Carla and I connected on LinkedIn after our mutual connection Xander tagged me in one of her posts. It was about AI and how it shapes our thinking power. Carla wondered about what will happen if 99% of it is developed only by men.
AI, the topic of our next meetup and a topic we thus have in common. So naturally, I invited Carla to our next meetup and as it turns out she became our 700th Girl Coder! Time to celebrate our community again with a blogpost, this time about: Carla!
Why, besides my invitation, did you want to join our group?
To talk to smart, talented young women who are navigating their career in an extremely male dominated world. How does this influence your behaviour? What do you do to develop your personal leadership? How do you stay true to your own values?
Do you code?
I did program Siebel (a CRM system) for about one week :-). But I had to admit that this wasn’t my talent. I want to support the women whose talent it is to code. In this era of digitalisation we need the voices, the views and the opinions of women coders more them ever! To make sure we won’t get stuck in an era of ‘digital patriarchy’.
From LinkedIn I know you’re a feminine leadership coach. Do tell more about what this entails!
I teach women business leaders how to develop and value their feminine side, so they become more balanced and powerful as leaders. Personal leadership is developed differently in women than it is in men. First of all because a woman’s and a man’s psyche operates differently. They have different inner forces driving their behaviour. In a patriarchal society and business culture it’s the male psyche that is dominant. Women need to learn about their own inner forces if they want to understand themselves and effectively use these forces. Secondly, as we’re all starting to see, the forces in our society act out differently on women than on men. A woman needs to become conscious about the external pressure that is put on her, so she can consciously make decisions. Thirdly, charisma is developed differently. Charisma is like an energy source that we carry with us in our bodies. It’s connected to our life-force. Developed through a grounded sense of self-love, self-esteem and finding joy and safety in one’s own body. Without a healthy, loving relationship with our bodies we experience difficulties connecting to our life-force, intuition and charisma.
Do you have any advice for our (professional and just starting out) Girl Coders in this male dominated field?
My advise to all women working in male dominated fields who want to have impact and shape tomorrows world is:
1. Stay connected to other women, for nourishment, laughter and learning.
2. Invest continuously in your personal development so you become the best version of yourself.
One last random thing you still want to share?
A universal wisdom is that you should treat others in the way that you would like to be treated yourself. Should you ever encounter a boss or a team that doesn’t treat you in this way, get out. There are enough great people out there who would love to work with a smart, talented, hardworking woman like yourself!
June 9th enters history as the day Girl Code
got her 600th member on Meetup! A day of celebration. A tradition (that started at Girl Coder number 400) is to interview the lucky new member, introduce you to another inspiring woman on here and celebrate YOU. Unfortunately, after several tries we couldn’t reach the Girl Coder in question (long story short: turn on your Meetup messages if you don’t want to miss out on things like these! ;-) ), so we decided to let random.org decide who we would interview to celebrate our 600 members milestone out of the then 614 Girl Coders! ‘Cause we are very lucky to have you all! Random.org chose wisely for one tough cookie, a.k.a. @oneToughCooki22 on Twitter and a.k.a. Bahareh Amali irl. Another awesome example of a truly inspiring Girl Coder! So let the interview begin!
What is it that you like about code?
That it empowers to build on your ideas attracts me to it. When I have a cool idea, I want to make it. I see programming as a very powerful means of expression.
For starting Girl Coders who wonder: which online courses did you use?
Woo, that’s a commitment! How did you stay disciplined?
I’ve read many books on time management and learned different tactics on how to get things done. At first I tried to stick to the 9 to 5 schedule but slowly I’ve learned to manage my time better and instead of staring at my laptop for 8 hours straight, I cut down the problem into very small pieces and work on them throughout short sprints using Pomodoro clock. Now I work about 4 focused hours everyday including weekends.
What do you do for fun besides coding?
I like to dance and listen to live music and Amsterdam is a great place for that. Once in awhile I go to festivals to enjoy the beats, socialize and practice my Dutch with locals. I am also learning bass, which is great mental exercise.
Any advice for other girls thinking of changing their career to programming?
I would say just take your time and although dipping into different languages may be tempting at first, try sticking to one. Learn it well, get good at it and then move on to the more complicated languages. I would also say join coding groups, Meetups, hackathons and basically immerse yourself in the tech community as much as possible. And remember as Kathy Sierra says: “It takes 200 times of repetition to learn and master a new task”, so don’t get discouraged if you didn’t get it with the first few attempts. We learn most from our failures.
One last random thing you still want to share?
I tweet my ongoing saga, and share programming related books and resources on Twitter. If you are interested you can follow me @oneToughCooki22!
So, as Bahareh advices immerse yourself in the tech community and come to our next meetup ;-) You might run into this inspiring coder and get to meet her yourself! Also, if you’re looking for an awesome front ender to hire, you know where to tweet this One Tough Cookie!
