Hi all, my name is Anniina and I live in Finland. My pronouns are she/her.
I'm so excited to join the community! I've been meaning to join earlier already but got the final push once @sjarva said they had just joined. This first post is just to introduce myself, from a tech perspective and outside of it. Nice to meet you all! 👋
Before I started studying at university I had never been actually interested in IT or coding. My only experience was that my cousin had made me a website, and I edited it a bit. I had always been sure I'd be studying some field seen more "human-centered" such as psychology or media. Well, things didn't work out as expected, and I found myself studying computer science in 2011.
When I applied to uni to study computer science, I didn't even know what it meant. I had some friends who studied it and one of them pushed me to apply. So I did and started without even knowing what it is. At this point, I'd like to point out the fact the in Finland studying at university is free for all EU citizens. I understand how ridiculously privileged I am to be able to study for free, and how that factor allowed me to get into tech by accident.
So I started my studies in 2011 and landed my first job as a software developer in 2014. I had used mostly Java during my studies, and that was the language used in the company, too. In 2016, I quit there to start working in a consultancy company I work nowadays. I started as a software developer there, again working with Java, but as I was completing my studies, I realized I was more interested in data. I graduated from university in 2018, algorithms and machine learning as my master's program, and moved to the company's data unit. I am passionate about machine learning and especially MLOps, but find myself getting excited about a lot of different stuff.
So, to summarize my journey, I came to the field by accident but stayed because I love it!
Nowadays I'm one of the leaders in a community for women and gender minorities who are interested in tech. The group helps to find valuable resources, helps with the struggling, and provides contacts with like-minded people. We have organized workshops and physical get-togethers and encourage group members to share their knowledge. At the time of writing this, there are more than 4000 members in the Facebook group. Some members are more active than others, and it's ok.
I started a podcast with another community leader of the group last winter. It is a tech podcast in Finnish, called Koodikahvit (Code coffee in English), and it aims to provide information about the industry. We also speak about our experiences and have guests sharing their experiences and expertise. We have published four episodes so far, but unfortunately, because of the pandemic, we haven't been able to record and publish more. If you have any tips for remote recording, feel free to share them!
Other than an IT professional, I am a dancer. I started dancing at the age of seven I think and continued until I was 18. During the years I danced hip hop in several different groups that performed and competed and it was my passion. At the age of 18, I moved from my childhood home and had to start paying for my hobbies, which basically meant I had to stop dancing. I continued it later as an adult and in addition to the hip hop, I started voguing. As a cis, white woman I do my best in educating myself and respecting the roots of voguing. I know I have still a lot left to learn.
Some random facts about me:
- I'm not good company in the mornings. I get up right away but prefer not to talk anyone and may look a bit angry
- I know four languages: Finnish (native), English (pretty well, I'd say), Swedish (not that well but some basics) and Spanish (basics at well)
- I'm a minimalist. It doesn't mean I throw a lot of stuff away, it means I don't buy a lot of stuff.
- Sustainability (environmental and ethical perspective) is very close to my heart. I could talk about sustainable clothing for hours. For this reason, I'm also vegetarian (not vegan yet).
I think that's it about me, hope you got an image of what kind of person is writing here! You can find me on Twitter with the handle @annisalli. One last thing about me: I and my partner hopefully get a dog next year. It's going to be a Samoyed puppy, and I will definitely post (way too many) pics of him to Twitter when we get him home!