At Code First: Girls, we believe that hearing about other women’s success is very powerful. It gives you drive, ambition, and the living proof that it can work, whatever it is.
Last night, it was getting into tech. Sam Harris, Chloë Donegan and Miranda Hadfield told the London and UCL participants of Code First: Girls how they got bitten by the tech bug.
This was an inspiring panel, and three important points were raised during the conversation.
The tech industry is one of the most creative and empowering industries you can be in.
Both Chloë and Sam left their banking jobs because they wanted jobs that they love. Chloë found out about tech and startups at Silicon Milk Roundabout, the careers fair for startups in London. Sam has always had a passion for tech, but felt like she had to go the banking way as that is what seemed most prestigious when she graduated.
When time came to break the rules and follow their passion, both turned to tech as a space where they felt empowered, because their own creativity could make a difference. Tech also attracted them because it is an industry that moves so quickly that it’s impossible to get bored, and the mentality is to be generous, productive and collaborative.
When the tech bug bites you, there is no letting go. Web development, coding and being tech-savvy are very powerful tools. They enable you to become makers of the world you live in rather than being subjected to it. “It’s all about getting into the hacker mentality…” Chloë said last night,
“…and then you realise the world is your oyster” Sam finished. Very valid point that when you’re a hacker, you don’t take no for an answer: there has to be a way. You learn to search for solutions, look at things from different angles and realise that you can actually make the machine do what you want, rather than you being dependent on the machine. That feeling of satisfaction is addictive.
Being a woman in tech is tricky, as Miranda importantly pointed out. It is awesome, in that there are very few women in tech, so it opens a lot of doors to be one of them. But it’s also hard because it’s a very male-dominated culture (the brogrammer culture). This also means, unfortunately, that there are very few role models for women wanting to get into tech. As Shery Sandberg mentions in her famous Lean In, role models are the most powerful way to encourage women to change things.
So there is your mission, CF girls: become awesome role models of sucessful women in tech.
Code First: Girls