This week, I published Natalia Tepluhina's #DevJourney story on my eponym Podcast: Software developer's Journey. Among many other things, here are my main personal takeaways:

  • Natalia's first computer was a ZX Spectrum with tapes instead of disks. Her father was a SysAdmin and his love for tech and computers deeply influenced her childhood.
  • Natalia first programmed with BASIC, then PASCAL, and chose to study computer engineering. During her studies, Databases really "clicked" with her, and that's why she chose to become a DBA (Database Admin) in her first job.
  • Her job as a DBA was OK, but not entertaining. After her maternity, she realized she didn't want to go back. So she searched for something else and found Front-End development. The very fast developer-inner-loop really suited her needs.
  • In order to learn Front-End dev, Natalia tried offline courses in Ukraine, but it didn't work out for her. Then she found the Google Udacity Courses which worked perfectly for her. The course was planned for 4 months, and it took her just 1 month to complete. This is where she learned "vanilla Javascript", which helped her tremendously during her subsequent career. She particularly praised the extensive reviews she got, where she was able to really learn from her mistakes.
  • Being a new mum with a kid in kindergarten, she searched for a remote junior role and found one. Natalia explained that Ukraine is really strong with nearshoring outsourcing. She found a job in a company working with PHP & WordPress. There she quickly became the go-to-person for Javascript. There, her vanilla-Javascript skills really shone.
  • In October 2018, Natalia was put on a very special greenfield project, where she had the opportunity to choose the front-end framework. Just one month before, Angular 2.0 and Vue 2.0 were released 2 weeks from each other. Typescript scared of the rest of the company, and Vue.js looked like an easier Angular, so they tried it out. This was her entry ticket to the open-source world.
  • Natalia described creating her first issues on the Vue.js forums as "really scary". She always had the feeling that she must be wrong, not the framework.
  • "After this nice Vue.js project, the next PHP/JQuery madness was awaiting me, so I searched for a new job"
  • For her next job, Natalia applied to the company ScalaC, partially due to their "very nice handbook", their remote friendliness, and the fact that they were opinionated enough to have "Scala" in their name. She got a coding task during the interview process and decided to solve it with Vue. She got a very interesting response from the interviewers "this is the first time we have seen this very new project (Vue.js) in action".
  • Up to that time, Natalia had mostly done her job. Coded solutions, fixed bugs, etc. But at that job, she really learned what software development with a team meant.
  • In this new job, she met her first mentor and first conference experience at NG-Vikings in Helsinki. Looking at those speakers she thought "I could never be up there, I have nothing to say, but this was farthest from the truth. You always have something to say." That's also when she revived her Twitter account and started immersing herself in the Vue.js community.
  • This first conference pushed her to want more. The next conference she wanted to attend was in the USA and was financially out of reach. She thus asked Jen Luker (whom we had on the show previously) of VueVixens if such a conference was planned in Europe. This contact triggered her to create her first workshop, then her first talk, and finally join the Vue.js core team. Such a lovely networking story! In the Vue community, she also met Filipa Lacerda who convinced her to apply to Gitlab.
  • The interview process at Gitlab comprises 5 stages and the first one was an essay. Natalia had to answer the question: "why do you need a front-end framework?". I love the depth and creativity of such an exercise. It can reveal so much about the candidate. Natalia got hired by Gitlab and until she really started there, she had the feeling of being an imposter, of having gamed the process and not belonging.
  • Being a core team member on such an important is nothing special, and everything at the same time. Sure you get access to more discussion channels and more insider info, but most of all, your voice becomes official, and this is huge. But the main effects it had, were to 1) help her enforce good practices at Gitlab because her voice carried more weight and 2) bring back her real-life experience from Gitlab to the core-team and the documentation.
  • I love how 3 mentors pushed her to jump over her shadow and achieve what she thought is not reachable. This "challenger" mentor stance is really impressive. And Natalia, underlined the role of her dad, who encouraged her to follow his footsteps, in this industry that is still very much sexist, even though it has improved a lot since the 90s.


  1. Don't lose opportunities
  2. Make, break and build
  3. Make the first step, and then another...


  • "After this nice Vue.js project, the next PHP/JQuery madness was awaiting me, so I searched for a new job"
  • "Do you remember the first time you had to use rebase instead of merge and failed miserably and instead cloned the repo again and applied your changes to it again?"
  • "Lucky people are those who do not refuse opportunities and accept opportunities as first steps."

Thanks, Natalia for sharing your story with us!

You can find the full episode and the show notes on

Did you listen to her story?

  • What did you learn?
  • What are your personal takeaways?
  • What did you find particularly interesting?