Hi everyone! Happy Monday. Today, I thought I would do something different and do an interview of holy! She is the woman behind codegirlcode and UNTOUCHD mag. On January 18, she launched her latest project, a magazine for women in tech! I was dying to know more about her project – so I asked her a few questions!
I hope you enjoy this interview (my first since a very long time)!
- How did you come up with the idea of creating a magazine?
Truth be told, my little sister inspired me! One day, she came up to me while I was working and said to me “because of you, I have signed up to the Hour of Code through The next thing I heard, she’s all signed up for a Computer Science class in middle school, yay! (spoiler alert) Being an advocate for more women in the tech field has also led me to create UNTOUCHD Magazine. We all have the potential to do great things, and either be in tech or another field, women should know and feel that they CAN do it! I truly believe that by helping bring the exposure to young girls and women, we can help bridge the gender gap in tech!
- Why did you decide to call it UNTOUCHD Magazine? Why not Untouched Magazine?
UNTOUCHD sounds so much better, HA! When I think of UNTOUCHD, I think about the “untouched” world of tech – not everyone has had a glimpse, eh. Plus, that’s our mission to inspire you about a layer, or two! Side note: my twin sister’s husband helped come up with the name after too many cups of coffee, and titles. It was love at first touch!
- When did you start working on the magazine?
I started working on UNTOUCHD in July, so 6 months ago, phew!
- What are the many layers of tech for you?
The many layers of tech to me means “It’s not all about programming + websites”. You have data science, digital marketing, technical product management, user experience design, content marketing, social media director, visual design, data analytics, front-end + back-end development, mobile development, software engineering, game developers.. The list goes on! 😉
- You inspire many people on social networks, including me. When we follow you a little, you realize that you seem to always be working! What does a typical week or a typical day look like for you?
AW, thank you for your kind words – the feeling is mutual! And, HA, not always the same.. Now that the first issue ofUNTOUCHD has been released, starting next week I will be working on the lookbook scheduled for February 22nd. Think of it as the “Vogue of Tech”, hehe! It has been a really fun project to put together, and I can’t wait to share it with everyone! 🙂 So tons of emails, research, partnerships, edits, and more. I am also the code + coffee coordinator with the Girl Develop It Atlanta Chapter, and sometimes serves as TA (will be next month for our intro to HTML/CSS class next month, yay!!) plus I tutor (when needed)! I also work at General Assembly (that part of me I like to keep it private, so here’s a secret for you readers!) I will be diving into React Native mid-next month so this will be uber fun to work my way into! Okay, that’s a lot, oof!
- Did you surround yourself with a lot of people in order to build the project?
Def have! Surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals is key to success – to anything. Even while learning, it’s very important not to be alone. I do think that having a support system has helped prove that my idea wasn’t just one to collect dust. When I started to mention UNTOUCHD to close friends, and family (love my fam), they understood right away, and that helped keep me going. My contributors in the first issue have also been a great support, and have tremendously helped bring UNTOUCHD to life! Thanks, guys! XO
- I’m sure you’ve faced a lot of difficulties in setting up your magazine. What were the biggest challenges you faced, and how did you get them?
HA, a lot! But hey, I made it! 😀 I think after realizing the load of work I had to do, on top of learning InDesign was where it became a bit difficult for me, not to mention the behind the scenes… In the midst of creating the content, and meeting with the photographers, and coffee dates from left to right made it almost impossible for me to achieve this alone. So, I hired a kickass designer, and we’ve pretty much been the dream team ever since! He refers to me as “A one girl army”, and now I can finally start to understand why!
- Something you would like to add before finishing the interview?
Yes, don’t be afraid to learn… If you want to get into programming, do it! If you want to get into medical school, do it! You want to open a five-star pizza place with unlimited coffee + wifi, do it (please send me an invite)! Nothing is too big, or too silly to accomplish. Make a plan, and execute. I encourage you to build a network while learning/building – it helps tremendously (twitter, Instagram + meetup.com are great places to get started)! Have faith in yourself, and don’t set too many high expectations. That was one of my mistakes while learning development which led me to a few setbacks (personal goals) but I conquered them along the way with the help of my peers! If you are getting into programming, learn one or two languages – see what feels good, but start with the basics, the fundamentals are crucial to know. Don’t think that you have to learn it all, be you, and learn at your own pace. Also while in your journey, don’t forget to reward yourself, and make notes of it – start a blog. It’s good to have a reflection of how far you’ve come from, and to where you are today. Any steps you make can lead to a successful story! PS. HAVE FUN WITH IT! xxh
Connect with holy
If you want to get the issue 00 of UNTOUCHD magazine, head over here!