I have never imagined myself coding, it is something that was not presented to me as an option, but if I am being honest, it just sounded like something boys do, you know the geeks, the super smart ones who spend college and university on computer science, gamer who stays indoor, I am an outdoor kinda person and interacting with people is my sort of thing, programming was too boring for me… oh boy, I was so wrong!
It all changed when I started dating one of them, you know, “a programmer”. I realized that the image we are sold of programmers is wrong and in fact, I strongly believe it is important that girls get in on the action.
In this blog, I will let you girls in on the secret, the real reason why they are tricking us into believing that coding is a boys thing :)
1. Programming helps you develop problem-solving skills
Ok so I am not being funny, but in our relationship, I solve more problems than he does and he is the one who has a computer science fancy degree! Does it sound familiar in your relationship? Sounds to me that we, women are already natural born coders.
My initial idea was that programming was boring, but when I started learning it I found out that it was actually fun! A big part of coding is thinking about problems and how to fix them, the only difference is that you have to learn how to code the solution, and the learning process is far from being boring too.
I joke about women being better than men at problem-solving, but let's get serious now if coding helps improve problem-solving skills, why should we leave it to just the other half of the population?
We all need to improve on that particular skill if you ask me, just think of all the great women who are in the history books:
Grace Hopper: The computer
Josephine Cochrane: inventor of the first commercially successful automatic dishwasher!
Maria Telkes: The first 100 percent solar-powered house
Nancy Johnson: The ice-cream maker
Shirley Jackson: The source of all things telecommunication
Stephanie Kwolek: Kevlar
So jobs employ us to solve problems all day long, we need to be good at it too.
If engineers and programmers are mostly men, then how are we supposed to match up to them in problem-solving at workplaces, sounds to me that we need to skill up too, learning to code makes sense for us girls.
2. Having A Flexible Lifestyle Required Two Of Us To Be Flexible
Coding is offering flexibility as no other industry has ever offered, fact! Shortly after we met, I got a new job which required me to move to the midlands of England, whilst my boyfriend lived in the south of England.
His Job was so flexible he could come up to see me and work from my office or from a cafe place or from my home. My job did not allow such flexibility, he could start early and finish early or work later in the evening to finish off the work. I wanted that flexibility.
I love traveling, it is a big part of my core, seeing new places, meeting new people, eating different types of foods and of course, chasing the sun! The one reason I don’t travel as much as I would like is my job!
All around the world, coders are enjoying the flexibility of working for a company in one country whilst traveling with their laptop and working from any destination, why can’t I do the same?
Believing that programming is something that my boyfriend can do, will deprive me of having the same flexibility that we both need if we are to live the life of freedom that we love so much.
3. Coding Is The New Literacy! If We Need To Be Moving Forward
Everything around us today is shaped by technology, learning to code is as important as learning to read and write.
Everything we depend on today, from the apps we use every day to transportation, planes, shopping and things in our homes are controlled by technology written in codes. Remember miss Josephine Cochrane?
If we say coding is something that only boys do, then we deny ourselves from a huge part of the future, plus with our brain power, we can solve more of the world's problems instead of leaving it to just the other half to do.
I figured if I am to take part in the future, which is clearly a tech. driven one, then I have to learn the essential skills needed to play a role in it. Women and girls have to take coding seriously otherwise we risk being left behind, this is why I am learning to code and why you should too, it is the future.
4. Change The Stereotype: Boys Are Better At Technical Stuff
I feel that this has to be changed, boys are of course better at technical stuff, but that is only because they are trained for it, they are the engineers and coders, more of them are, for now, so I want to be part of the generation that will change that.
To be honest at home, I am much better at the technical stuff. An example for you; When I was at his place (a house shared by 4 guys) the microwave and the oven clock was wrong as long as he could remember.
One evening when I was in the kitchen I had enough and changed the time. It literally took me 30 seconds to figure it out. #girlpower :)
When people ask my boyfriend what his girlfriend does, I want him to say she is a software engineer, proudly, this is how it becomes normal when people start hearing that we can code and we love to code, we kill the stereotype.
5. Let's Not Pretend That Coders Are Not Well Paid
You would think that with the level of flexibility programmers have and their denial that 9 to 5 working exists that their pay would not be that much, after all, they are given perks like flexible working hours, remote working and so on, but that is far from the truth! They are very well paid too!
It is a real skill in demand and therefore companies are paying very well to those who have learned the skill, and the more you learn the more you earn. Simple right. One More Reason I needed to learn to code to have that flexible lifestyle.
Being in a good financial place means a lot to me, growing up was not easy. I never went on school trips, had birthday parties because there was no money for that. I started working at the age of 13 on weekends to make ends meet. The lifestyle I want requires that I earn a little more, that is another big part of my reasons for learning to code.
I have been busting my imaginary balls at the same company for some time now with no pay increase and no chance of it whatsoever.
I have not learned anything new since I started, in fact, I am doing work every day that has nothing to do with what I applied o do in the first place, which is so frustrating and I know I'm not the only woman out there who is in the same situation.
So I have decided to change all that, for the past 3 months I have been learning to code. I have completed markup language called HTML & CSS learned Ruby programming language, and I am almost done with Ruby on Rail framework.
I start working on my CV in 2 weeks from now, and already have recruiters ready to put me in front of companies who need a developer.
It feels so good to have learned a new skill at last, and the process of learning to code was challenging and tough at times. Far from boring!
Each day, learning to code got easier, mostly it was unlearning all the believes that we girls can't do it, and learning that we can, just as we have done everything else, we put our minds to.