I've read several #SheCoded stories by now. Some are shocking and horrible, others are uplifting. Mine is more... naive.
I had no idea that some people thought it wasn't normal for women to be in tech until it was too late and I was already in the field.
I was a very shy kid with an atypical homeschool upbringing, so I had limited exposure to certain cultural norms. Sure I saw that the tech person in movies was always a guy, but it didn't have a lasting impression on me and no one around me reinforced that as normal.
My unique situation came with an advantage:
I didn't know or care what girls were supposed to like so just I liked what I liked.
Dolls didn't capture my interest but I'd wrestled my brother for the N64 controller. Goron City needed me! I think that's why my parents encouraged me to take my first computer class with the homeschool co-op, and I loved it.
I was the only girl in the class but no one gave me reason to feel out of place. I was hardly an oddity when we shared our lunch table with both Mennonite girls in bonnets and vacation-tanned kids in designer clothes.
My community college classes were also made up of mostly men, but again, no one made me feel unwelcome. In 2013 I got my first tech job where I was mentored by a woman.
Through all of that, I never had a reason to feel like I didn't belong in tech. I still don't.
Maybe I'm just lucky, but I've worked on teams of mostly men and teams of mostly women and both were great. I hope I'm not the only woman who's had such a conflict-free experience.
Thanks to all y'all for being cool. ✌
And with #SheCoded and #TheyCoded in circulation I'd really love to see #HeCoded as well. There's no denying that some people face challenges in the field that men don't, but gender doesn't determine who's story we can learn from.