entrepreneurs

DC Tech Stories: On ‘The Winding Path’ with Roselle Safran

SPONSORED

DC

LawIQ seeks to engineer answers for the energy industry

Washington, D.C.

LawIQ

ENERGY RESEARCH ANALYST

Apply Now
Washington, D.C.

LawIQ

DATA VISUALIZATION ARCHITECT

Apply Now
Washington, D.C.

LawIQ

ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE DATA SCIENTIST

Apply Now

Sign-up for daily news updates from Technical.ly Dc

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!