I am a woman in tech. And I code.
I started coding after obtaining an M.A. in French from the University of Michigan. Many people find this career path surprising and think coding is nothing like language study. But when you learn another language, you learn grammar, patterns and logic – much like coding.
When I was studying for my master’s I had never given any thought to coding. Then, I happened to get a job at one of the research institutes at the University of Michigan. I got the job because I could read French. The project I was involved in was designed take French demographics from the 19th and early 20th century and put them into a statistical package. And it was fun!
After moving to Seattle, I decided to pursue coding. I first took a few classes at the community college and went to work at bank coding COBAL. Some years later, I wanted to move in a more technical direction and work for a software company so I enrolled in classes at the University of Washington extension. At the University, I learned some of the more technical aspects of coding that had been missing from my knowledge base – for example, Data Structures and Algorithms. After completing the additional training, I went on to work as a contractor at Microsoft and after that, as an employee at Oracle.
I hope my somewhat unusual career path can inspire girls and young women to pursue careers in technology.