A Non-Technical Girl Living in a Technical World


Living in a new city, it never fails that in social settings one of the very first questions I get asked is, “What do you do?” For most people, my reply of “operations for an IT company,” is normally enough. The problem arises when the other party also works in IT. In cases like these, they want more. “IT company” doesn’t cut it. It’s then that I am left trying to explain that we work on things like operational intelligence and web content management. Luckily for me, even though I find these concepts somewhat foreign, the other party usually understands.

While I come from a family of computer engineers (my brother and father are both in IT), my professional background is in the administrative and public affairs fields. I wouldn’t say that I’m computer illiterate, but my day to day duties haven’t required much more of me on the computer than word processing programs.

So could I go through the rest of my work life with this way? Using technical terms to explain what my workplace does but not really know what they mean? Probably. Do I want to? No. This is what led to my New Year’s Resolution. Learn to code.

I came across an article while web browsing about a new venture called Code Year started by the founders of Codecademy who were frustrated learning how to program code. The premise is pretty simple. Each week, you are sent a different lesson that will take a person of average technical skill about 5 hours to complete. At the end of the year, the goal is for you to have mastered the basics of programming. Best of all, it’s free!

As most New Year’s resolutions go, I will admit I’ve fallen off the wagon and am a little behind with my lessons. But the beauty of Code Year is that I can take the lessons whenever and wherever I want. They are pretty easy to grasp and the format makes it fun to learn.

I think in this computer age, programming should almost be a requirement along with reading, writing in arithmetic in school. We use computers on a daily basis but most of us have no clue as to how they work. Programming can teach us to think algorithmically and empower us.

At the end of my Code Year, will I be on par with the technical skills of the rest of my colleagues? No. Will I have gained a better understanding of what they do on a daily basis? Most definitely.

If you would like to sign up for Code Year, go to http://codeyear.com/.


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