I'm Julia, and I rarely eat breakfast.
I've heard it's the new health thing - never got the memo.
It's 9:30, and I've got a knot in my stomach. It goes away for a while, then back again at 10:00. 10:30.
Geekbot wants to know what I accomplished yesterday - which is great, except when you feel like you have nothing to account for.
This isn't a strange feeling though, we've been together for a while.
It comes around every time I'm asked what I do for a living. I'm a freelancer, a contractor, I have my own company, I work for an API company, I work in DevRel, I'm the one doing the avocado drawings. The two words you've probably never heard me utter is "designer" and "developer". If I ever have to state my work title, I make sure to put a well emphasized "junior" in front of it. People form expectations when they hear the specifics, and I'm not ready to be measured against them.
Hand me a project or ask me to do something for you. I'll try, I'll have a look, or I'll give it a go. And I most sincerely mean it - I'll set it as my goal, I'll try to accomplish it, I'll give it everything I have and some. What I'll rarely do is make a promise. A promise is a commitment to an end result I'm not confident I can achieve.
Looking back at my time spent at uni, I most vividly remember the only thing I tried to forget.
I'd always been fascinated by computers and had gone for the computer science courses at school. Soon it was time for higher education and I found myself at a technical university, eagerly heading to what I thought would become the highlight of my year - my first ever hardware workshop.
I stepped into a lab full of dismantled computers and random electronics dating back to the 70s. I was in such awe of it all that I completely missed the first ten minutes of the presentation. The daydream didn't last much longer, as my professor's words cut through it: "Pretty faces like you don't belong here".
I brushed it off at the time and moved on.
As the years went by, the pretty face has faded, I can't remember his name or face anymore, but it turns out, "you don't belong here" stuck with me.
However, I do deserve credit for realizing that no matter how down you feel, there's still plenty you can do to make a difference.
Regardless of where you are in your journey, it's always worth looking back as you keep on climbing. I promise there will be someone behind you. See if they need a hand!
Last year I started experimenting with low code, then gathering my thoughts and learnings into blog posts.
Enabling people who wouldn't open up a terminal or IDE to still build out their ideas, is extremely rewarding. It's like living in a series of first "Hello World!" moments while witnessing countless ideas come to life.
In 2020 I continue to code so that more people can code too.
It's truly amazing to be part of a supportive community that strives for inclusivity. I'm also incredibly proud of my colleagues for empowering the community to be the change we all need. It's heartwarming to read through the #shecoded and #shecodedally posts, and I recommend you check them out too.
I hope to see this approach applied to different abilities and skill levels, and I hope to see the demystification of the tech industry.
It's 2020, it's time we got rid of the gatekeeping.
Yes, code can be hard, complicated, frustrating, and nerve-wracking, but it can also be fun and rewarding. That's quite a handful of adjectives in there, no need to add scary to them.
We are fortunate enough to work in an industry where there is space for literally everyone. Let's welcome others and help them discover the parts that keep us all here!
Happy International Women's Day, everyone! 🎉