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Kelly Vaughn
Kelly Vaughn

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Nevertheless, Kelly Vaughn Coded

I began/continue to code because...

I'm a developer, business owner, manager, entrepreneur, and all-around badass female in the computer science world. (Am I allowed to call myself that? I just did, so I guess it's too late to turn back now.)

I've been building websites as a hobby since I discovered I could create my own guild on Neopets when I was about 11 years old. (I still believe these were the best years on the internet.) Although I'm now being paid to code, I still very much think of it as a hobby. I love the challenge that comes with coding a unique design or complex feature. The more complex, the more fun I have.

While I've dabbled in various languages over time, my favorite place to be is in the frontend, doing custom theme development for Shopify. It's a particularly fun niche because my code is directly helping others launch and grow their own business. I've been working solely on Shopify stores for the past three years and change, and I absolutely love it.

I want to brag about...

My biggest accomplishment to date is starting a female owned and operated business called The Taproom Agency. What started as just me freelancing is now an agency utilizing the skills of 7 incredibly talented women to help entrepreneurs launch their own businesses. Learning how to run a business and manage others has been a challenge, but one I definitely welcome.

It was never intentional to have a team only consisting of women, but I'm so glad it worked out that way. In a crowded world of agencies, this single fact (aside from the great work we do) really helps us stand out. As an added bonus, not only do I have the opportunity to work with the women who make up The Taproom Agency - I get to work with so many other women (and men) working hard to achieve their own entrepreneurial dreams.

My advice for allies to support women and non-binary folks who code is....

If there's some advice I could give to another female developer and entrepreneur, it's to stick it out. Push through the hard moments. They'll come, they'll pass, and then more will come. People will tell you you can't do something, you're not talented enough, you don't have enough experience. Prove them wrong.

And most of all, support other women who are aiming for the same goals as you. Focus less on competition and more on lifting each other up. Our end goal should be to get more women interested in a career in computer science. The more women who are working in computer science, the better off we all will be.

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