Hello Dev.to and all the folks in here! For several months now, I've been meaning to start blogging here. And finally, over a half year of living and working remotely, I've got my rubber ducks in a row, and I've put together this introduction post.
This is a bit of a random introduction of me, but this is who I am. Nice to meet you all!
I learned to knit at the age of 7. After that I tried bobbin lace, crochet, sewing, felting... Anything and everything our Finnish school system taught us, and then some, from magazines, community college courses, craft fairs, etc...
Nowadays I sew most of my own clothes (shirts, blouses, underwear and dresses), and would like to sew even more (pants are so darn difficult!). I'm also always knitting something, especially during remote video calls, when I need to stay focused and follow the conversation.
I’m always comparing programming to handicrafts because I just see too many similarities, and cannot stop seeing them. (I'll definitely be writing about these similarities in here!) So if someone in your life knows handicrafts (any type of them really) and would like to learn programming, forward them to my content (this blog, my Instagram etc) and let’s see what happens!
And oh, during the two last years I've been very into e-textiles, electronic textiles, that is! It's been wonderful to be able to sew circuits (conductive thread, micro controllers and LEDs) into my clothes, and then program them to shine in colors and the intensity that I want!
I had a bumpy start with programming. Although I had the privilege of attending my first ever programming lesson when I was a teenager, the fact that the teachers didn't know how to teach something totally new to a girl who was used to A++'s and had an extensive knowledge on every other school subject, the lessons left me paralysed with uncertainty, shame and guilt for not learning this stuff as quickly as some other people, who knew a little more of the basics than I did. [Imagine if I had been used to C++'s, then I would have totally had the brains for programming. [And yes, pun intended.]]
Although I passed the high school programming courses, I felt like I could "never really like this topic" because some of the boys in my class knew this better (and teased me about it). Therefore, at university, I only did the absolute minimum when it came to programming. If there was a group assignment that was related to programming, I didn't volunteer to participate (although I would have wanted to learn!). I didn't take any advanced courses because I had worse grades in programming than in other subjects.
After graduating uni, I was hired as a UI/UX designer into a small start up. Turned out, that they had a major bottleneck in turning designs into web app code, and somehow I found myself asking my supervisor, if it would be possible to transform my role from design, a bit by bit [pun intended again!] to programming. Turned out, it was possible. And here I am, working as a front end developer for three years now ;)
I have a sibling who has HFA (high functioning autism) and dyslexia.
I have another sibling, who has major difficulties understanding any [verbal] language.
One of my best friends is blind. They don't see anything (light, colors or movement). But that doesn’t stop or prevent us from sewing, knitting, swimming, going to cafes and movies, biking and programming together. They are better at football, juggling and sports in general than I am. And in programming accessible web applications :)
All these loved ones are very dear to me, and I want to help build a world that treats them equally. Following their life and listening to their experiences of how other people have treated and still treat them, is my source of empathy and a key to understanding that although I have also faced discrimination in my life, they have faced it many times more.
So yeah, I think and talk about diversity, equality and disabilities a lot. I also want to learn more about white privilege and supremacy, and my internalised ableism. And anything else, that I don't see and experience, because I have certain characteristics, skills or people assume I'm something.