From Mexico to Sweden…and my 180° turn from culture to programming!

I have always had an avid curiosity, which turned out to be a huge problem when I had to apply to university. In a system that overestimates numbers, performance, and results, good scores did not help me gain any sort of clarity about which path to choose.

I loved science and technology…I loved humanities and design…that was clear but each by itself felt incomplete.
In the end, I chose Media and Communications. It was a wide, diverse, and interesting field that combined technique and humanities. Enough to keep me engaged for some years. “Life will show me the way” was my motto… and still is.

During my last years at university, it did not come as a surprise that the cultural world got my attention. I worked at a radio station as a producer for two cultural radio shows where I could use my creativity in combination with my organizational and networking skills. I felt fulfilled as I had found my passion… or at least one of them!

Canada + one short flirt

I moved from Mexico City to Vancouver, Canada to do an internship at The Vancouver East Cultural Center, best known as “The Cultch”, where I had my first experience working closely with a website.

Among several tasks within the marketing department, I would contribute to the improvement of the website to attract more donors and the general performance of the website.

Web development caught my attention for the first time, but… would it last or would it just be a temporary flirt?

Sweden + a long term relationship

I moved to Sweden in 2011 and I was lucky enough to get my first job coordinating a music festival after three months of my arrival. Soon I would suggest the implementation of a new website as it was obvious the current one wasn’t meeting the needs of a festival that tripled size over the years.

I really enjoyed this experience from start to the finish. During those months I coordinated this project in collaboration with an agency, my curiosity towards both programming and web design kept growing and for the first time I seriously considered a career shift… but how?

As a new citizen, I had little knowledge and understanding of the Swedish education system, and the options I ran into were at least 4 year-length.

I was loving the feeling of putting my skills into practice and making things happen…I was not ready to go back to the traditional school system.

The false promise of a degree

The landscape for a career shift towards web development looked intricate so I had to give up on that option. I choose instead to become a project manager and to continue working in cultural events. It was not going to be an easy road cause it was completely in Swedish and by that time I could barely hold a basic conversation, but I decided to kill two birds with one stone and learn Swedish by studying this program.

Soon reality would hit me in the face: jobs in culture were scarce…much more than I thought. I would rarely run into an ad looking for someone like me or the many others that were full of hope and went out there with the same goal. There were probably some unannounced jobs but I was still relatively new in Sweden and my network was not large enough. But hey! I had succeeded once, I could do it again!…right?

Long story short: No, it did not happen!

I had to start looking in another direction, at least until the right job would show up.

The last call!

After some years working in different organizations, I applied to work as an Organizational Administrator at a Culture School. I had to learn several platforms in record time to execute my work. One of them would be a complex website I would have to master so I could teach and support teachers and parents, both of different ages and cultural backgrounds, on how to use it.

Functionality and productivity are of strong interest to me so I was especially enthusiastic in giving feedback to the developers about their platform as it was also part of my job. I also contributed to the implementation of workshops and new routines for the teachers as many functions were not being taken advantage of and plenty of time could be saved in their daily work with a little bit of guidance. I truly enjoyed the process and I did it with curiosity, engagement, and ease.

Once again, web development was calling and this time it was obvious I had to take the call.

My harvest after this journey and why web development turned out to be the perfect cocktail for me

Living and working abroad has not been an easy ride and at risk of sounding pretentious: it is not for everyone. However, it has taught me so much and revealed so many hidden treasures that I would not change any little piece of it.

Self-discovery leads to clarity and renewal so I want to share with you the jewels and pieces of wisdom that I have collected and carry with me every day:

About me and life

  • Purpose, passion, integrity and meaning have a high priority for me
  • I like to explore and I am not afraid of changes, I mean… drastic changes
  • I have learned to embrace uncertainty and I trust myself and life much more
  • I know where I want to go and I honor where I come from

About my choice for web development

  • It is an ever-changing field that I know will fulfill my curiosity and need for continuous learning
  • I need a good balance between logic, challenge, structure, and discipline vs intuition, creativity, design, and freedom
  • I can work independently but I highly value and encourage teamwork, sharing knowledge, networking, and collaboration
  • I embrace multiculturalism and diversity as a way to enrich and learn from others
  • It offers opportunities that are compatible with my values, needs, and the lifestyle I am pursuing

My first steps breaking into a new career: Technigo Bootcamp!

With all this in my suitcase, last summer I felt eager to start this adventure!

Web development seasoned later on with a dose of UI/UX design would be the perfect cocktail for me and this time I would make it happen.

And here I am, in my 15th week at Technigo Bootcamp, a new learning-by-doing education modality that is stimulating and rewarding for someone like me who loves the continuous flow between theory and action.

It has been one of the most challenging experiences in my life, but fortunately, I have the privilege to have the company, support, and knowledge of my team, a large multicultural class of sixty people and a growing network in the tech industry.

It is a warm evening in my loved hometown, dreaming and visualizing my new future, smiling and holding in my hand a healthy, refreshing, tasty, and colorful cocktail.



Mexican based in Gothenburg, Sweden. Making my way into web-development and persuing the digital nomad life.

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Daniela Zacarias

Mexican based in Gothenburg, Sweden. Making my way into web-development and persuing the digital nomad life.