I talk a lot about my superficial side interests here. After all, this is a beauty blog! But most of my day, whether it’s surprising to you or not, is spent working as a software engineer.
I got into software and programming and computer science relatively late in the game. I didn’t even consider it as an option and I wouldn’t have studied it at all if I didn’t need to complete an introductory CS course to complete my math major in college. Once I did, though, I found that writing software is fascinating and knew I wanted to pursue a career in technology almost immediately.
I was always interested in math and science, I loved puzzles and mysteries and creative thinking. Programming is the best combination of all of those things, so it seems like I should have been drawn to it early on, but there are a few reasons why I wasn’t interested at first.
- It’s intimidating. Programming is portrayed in the media as extremely difficult, and programmers are usually shown as geniuses who can do insane things in no time at all. The reality is: programmers are just people, and reading and writing code is something that I honestly believe anyone can do.
- It’s boring. Getting into the nitty gritty of coding gets pretty technical, and even I feel my eyes glaze over at certain points, but most of it is incredibly stimulating. Especially now that we are at a point where technology is rapidly evolving, there are many high-level programming concepts that you probably use or see every day without even knowing. What I love about writing software, is that pretty much every industry and every field has software needs, meaning you can work for any sort of company anywhere in the world writing code. These applications are where you really see the power of engineering.
- It’s for boys. This never really bothered me as much, but to a certain degree, I wanted to do what my girlfriends were doing and none of them were spending their free time writing code. My math classes were also dominated by men, which can feel isolating, like you’re doing something you shouldn’t be. I can’t stress enough how untrue this is! If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my adult life, it’s not to let what anyone else thinks get in your way.
This week is Engineers Week, a week dedicated to getting kids interested in engineering. Girl Day, the 25th, is a special day devoted to showing girls the creative side of engineering and inspiring them to pursue engineering career paths.
First, if you are at all interested in learning more about technology and programming, it’s not too late! There are plenty of resources, many of which are completely free, where you can get your toes wet with coding and software. There are so many opportunities for part-time or independent study. My best advice would be to find someone, anyone you know who works in tech, and just reach out to hear about their experience and where you should start.
Second, we all have nieces or neighbors or friends with daughters. We should consider how we talk to girls about technology, encourage them to study engineering if that’s what interests them, and break away from the stereotypes or preconceptions about software and computer science being for boys, or being too hard.
Currently, only 12% of the nation’s engineers are women, and more than half of girls in grades K-12 say they do not consider careers in science, technology, engineering or math. Misha Malyshev, Teza Technologies CEO, works with partner nonprofits to increase educational opportunities and encourage young women to pursue STEM careers. February 25th is Girl Day and is an opportunity to teach girls about the difference they can make in the world as an engineer or STEM professional.
I’m very passionate about technology and coding being for anyone and everyone. If you’re interested in learning more about my journey, feel free to send me a message or leave a comment!