Hope to see you at one of our next events, Bahareh. And thanks again for letting us interview you!
Now at 631, on to the 700th!
Wow, this week started with another great milestone for us: we got to welcome our 500th Girl Coder on Meetup: Caroline! And since our last interview with our 400th member Tina was so well received, we would now love to celebrate this milestone with you by introducing Caroline too!
Caroline is from France and when she doesn’t eat sausages, she drinks beers in all the wonderful and chill bars Amsterdam has to offer. She also likes to attend exhibitions, talks and events and loves to socialize in general.
Why did you want to join our group?
I joined the page ’cause I’ve always been interested in coding. I learned the basics at school, but I’d love to learn more in order to give another dimension to my own work. Without coding I currently feel restricted.
So, what do you do?
I’m a graphic designer mainly specialized in identity, web and print. I actually just stopped working for a fashion brand, so now I’m back on the market! I’m looking for a job in a graphic design agency or maybe in a fashion company again. I’m down for both as long as they’re interesting! Also, I’m passionate about patterns, which I design in my spare time.
Oh, do tell more!
I like doing weird black and white patterns, digital art, screen printing, handwritten typography or working with leather. The patterns I’m making are an on-going project. For now I’m thinking about making a series and printing them, then make a little tiny exhibition in a café somewhere or sell them through some concept stores. I still need to figure that out. Maybe it would be great to animate them as well. That’s where the desire to code comes in. I do experimental/digital work which I would love to animate with code.
What coding languages would you like to learn?
I learned a little HTML and CSS at school, and now I’d love to dive deeper into these languages related to animation. I would also like to learn Java and WebGL for example.
Do you have a game plan to learn these languages?
A game plan? Yes, I need one! There is always the way of learning online. But I think it’s way more motivating to learn in a group with a real person teaching. I still need to find this somewhere. You can of course find a lot of basic courses online like that, but when it comes to basic+ / medium level I’m still wondering where I could find good ones.
You say coding will add to your graphic designing. Let’s turn it around: do you have tips for Girl Coders who want to learn more about graphic design next to their coding?
Nowadays more than ever these two professions are getting really close and we work together more and more. So the good thing is that you can always ask someone around you for advice! A tip from me: to learn graphic design is to start on paper. Make a little sketch, think about the current problem you’re trying to solve and what you want to communicate. When your analysis is complete, it’s super easy to start designing something that makes sense. Experiment as well! Open your design software without any ideas in mind and… Play around!
Do you have anything random you still want to share :-)?
I’m looking forward to attending my first meetup of Girl Code. We go girls!
And we’re looking forward to meet you IRL as well, Caroline. Will you bring the sausages? ;-)
If someone has tips for Caroline where to start learning the languages she would like to learn. Send her a message on Meetup or make sure you’ll catch her at one of our next events!
On to the 600th!
Yay! Last Wednesday we did a little dance of joy. Our Girl Code, started only 1.5 years ago, welcomed it’s 400th member on Meetup. It was Tina! To welcome her and celebrate this little milestone we thought it would be fun to do a little interview and introduce you all to Tina :-)
Tina finished her Media and Communication studies at the Faculty of Humanities in Koper, Slovenia and is now working at a media production and distribution company in Amsterdam. Her favorite game is Super Mario 64 and eager and passionate to learn coding she joined our group.
What inspired you to want to learn coding?
One of the reasons is the universality of the language and creativity that supports it. Also, I believe women/girls/ladies who code are braking into stereotyped men’s territory, which adds to my interest to the playground. Another reason is because I simply adore my ThinkPad and I might watched Mr.Robot a little bit too much recently.
Which languages are you most interested in?
Did you already start?
What are you doing in your daily life?
Working in the office (nothing connected to programming, unfortunately), wandering, partying and cycling around Amsterdam, listening to music at least 9 hours per day, doing interviews with music artists, volunteering at community dinners, sporting as much as my computer lets me, dancing around my room and trying not to eat all the cookies at once.
What will you do when you learned how to code?
Celebrate. It will be probably a bottle of Rose or Cabernet Sauvignon. Then I might send my requests to some companies and upgrade my employment status.
If you had all the skills you can imagine what would you build?
I am not completely sure what all these languages can build yet. But I am definitely more interested in software than web development.
Do you have anything you want to say to inspire other Girl Coders?
Girls, we run this world!
Do you have advice for girls still hesitating to make the step to learn coding?
To keep it simple: try not just coding, but everything that you can. Life is too
short to hesitate. It might not be your cup of tea, but at least you tried. And it might fit you like a glove, you never know!
Do you have anything random you still want to share :-)?
I cancelled my Friday plans and rather stayed home, because I had a coding class in the morning (Saturday Morning Coding Amsterdam). And I ate all the cookies at once, of course.
With love, Tina<3