How many years have you been in tech?
Tell me about your background. What were your early years like?
They are still happening! I feel like programming still doesn’t feel second nature to me. Because of that, I don’t treat it like a hobby, and I don’t enjoy it. I am a very tactile learner. When I take class and someone shows me something, I feel I can really understanding. But I am experiencing a huge learning curve just figuring out how to learn from online classes, videos, tutorials and google searches.
How were you exposed to tech?
I hated my job as a server, and a programmer friend of mine told me to apply for free programming classes at Launchcode. He said he knew some other women who changed careers by learning to code. I thought it would be ideal because after serving for most of my adult life, I decided I didn’t ever want to talk to a real human being for work ever again.
What is your current role?
Student at CoderGirl.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
Not wanting to throw my computer out the window when I think about programming.
What are you learning right now?
I am learning data science at CoderGirl. We started by learning basic statistics, and we will soon be using Python to manipulate and present data.
She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted. Tell us about a time that this applied to you.
I have been fired from almost every service job I’ve ever had. In my mind, I was trying to be more efficient. Managers didn’t see it that way. We’ll see how it works out in tech!
What was the last fear that you faced? How did you feel after you conquered it?
Despite the fact that I finished the Launchcode classwork in December, I never finished my project, and never followed up about getting a programming apprenticeship through them because I felt like a fraud…like I didn’t really understand how to practically apply my knowledge at all after 6 months of work. I wanted to quit. My family and SO encouraged me to keep going. Since I felt out of touch with my Java project, (totally confused by the Spring framework, and how to apply what i understood about database design into my project), I decided to change paths and apply to the CoderGirl cohort and sort of start over. I feel like the CoderGirl cohort is taking things slower, and I am learning not to regret spending all that time in Launchcode. I can apply a lot of what I learned from Launchcode to my new class. In Launchcode, nothing seemed to have any context. New thing after new thing: database? command line? Java? Python? frameworks? github? IDE? SQL? OOP? MAMP? GAE? LOL!!! Everything was brand new and seemed unrelated! I hadn’t really used a computer since I was in college. I realized that I didn’t suck, I just had a lot to learn to build context for my work. I like data science because a lot of the context is built in to the subject matter; I know exactly what I will be programming and why.
What advice do you wish someone had given to you? What advice would you give to others starting out?
Ask all the dumb questions even when you feel out of place and way behind! Ask for help! You are capable of learning anything if you take your time and know your limits. If you get stuck, do drills of the things you do understand so that it becomes second nature. Ask for help! Stop comparing yourself to others.
What are your hobbies?
Yoga, cats, volunteering: Tishaura Jones for mayor (vote March 7)!. dancing like a dumbass
What do you like about St. Louis? The midwest? Why do you live here?
I moved here to because it was cheap and i wanted to make art at the time. I never left because I don’t know what i want and it’s cheap enough to figure it out. And the music/arts/activist community is strong.
Who inspires you?
Linda Sarsour: “Sisters and brothers, fear is a choice. We are the majority. We are the conscience of these United States of America. We are this nation’s moral compass. If you want to know if you are going the right way, follow women of color, sisters and brothers. We know where we need to go, and we know where justice is, because when we fight for justice, we fight for it for all people, for all our communities!”
Angela Davis: “Sometimes we have to do the work even though we don’t yet see a glimmer on the horizon that it’s actually going to be possible.”