I fell in love with technology when my dad and I learned BASIC together. When I was in college, I got a contract job working for a company doing optical character recognition. I used the HTML I'd learned in an English class to write instructions for other contractors. When I got back to college, I insisted on creating my own major in technical writing.
Right now, I'm splitting my time between contracting to earn money, and speaking to earn contracting gigs. I really love technical speaking because it gives me exposure to so many ideas that when I try to understand some new technology, I have an understanding of the underlying systems.
I'm excited about teaching a workshop for developers who want to get better at writing. The concepts of understanding and organizing data will make them better teammates and developers.
My advice for other women is to be visible. I have had bright pink hair for years, and a lot of people know and recognize me. I thought it would feel more dangerous, like making myself a target, but what it's actually meant is that I have a stronger network of people I can reach out to if I'm in trouble. It's really scary, because we get taught a lot that negative things happening to us are because we were asking for attention, but being quiet and unobstrusive doesn't actually make us any safer.