CodeScience’s Natalie Kurr was featured in a Women in Tech Podcast episode released in early November. This is her behind-the-scenes look at how it happened.

My podcast with Espree Devora was released November 1st. While for some, this may be a natural and comfortable thing to do. For me, not even close. However, it was a truly wonderful day to meet new people, put myself outside my comfort zone, and connect.  

I arrived on a normal Tuesday morning to a Slack message from my coworker, Coni Thomas, that read “Espree Devora is coming through Chattanooga, and would like to interview the women of CodeScience.”  

So many things running through my head:

  • “I know her! She has interviewed our clients!”

  • “Great! Our wonderful women totally fit the bill!”  

  • “I am totally not doing that.” And so on…

I was more than happy to give a tour and do things as needed, but me on a podcast, no way.

Around 3pm, the doorbell rings. Espree arrives with her crew, Ben and Philip. Despite being on the road for hours (and really, days and weeks), they have huge smiles on their faces and we’re not shaking hands, oh no — Espree gives me a huge hug! That ice breaker is amazing. She is so warm and welcoming, and her first words are, “Oh, Natalie! I know you said you aren’t going to interview, but we’ll just interview you anyway and it will be great!” HA! I guess we’re doing this!

So let’s rewind a bit. I’m wondering the same thing you are – how did this all come about? Check this out.

Espree’s two crew guys, Ben and Philip, are two students from a university in Ireland. They randomly crossed paths with Espree at the Dublin Tech Summit, and then a couple days later, at a WomenInTech Celebration event. The short version .. Espree, Philip and Ben struck up a conversation, throwing out ideas and boom — “the Podcast Roadtrip” is born.

Fast forward 6 months (it’s really happening!), Ben and Philip arrive in Los Angeles, and the trio hit the road zigzagging across the United States for the WomenInTech Road Trip. They are traveling in their Kia Niro — a surprisingly good sound studio, and Espree can interview as many as 6 people in a day. They squeeze in visits to National Parks as much as they can. Philip and Ben have even taught Espree, an LA city girl, how to camp.  

Back to present day: While Ashley is interviewed first, I sit on the couches with Philip and Ben. They travel to the United States most summers and spend as much time here as they can, meeting people, traveling places, gaining life experience. Both of them have goals to spend more time doing just this — living on the road. They are speaking my language! I love road trips. I share my story of how I spent nearly two years living in a Sprinter van exploring the country and what I did to achieve that goal. Here we are, sitting with new friends and sharing our stories. Connecting. Isn’t this what life is truly about?

Ashley returns from the Kia with a smile. My turn to venture far outside my comfort zone.

Espree has this special energy, and you can’t help but feel comfortable and almost excited to be talking to her on a recorded podcast that will be released to the world. We get into the car. She explains her small camera, her microphones, give me a little overview of what is about to happen — and it’s on!  

It’s truly a whirlwind. I can’t exactly recall what we talked about. We talked about CodeScience, being in Operations (and not a developer) and still being a WomanInTech, balancing life — a career and a husband, what path can be taken to get into Operations, how do I overcome obstacles, the numerous times that CodeScience Slack messages have been posted applauding the smart women in our company, and how CodeScience gave everyone movie tickets to see Wonder Woman… Yes, a whirlwind. We wrap up with a tour of our office, give them some snacks for the road, and they are off! 

Being interviewed for a podcast is certainly not something I would normally do, yet, I had a lot of fun doing it. Meeting Espree showed me that putting yourself out there doesn’t have to be so bad. And Ben and Philip — I loved connecting with my road-tripping kin. It was a magical day!