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Sarah πŸ¦„
Sarah πŸ¦„

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Nevertheless, Sarah Coded

I've been coding professionally for almost 8 years now. Wow. That's insane to me. 12 years ago when I started college, whoa...was it really 12 years ago already?😨, anyways 12 years ago I had no idea what code was, I was starting my 4 year degree in Business Information Systems because I liked business and I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do. Unknowingly, I had put myself on a path that would be challenging, rewarding and a hell of a lot of fun!

It all started with my first Information System module, Visual Basic 6.0. (As I mentioned this was 12 years ago πŸ™ˆ). I remember it so clearly, sitting in the lecture hall just being completely fascinated by this new world that opened up to me. Then I was introduced to Web development and that was it. I was in! Four years, many late nights, fights with Java and OOP (we made up eventually!), and a LOT of coffee later, I started my career as a Software Engineer.

I almost never made that start though. I almost never applied for that course and I almost never sat in the first Visual Basic 6.0 lecture. In my final year of school I had the typical mandatory session with the Career Guidance teacher. I told him I wanted to do BIS. He told me "Oh I don't know about that, that's really hard, my son is doing that now and I don't know if you would be able for it. What else have you considered?" My gut sank. I didn't know how to respond, isn't he supposed to be encouraging? What about me implied I wouldn't be able for it? I had top grades, I was in honors classes. I was all in all a good student. Looking back now there can only be one reason he would have made those comments, I am a woman. I went home that day dejected and told my mom what happened. She comforted me and then she gave me the best advice I ever received, "you get to decide, you can do anything you set your mind to."

That drove me my entire career, it pushed me to work hard, learn more, constantly improve and get better. I set my mind to something and I get it. Hard work and perseverance. I flew through the course and graduated with honors, today I am the Lead UI Engineer and UI Architect for a 60 people organization. And I'm just getting started.πŸ™ŒπŸ»

Equality in tech looks like…

No girl or woman ever having her dreams or goals questions because of her gender.
All women being considered equally for opportunities.
No more gender wage gap!

I’m an expert at…

JavaScript, Web development, UX, drinking obscene amounts of coffee.

My advice for allies for other self-identifying women and non-binary folks who code...

PERSIST. Just keep going. It's a hard path. It's exhausting at times. But you can do it. No matter what anyone else says, keep going and you'll get there.

Top comments (1)

waylonwalker profile image
Waylon Walker

"Oh I don't know about that, that's really hard, my son is doing that now and I don't know if you would be able for it. What else have you considered?"

What an ass!! πŸ‘Ώ

Seriously you were an honors student. It's one thing to say "it's hard" it's another to question your intelegence, break down you ego, and send you somewhere less than what you deserve.

πŸŽ“ Hats off for persisting and showing him who's got the stuff!

πŸ™‹β€β™€οΈ I also drink copious amounts of coffee! I love a good local fresh roasted chemex, but won't turn down a cup of Folgers with a friend.