...coding is one of the coolest things one can do nowadays. Remember Arthur Clarke's saying that "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic"? So I definitely deserve the title of Robot Witch Who Wields The Power Of Computers. :) Coding is also fairly complicated, which means it makes me feel smart and intelligent (it is important to note because it's really good for my mental health).
This year, I would like to:
- finish this awesome Udacity course on algorithms
- learn more about DevOps and system administration, which has fascinated me since my childhood
- dive deeper into Python
- hopefully find my first job in IT after 10 years of working as a freelance translator and music teacher...taking it slow!
...taking part in Django Girls as one of the trainees last year. Since I was a kid, I have had an interest in programming and computer science, but until 2018, I believed it was "not my thing." I knew some HTML and CSS (even had work experience with it), tried my hand at C and Arduino (finally understood physics!), but something was still telling me it was not "real"... After finding a community of supportive women and genderqueer folks, I had courage to really engage in coding:
- I learned Python and some Java
- I made a website for a rare comic I translated into Russian: http://deathbunnies.pythonanywhere.com
- I made a tool to pick board games from my collection for a nice evening with friends: http://igolka.pythonanywhere.com
- I made a lightning talk about the latter at the PyLadies meetup in St. Petersburg
- My career in computer science is merely at its starting point, and I am not planning to give up.
...definitely less biased towards women and nonbinary people. As I'm writing this post, I feel hesitant to send it, as I often come across devaluation of beginners' efforts, and do not want to face this again and again.
In particular, I would like to see more appreciation for initiatives like Django Girls and PyLadies. Some say that these initiatives have no value because they "help people justify their stupidity." But as a person with experience in teaching, I claim they're doing just the opposite – even if someone is stupid, it becomes easy to fix if you're in an accepting community without condescending attitude.
Tomorrow, on March 8, I will be one of the mentors at Django Girls. What a cool way to celebrate International Women's Day! If what they usually wish to women in my country on this holiday is "being nice and attractive," I will work towards making women and genderqueer people feel smart and intelligent, so they can believe in themselves. This will eventually help them solve their problems on their own, without engaging in harmful relationships out of sheer need or insecurity. I will be very proud if I can contribute to that through doing what I like.