What brings women into coding?

written by Marie Last updated on November 29, 2018

Published on November 13, 2017

women coding
One day, on my Facebook group for women in tech, I asked this question: “How did you start to code? What is your story?”. We had so many different replies in that thread that it inspired me to write this blog post today. I reached out to these women to get to know more about how they got into coding.

We all have a different story on how each of us started to code. Whether it was at school, with a parent, a friend, or at 40 years old when you decided you wanted to change your career. Today, I wanted to share various stories of women and how they first learned how to code. So… what are you waiting for?

Madeleine

women coding - Madeleine

My name is Madeleine Alzamora, I am from Montreal / Uruguay. I hold a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and International Relations. I loved my journey through university, especially the 2012 student strike which was an unprecedented milestone and trainer for me. Upon graduating from university, diploma in hand, job opportunities related to my field of study did not come as fast as I had expected. That’s when I got introduced to web programming.

People convinced me that it would be easy to learn by myself since tons of people had done it and that there are tons of resources and tutorials online. So I’ve started learning HTML and CSS through Codeacademy. Once I completed the lessons, I reproduced simple landing pages. Afterwards, I attended a Ladies Learning Code workshop, and at the end of the day I was told: “The next time you come, I want to see you as a mentor.” Challenge accepted! When the day came, it was at this point that I found that my learning efforts had brought immediate results. A month later, I started working at a digital agency as a web integrator…

The quick results obtained are one of the reasons why I like coding. However, it’s a constant work in process that needs tons of perseverance, learning capacity and resilience to restart again and again. Though it also pays back in self-confidence and assurance to keep on going every time you find the way. Since the possibilities of learning are endless it drives me forward. Moreover, this sphere of activity, technology, has secured a part of my life because it gave me opportunities and freedom. The winning strategy of my journey has been the combination of discipline, code at least 20 or 30 minutes a day it really makes a difference, participation in the Montreal’s tech community because you have to put yourself out there, and finally, I have to say that without my mentors Cassie and Guillaume this wouldn’t have been possible – thanks for the challenges, the opportunities, the knowledge exchange and patience <3.

Today, I’m still a web integrator with Valtech Canada, a co-chapter lead of the Girls Learning Code in Montreal, I take web contracts, and I participate in an alternative bootcamp coding: les Pitonneux where I meet people who want new opportunities.

 

Angela Koceva

Hello, my name is Angela, 23, and I’m coming from one small country in Europe, Macedonia. I was interested in computers even when I didn’t have one; then when I was 9 I got my first one, a year later my first internet connection and the obsession began. Through the years while every kid’s obsession was to chat on mIRC, MSN Messenger and Skype I was doing some stuff what was unimaginable for 14 years old kid, especially a girl. I’m talking about hacking into emails, social media accounts, kicking neighbor’s WI-FI connection, etc. I know this is bad but I’m kinda proud of it (:D) and to be clear, back then the protection of those things was very poor. High school was the time when I finally understood programming, in four years I’ve learned the basics of programming and at the end, I thought that I’m ready for university but I was wrong. The first year was all about C, C++, and RobotC, I got stuck in place for whole two years. I took OOP in Java course in one local academy, and now everything is fine, in August I will become Bachelor in Computer Science and Engineering. Right now I’m a freelance Android and sometimes Backend developer.

The good thing about becoming a pro in coding is that you don’t need a degree, there’s a bunch of courses online where you can learn every language you want, all you need is passion, patience and a lot of practice. I also suggest you to learn how the computer works, what is machine language, what is CPU and how it works, ROM, RAM, BIOS etc. I’ve met a lot of people who don’t understand why their computer or browser freeze when they’re for loop is not written right and believe me that is not good. Learn how the things mentioned above work, and you will know how to “talk” with the CPU.If you’re interested in this area, choose your favorite language, start your course today and never forget to bring your passion and creativity with you because the world needs more Women in Tech.

This inspired me to open an Instagram account and share my journey with you. You can find me as @iamacidburn.

 

Christina Gorton

Christina Gorton Interview

Most days I go by the name Mom.

But my other name is Christina Gorton. The last five years I have been a stay at home mom. This year, I became a work at home mom/web developer.

I grew up on the Space Coast in Florida. After marrying, I spent some time in Costa Rica and had moved around the U.S. a lot. I currently live in Kentucky with my husband of 10 years, our three kids, and one excellent dog.

Coding. How and Why?

In dreamland my husband and I would be living on a renovated school bus, traveling and busking for money. That dream was less workable with three kids. Even still, we aspired to find a job that would give us the flexibility to work from home or travel. My father-in-law was the first person to suggest that we learn to code. I didn’t entertain the idea at first because I never thought of myself as technical. I listened to a CodeNewbie podcast about an organization called freeCodeCamp. After that, I started to think that web development could be an option for us.

Resources?

FreeCodeCamp was the first resource I used to start learning to code. After awhile I added more resources as I became interested in other areas of web development. I participated in #100daysofcode where I spent at least an hour a day working on coding projects. Many of the projects I worked on came from the #dailycssimages challenge. The challenge is on the site codingartist.io. I am a creative person and found a coding niche with pure CSS images. It motivated me to learn more advanced CSS and I had fun while doing it. I heard many times that JavaScript was the fastest way to a web development job. But I enjoyed CSS more and that showed in my portfolio and projects. Passion for what I was doing helped me land a job.

What do I do?

I am currently a remote front-end developer at Gravity Works Design and Development. I am working on my first web app for the company now and learning how to use Drupal. Most days I ask my fellow front-end developers endless questions. They kindly encourage them and answer them all. I didn’t think my first development job would be a remote position but I very happy with the team I am apart of.

My best advice for anyone considering learning to code is, do it. It’s cliche I know, but if I hadn’t started, I wouldn’t have the job now. Find some part of coding you enjoy (for me it was creative coding) and run with it. Have a passion for learning. It will get you a job faster than any one programming language.
Also for any women reading, apply for jobs even if you don’t think you have all the qualifications. Women are bad about this. I did not think I was ready to be a web developer. My mentor asked me why I wasn’t already applying for front-end developer jobs and encouraged me to start. If he hadn’t, I would still be waiting around for that moment I felt I was 100% ready to apply.

If you would like to read more about my coding journey you can check out my blog at coffeecraftcode.com. I am also active on Twitter and Instagram.

 

 

Holly Cart

Holly Cart - women coding

My name is Holly and I am from Nashville, Tennessee. I currently work in the dental field and have for over 15 years. I decided about 6 months ago that I needed to do something different. At first, I was unsure what that would be.

My inspiration for learning to code actually started with my 11-year-old son. He is very much into technology and is always showing me what his latest project is. One day, I got on the computer and played around on a few coding sites. I realized that this might be something I could do so I ran with it.

A lot of what I have learned so far has been the result of talking to others in the field that is further along in their journey than I am. I still have so much to learn! I am starting a two-year degree program in information technology this fall, but until then I plan on continuing to utilize as many of the online resources that are available to me to continue learning on my own.

 

Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed this little round-up posts of how these awesome women learned how to code! I also hope that it inspired you and made it clear that it’s never too late to learn how to code, and there’s no right path to do it! You do you!

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