My father helped me set my first email when I was 11.
That doesn’t seem unusual now, but on the island of Guam in 1998, I was the only one of my friends who had an email address or cared about computers.
My father loved technology and he helped me build a computer from his stash of spare parts. In middle school, I taught myself enough HTML to make a simple website featuring my favorite song lyrics.
I considered majoring in computer science but I didn’t.
I wrongly assumed you had to be a math genius to be successful in the field.
In 2015, I was a mother of three working in accounts receivable for a tech startup here in Denver. When my company began hosting “Learn to Code” lunches, my interest in coding was reignited.
This led me to four life changing realizations:
- Learning to code is learning a new language and you don’t have to be a mathematician to do it.
- I was wasting time on an unfulfilling career.
- I know that diversity is an issue in the STEM fields and I want to be part of the solution.
- I really wanted to quit my job and go back to school to become a developer.
That last point was hard for my family and I to swallow.
We weren’t sure how we would pay for proper training and continue paying for full-time childcare on one income. We eventually recognized it as a risk worth pursuing and I was accepted into the Turing School of Software & Design last year.
Turing School has not only been an incredibly supportive environment, they also connected me with the James Golick Women in Computology Grant to receive funding for childcare while attending school.
Female underrepresentation in technology has been in the spotlight as more companies continue to release their stats on diversity. As companies recognize that having 10 percent female representation is no longer acceptable, and computer engineering programs start actively seeking the underrepresented, we will hopefully start to see a shift in representation until it reaches critical mass.
It’s time to open up the world of computing to everyone who has a passion for creating. I am proud to disrupt the myth that computer engineering is just for men.
I am sharing my story in hopes that it enables other women and mothers to pursue fulfilling careers, in technology and beyond.
Achieving this is absolutely possible. Coding is for women too.
Angela Lindow is currently a student at the Denver based, Turing School of Software & Design. Angela will finish her seven month degree in September and will be ready for a career as a computer programmer. For more information about programs offered at the Turing School, visit www. turing.io