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Claire Pollard
Claire Pollard

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Nevertheless, Claire Pollard Coded

I continue to code because...

Coding enables me to solve problems at the intersection of all of my passions. I've used it to do my day job and solve technical problems in engineering, for running MTB events, hosting websites for myself and others, with my cross stitching, knitting and crafting... everything and anything!

Over the last 12 months I've become a lot more comfortable with my multi-hat approach to life and am happy to be thrashing about on a BMX track, completing my latest cross stitch and dabbling with a new language in the same day. This is mainly thanks to Emilie Wapnick's wonderful book "How to be Everything" which has helped me immensely come to terms with not having "one true calling" in life, but multiple different things I love and can work hard at.

Coding is one tool I can use for good in multiple ways.

I recently overcame...

The fear of having my career move in a direction I wasn't entirely comfortable with at the time. I initially thought moving away from coding and towards marketing would reduce my effectiveness when it came to programming and keeping up with what was happening with our product, but if anything, it's made me more excited when I return to coding that I'm more productive as a result.

I want to brag about...

Giving up my spare time to help people, however small, in their achieving their endeavors: either my fiancee with his company PiBorg, as a BMX coach at Royston Rockets, as a Guild Of Makers #MakersHour host and lending my social media skills to help Peter Jukes cover the infamous Phone Hacking Trial in the UK (which lead to me being mentioned in a book and becoming 100% recluse at the launch when Hugh Grant turned up).

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

Shout about the amazing women, non-binary, fluid, trans, men or however they identify in your life. As the wonderful Tim Michin said in his UWA Address:

"Be demonstrative and generous in your praise of those you admire."

It makes them feel amazing about themselves and sometimes if things are tough for that person, one message can make the difference in turning things around and spur them on.

My advice for other women and non-binary folks who code is...

Be bold. Try new things outside of your usual comfort zone. Expect to fail sometimes. Ask for help. Use your free time to help others where possible. All of these things will lead you to interesting and exciting new places.

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