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I am a Woman in Tech

bekahhw profile image BekahHW Originally published at bekahhw.github.io on ・3 min read

I am a Woman in Tech.*

That means that I am technical.
That means that I am a community builder.
That means that I can give a technical talk in the same week that I mentor and MC an event.

That means that I don’t want to be put in the project management track.
That means that there are unexplored tech fields out there, and I’m going to explore them.
That means that I will get stuck sometimes and ask for help.
That means that I will be willing to share my experiences.
That means that I will tell other women about who to avoid in tech.
That means that I will know the answer or how to find it.
That means that I am devoted to growing and learning and figuring it out.
That means that what I value most is good people.

I am a mom in tech.

That means that I will not apologize when I put my kids first.
That means that sometimes my kids will come into my camera range and wave or scream or cry or kick each other.
That means that when I have time to code, I will put all the more drive into it.
That means that tech will never be the most important thing in my life.
That means that I recognize the importance of community, dependability, and flexibility.
That means that I do not have time to waste.
That means that I will not work with people who have a problem with that or who passive-aggressively comment on the number of children I have.
That means that I have specific opinions, viewpoints, and perspectives on things that most other people in tech do not have.

I am a community creator in tech.

That means that I have a community that I am fiercely in support of.
That means that I see every person as a human being before I ever look at them as a dev.
That means that I allow myself to be vulnerable because I know how important that is.
That means that I value community over competition, caring over pushing people to the very limits of their emotional wellbeing.
That means that I value growth and mentorship and teaching at all levels.
That means that I meet people where they are.
That means that I value exploration.
That means that people are what matter.

I am an ADHD person in tech.

That means that I communicate differently than a lot of people I know.
That means that sometimes when I’m really excited about an idea, I talk loud and fast and for a long time without realizing it.
That means that sometimes I hyper-focus and it takes a longgggg time to break out of it.
That means that other times, I can’t focus at all.
That means that sometimes I feel things very intensely and find it hard to communicate.
That means that sometimes I over-communicate.
That means that I value my systems.

That means that sometimes when other people are going to sleep
I just can’t stop myself.
That means that I deeply value the people who have agreed to come on this journey with me.
That means that I’m running a marathon, but sprinting the whole time--and I love it.

I am a person in tech.
I am dynamic and complex.
I reserve the right to change at any time.
I will not be labeled as one thing.
I can do all of the things that I want, and if you tell me I can’t I’ll take that as a challenge.

When I was 18, an adult woman told me, “Bekah, you can’t change the world.”

Watch me.

*This is not met to represent anyone else; it’s solely based on my feelings and experiences.

Discussion (12)

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thorstenhirsch profile image
Thorsten Hirsch

Bekah, you can’t change the world.

I hope you do! It seems like you've got your values and priorities right - even though I find it a bit strange to write an article solely about my feelings, but maybe that's because I'm not a woman. 😁

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bekahhw profile image
BekahHW Author

Being a woman has nothing to do with it. I’m a human being and all of these things are part of who I am as a developer. I am more than my code and these all play a role in that.

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BekahHW Author

I’m sorry for you.

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cat profile image
Cat

@trasherdk sociopath, much?

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masreis profile image
Marco Reis

Hi! Well, I think I could have written a post like this, or maybe "I am a Man in Tech," because it is quite the same here, except for the community creation. My kids are the priority; thus, sometimes I have to compensate after they sleep (lots of bills to pay). I did not change the world (yet). Despite that, I changed my home. It is a small step, but a step, still.

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Shawn Wildermuth

Bekah, you're killing it. I love how you want to stay in the tech. It's easy for us to assume that every developer wants to run a team or manage a division. I'd also mention that not every developer needs to be able to give a talk or even mentor. That doesn't make them lesser. But I love this so much. I'm ready for you to change it all.

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Dwi • Edited

Nice article! Anw, how do you manage to do all things while having 4 kids? With an helper? I found many parents-coders hardly finding time to code and learn with kids at home.

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BekahHW Author

Well, with COVID it’s been a lot of chaos and trying to make the best of it. All of my kids are in school for the first time
ever this year, so I work, catch up on life, and do Virtual Coffee stuff then. Since I’m an independent contractor, I have flexibility around when and how much I work, which is super important to me.

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Andrew Hedges

Love this, Bekah!!! Such a powerful assertion of who you are and I have zero doubt that you will, in fact, change the world!

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Lynn Langit

Love this - thanks for writing / posting it

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Ahuoyiza

The final words are gems! I need to frame that. This is a good read. Thanks Bekah!