Women in tech and learning to code…more
08 Wednesday Oct 2014
A couple of weeks ago I went to a Netsquared Victoria meetup event focused on Women in Tech. I hadn’t been out to Netsquared in a while but the topic drew me and I’m glad I made the effort. First I had to find my way to Fan Tan Alley for the after work event, to the WestCoast Eco Home which graciously allowed the group to use their lovely space for the meetup.
My friend Linley Faulkner moderated the panel of three impressive women from three different age groups, all involved in technology in some way. They told us passionate stories of working in their tech-related careers and how they got to where they are today. Linley shared some of her story as well, telling us about her recent foray into getting involved in tech company and starting to learn to code after working in youth-related and non-profit work for her career to date.
In short, it was inspiring. Chandra Beaveridge exhibited such excitement when she talked about souping up a drone for a class in her computer systems engineering degree program a few years ago that it made me yearn a little bit to go back in time to my first days at Wilfrid Laurier University and choose to do an entirely different first degree. I don’t think I ever felt as passionate about taking History (whaaa?) and Business (a little better) courses as Chandra clearly felt taking hers.
Yet even though I started out in liberal arts, I somehow still I ended up working in and around technology. There are lots of reasons for this I’m sure, one perhaps being that my teacher parents brought home several of the early computers for us to work and play on all through my early elementary and high school days. Another was that soon after I graduated and started working at The University of British Columbia I got the opportunity to teach myself HTML and make a whole bunch of webpages for faculty members. I used to read computing magazines in those days! I always have gravitated towards technology in various ways.
Wonderfully and particularly, that early exposure (almost 20 years ago!) to HTML has served me well, coming in handy when I worked at the Canadian Red Cross several years ago working in XML code behind the scenes to create and publish courses as an online course developer, developing my website for my own business three years ago, and now using Moodle and Blackboard CourseSites for the courses I work with currently, diving into the code when things go awry in the front end.
Still, there is much, much more to learn about coding.
Which brings me back to the Netsquared meetup. Erin Athene, another one of the guest panelists, has just started Ladies Learning Code, another Meetup group in Victoria to bring women together who already know, or want to learn, how to code. I’m in! I haven’t been yet but I want to go. If only to learn how to do further CSS customization on my website. But, let’s be honest, probably a whole lot more. (Did you know that I’m actually kind of a geek at heart? I like Star Trek too!)
So expect me to post back here someday soon about learning more about coding. And in a couple of years, bringing my daughter along for the ride!