Temple computer science dropout Becca Refford has no regrets - Technical.ly Philly

Dev

Feb. 13, 2017 10:33 am

Temple computer science dropout Becca Refford has no regrets

Two years ago, we wrote about why one technologist chose to not finish her degree. Here's what she's up to now.
Becca Refford came to NET/WORK Philly with her new team at CreativeMMS.

Becca Refford came to NET/WORK Philly with her new team at CreativeMMS.

(Photo by Juliana Reyes)

When we last talked to Becca Refford, she had recently dropped out of Temple University, where she had been pursuing her computer science degree. Refford, who was 21 at the time, felt like the curriculum wasn’t practical enough. She opted to do an apprenticeship with dev firm Chariot Solutions instead.

The story spurred a debate among our readers about the value of college for technologists — check out the comments — and was one of the most-trafficked pieces of 2015.

Refford herself wrote in the comments: “Reading these responses initially made me question my stance, but I’m happy to have been in the middle of such a debate — it brought some colorful responses from the community.”

So we were excited to run into Refford at Technical.ly’s tech jobs fair, NET/WORK, almost two years since that first story, and see what she’s been up to.

There were a few changes in her life since the story first dropped: Refford moved from North Philly, near Temple, to the Italian Market area. She’s gotten more into the design side of tech (“Design has my heart,” she said), though she’s still doing development. And most notably, she just joined a new company, a WordPress shop out of CityCoHo called CreativeMMS that had a booth at NET/WORK.

She left Chariot, where she worked after her internship, because she wanted to do more design work. She also felt that CreativeMMS was a better culture fit. “I can go to happy hours [with the team] and be a goofball,” she said.

Still, Refford’s thankful for her time at Chariot and gave a shoutout to her two mentors there, Ken Rimple and Tracey Welson-Rossman.

In an email, Refford wrote:

Tracey was my career mentor and encouraged me to always keep challenging myself (speaking, saying yes to new projects), showing up, and meeting people. Ken was a super patient technical mentor who made me feel comfortable making mistakes and gave me the tools not to make them again. Both saved me from getting tripped up on certain things in my own life by sharing their lessons learned from things that had tripped them up in their own.

Advertisement

Among the things she learned over the last 18 months, she said:

Mentors are there for guidance but they shouldn’t make your decisions for you. Obviously they have a certain amount of stock in the path that you choose but at the end of the day, you have to make the decisions that feel right in your gut. A good mentor will support that.

As for the story, she said several people told her they felt validated reading about her college experience.

And of course, we had to ask about that: any regrets?

“Not at all,” she said.

-30-
CONTRIBUTE TO THE
JOURNALISM FUND

Already a contributor? Sign in here
Connect with companies from the Technical.ly community
New call-to-action

Advertisement

Philly has more growth in young college degree holders than Boston and NYC

Villanova appoints former edtech exec as its new chief information officer

Technology is ever evolving — shouldn’t business education be, too?

SPONSORED

Philly

When it comes to diversity, Vanguard puts its money where its mouth is

Philadelphia

Urban Outfitters

Urban Outfitters: Jr. Motion Graphic Designer

Apply Now

Philadelphia

URBN

URBN: User Experience (UX) Designer

Apply Now

Philadelphia

Guru Technologies

Senior Software Engineer, Back End

Apply Now

Wharton just launched a sports analytics program focusing on data in the industry

How one local tech company is tackling the STEM talent shortage

How to be a (better) human in tech

SPONSORED

Philly

What you can learn about career mobility from a global architect at Macquarie

Philadelphia

Guru Technologies

Senior Software Engineer, Front End

Apply Now

King of Prussia, PA

Deacom

Junior Technical Writer

Apply Now

Chesterbrook, PA

Deacom

Entry Level Software Developer

Apply Now

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

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