My name is Veronica, and I survived eight years as a government employee in Minnesota. Now that I’ve left government, I think I can do much more to help my community and my state.
In 2010, fresh out of college, I landed my first salaried job working in Public Assistance in Anoka County, Minnesota. I started off thinking I would eventually become a social worker, but I ended up developing a series of program scripts which ended up saving my county a lot of time and money working with the old mainframe systems the state uses. I stumbled into a technology career as a result, which was not my first intention- I’d always planned on being a professional musician, and had taught guitar lessons through college (yes I still play).
As coworkers left Anoka County, they took the story of my scripts along with them. Eventually, workers at the Department of Human Services (DHS) took notice, and before long I was recruited to work for the state’s SNAP division in 2014. This was weeks before the birth of my daughter, and only months after completing my social gender transition. I was sad to be leaving my friends at the county, but leaving conservative Anoka for (apparently more) progressive state employment was important to me and my family.
Unfortunately, DHS turned out to be a lousy fit for me for a number of reasons. It was far less progressive than I’d hoped (insurance and bathroom access issues). Then there was the red tape: decisions I used to make unilaterally now required a committee. It wasn’t all bad- I started a scripting collaborative with county workers, and spread my work throughout the entire state. I made some of my best friends as a government employee; great people with good intentions (and a lot more patience than I have). I like to think that I made a difference for the public, too… maybe people got their benefits a bit faster because of me. But for me, it was always a challenge, and I felt like I could do more on the outside. Even so, I always enjoyed the work with counties and the public, leading hackathons and breaking down barriers to access for everyone.
In July 2016, I jumped from SNAP to Child Support, hoping to spread out my work into a new area. I had some good success there for a while, but ultimately this wasn’t a good fit either, and I resigned amidst a management dispute in March 2018. I’d been dreaming of starting my own company for a while, and had saved up enough money to begin the process.
Jacqui and I took that giant leap of faith and founded Violet Sky in April 2018 (I took a month off to teach our daughter how to play Mario). We’ve been building this company since then, gaining clients in the commercial and non-profit sectors- mostly custom coding and IT consulting work. In case you’re wondering, we’re also available for web design and government work.
This site isn’t about all that, though. This website is about general ideas/thoughts, and occasional updates about activism or volunteer work. I might even post new music I’m working on. I’m always busy with something!
Thank you for reading this. If you like what you see, feel free to share it. It’s here for a reason. 🙂