Well, you can see from my profile how young I am, so this should be short. 😊 About 4 years ago I was in my room one day (bored most likely) and was surfing the web looking at clothing sites. I forget exactly which one it was, probably Forever 21, when I came across a page that did not render correctly in my browser. I though it was my computer, but I really wanted to make that page work for me. I Googled around and found by pressing F12, I opened up "Developer Mode".
What was all this stuff I was looking at? I probably spent a couple of hours looking at the source code and got my first exposure to HTML and CSS. By some miracle, I changed some of the CSS and OMG!!, the page suddenly looked right!
I of course thought I had changed the code on their server and got a real shock when I refreshed the screen and it was bad again.
That was my introduction to coding and something about it fascinated me to read more and start saving things to my hard drive. I made some very crude looking web pages (design is not my forte), but I got into the logical aspect of it and taught myself basic web coding.
I found out the first week that I was the only girl in the club. The more senior boys looked down on me and didn't make any effort to help me out. It didn't help that I streamlined a chunk of code to run more efficiently (I quickly found out that one of those boys had written the original code). They would keep to themselves and I'm sure I heard them make foul remarks about me.
A couple of bad remarks later, I had enough and went to the club adviser and told him I was done. My first "job" and I was quitting it. He took me into his office and said that the others felt threatened by me because as a freshman, I was already better than them at coding. I got the idea in my head that this would be what I could expect if I entered the real world of coding for a living. I convinced myself that it's a fun hobby, but I should find something else that makes me happy (like clothes shopping 😊 don't get me started on that!).
The teacher asked me if I was interested in helping him out on the back-end. It uses ASP.NET MVC and a MySQL database. Suddenly, I had another world to explore. None of the students ever did back-end work and I would not have to interact with the boys as much. I went home, downloaded Visual Studio and taught myself C# .NET framework.
I made the same desktop apps using .NET as I had done the year before in Java AWT. It wasn't too difficult and got comfortable with a new IDE and it's project structure. There were DLLs instead of JAR files and binding them all together took some time, but I agreed to be the back-end person.
SQL was another hurdle along with Entity Framework. I'm no expert, but I know how to use the tools (like builders and debuggers) to get by.
Like I said at the start of this post, my story is a short one. My next big decision will be what to major in when I apply for college. Do I go the Computer Science route and spend 4 years in classes learning stuff I might already know? What will the male/female ratio be for that major? How are the women treated? All to be decided.
As previously stated, I don't feel I'm an expert in any one subject. I can say that I know a little bit about a lot of different technologies. However, as time goes on, the number of things to know about seems to grow faster than I can keep up with. I'd like to learn some of the ES6 frameworks like Vue, React and Angular. Then there's .NET Core, SQL Server, Docker and all those pieces too.
When my head gets too full of coding options, I go to the mall to clear it all out. It's my break from hi-tech and an opportunity to window shop!