In college, I studied human geography, mastering the craft of the written word. During junior year, I took my first web mapping course and I froze: What’s a GeoJSON? What’s the difference raster and vector tiles? Why am I writing code instead of essays? And, most blaringly, how will I ever get a job in this? 3 years later, I’ve TA’d in 2 mapping labs, co-founded a web cartography course, taught mapping workshops and landed an engineering and design job at Mapbox. This talk will dive into the hardest parts of transitioning from the humanities to GIS and how I’ve used that experience to shape how I teach technical mapping concepts to non-technical students.