I began coding because I kept breaking all my toys when I was a kid. My mother got me a little keyboard and comic book from RadioShack and I finally found a toy I could not break.
I continue to code because it is my zen place. There is a part of my brain that activates when I open up an editor, a console, and technical design. No matter what's going on in the world. When I have lost someone, when I'm depressed, or when a tragedy has happened in the world, I know I am honing my skills that will allow me to build something that can help people. It gives me life.
I want to brag about being a part of the first Xbox Kinect device. I got to work on something that is in the Guinness World Records. I talking to the TV way before most people and leading the team who designed the voice user experience as the Speech program manager for the Xbox Kinect User Research and User Experience team. I worked with some of the most incredible people in the world on a technology that was cutting edge.
I learned first hand how technology can start out being racist and sexist. In other words, the Kinect was not good at recognizing dark skin nor was it good at recognizing female voices. Through a diverse team who pushed for excellence we were able to fix the engineering issues and deliver a more equitable technology that worked for more people.
I lost my job last November. Since then I have been getting up to date with my coding skills. Free Code Camp became my new learning community along with other online courses. I was reunited with my love for the backend through learning NodeJS and how to build micro services. However, the power of collecting data into a tidy API is not enough so I am currently working through React Online courses to be able to build informative front-ends. Next I'll be looking at open source social impact projects I can contribute to.
- Teach and mentor even if you do not feel like an expert. You do not have to be an expert to teach some one something
- Find your tribe. It could be a meetup group, an open source project, or if a group does not exist around you or your particular interests start one up.
- Engage children Children are magical. They are more creative than I could ever be and helping them solve their own problems with some coding skills is very impactful