Education inspiration Programming Reflections

Geeking Out and Getting Happy

Leaving Town
Credit: flickr / Rob Sheridan

You might have noticed that last weekend, I overhauled the design on my blog. I felt that it was time for a change, and it’s one that is related to a change in attitude that I’ve had of late.

One of the things I’ve changed is my tag-line. It’s now:

Cate extends Human implements Programmer

Good coding practice would suggest the use of generics here, so:

Cate<T extends Profession> extends Human

Or, better, through dependency injection – because I don’t think Programmer is determined at instantiation, and also for reasons of testability. But, well, that’s a lot more code. And as entertaining as this debate has been with my geekier friends, that’s not what this is about.

Here’s what it’s about. I’m a geek. And I’m OK with that. I’m done pretending that I’m not. I have subscribed to xkcd, and I don’t always get it, but mostly – I do. It’s hilarious and adorable and awesome.

For years, I’ve been pretending that I’m not a geek. It started in my first year of uni when I was in computer science by accident and it seemed like the compsci boys (many of whom were very much like the stereotype) discounted me for being a girl. I preferred to be feared than patronized. Rapidly I discovered the easiest way to scare a nerd. It is a short skirt or a tight/low-cut top. So that’s what I wore. Now I’m no longer 18, or a size 4, I tend to scare with high-impact sports instead, specifically kickboxing.

Anyway, I got sidetracked into this place where I thought not being geeky was what differentiated me. Not my programming skills. Not my work ethic. Not that I read widely, and voraciously. Not my creativity.

No, it was my fashion sense and my ability to pass for a non-compsci. Wow, that’s a low bar!

Instantiation would be: Cate cate = new Cate(). By Programmer not determined at instantiation, I mean that I don’t think that’s the only thing I could be. I don’t necessarily think I will be a programmer forever – maybe I’ll go into Project Management, or User Experience, or maybe I’ll become a Data Scientist. The thing is, I don’t know. And that’s OK. It doesn’t matter that I don’t know what I’ll be doing in 5 years, that I don’t know what I’ll be getting excited and passionate about. Hell, I don’t know where I’ll be living and horrifying as that may seem to some people – it’s absolutely fine by me. It’s part of the adventure.

What I do know, what I’m 100% clear on, is what I want to do next. I want to code. I want to create. I want to program a smarter, and happier planet – one line of code at a time. I want to be part of a team that makes software that makes people’s day a little brighter, a little easier – a little better. I want to inspire other girls to want to do the same.

Lofty dreams. Big goals. I may not meet them, but hey – I’m a dreamer. And a geek.

Credit: xkcd

I’m really sorry if you happened upon my blog on Sunday – I had to disable caching and made a number of alterations to the theme, it might have looked a little random! If you subscibe to my RSS, I’m really sorry about the old posts that were sent out again on Sunday – this is because they were originally imported from my old blog so when I had to make some minor modifications to work with the theme they got sent out again. I’m going to try and work out a better way so that I can make the adjustments I need without spamming people – if anyone knows how to stop this happening, please let me know!

My friend Chris Olson created a new header for me, which I’m really happy with. Check out his site for more of his design work!