Female Programmer in a Technology World!
How It All Began....My Life Dream of Working in the Technology World
From the time I fixed my first REAL computer problem, you could not keep me off the computer. I wanted to learn more! It was back in 1997 when my parents dinosaur-of-a-computer decided it wanted to shut off the mouse and the screen go completely black and white. We honestly have no clue how this could have happened. We were not messing with any of the settings or anything. Computers can be weird creatures waiting to mess with your mind! I decided to give it a shot and try to fix it with what little knowledge I knew at the time. The mouse wouldn't work so all I had was the keyboard to do everything with....yes that was a pain. Just by playing around with it for a few days, a miracle happened! After I did what I could, everything was back up and running again with no problem! From that day forward I knew that I wanted to go into the world of computers!
What was next in this long journey of mine?
Always Starts with Education!
SCHOOL and learning at home! My father worked in the computer world for several years so I had access to some computer progamming books at home. I tried to learn some of it but it was hard not having a software application on the computer to see how it really worked. When I got in high school, I took every computer course they offered. None of the classes really focused on languages until my last class. In that class we learned how to code websites in basic HTML. Hey it was a start! I do wish my school had offered classes in C++, Java, or C#. Every computer class I took, I strived hard to make an A in. I wanted to do my best and stuff all the knowledge I could get out of it into my brain! The HTML class I took sparked me to have interest in possibly doing web developement one day since I was pretty good at the HTML language. I even made a 100 on my state computer exam my senior year! I was so excited, and my teacher was as well!
Appalachian State University
My boost in computer knowledge!
My older sister had gone to Appstate and I figured I might as well to! I mean I did hear they had a good business program! On "senior skip" day in high school, my dad and I went to Appstate to figure out did I want to be a computer science major or a computer information systems major? I walked into the building and sat down with the chairman of the computer science department and looked over a course syllabus. Science, math, more science, more math......eh.....really? :-/ I smiled and told him thanks for his time then we headed over to the CIS department. After looking over their course syllabus I decided that going in the CIS route was more for me + it had a business side to it on top of some of the computer stuff. My years at appstate were very beneficial to me and helped me gain a better knowledge on top of what I already knew. From web development (ASP, ASP.NET) to software development languages (Visual Basic to be exact).
My professor at the time, Dr. Hunsinger, allowed my friend Jessica and I to take a "Independent Research" class which allowed us to do research, write papers, then submit them to student paper competition for AITP (Association of Information Technology Professionals). To make a long story short, Jessica and I (with two different papers) took home BOTH FIRST and SECOND PLACE in the student paper competition. Winning this was not only a boost for Appstate but for the AITP club at Appstate as well! Since then they have done GREAT things and winning more awards every year since! After our senior year, both our papers went on to be published in a scholarly article.
Here is the one I published:
Where Am I Now With Things?
During college and after college I was determined to get a web development job, or if you asked me I would've told you, ANY JOB I CAN GET AT THE MOMENT as long as its in the computer field! For three months almost everyday I was on my computer searching through monster.com, careerbuilder.com, and other various websites trying to find a job! I created an excel spreadsheet that kept up with what job I applied for, who I contacted, their email/phone number, and what website I found this information at. Three months later I got a call from a company looking to hire an entry level software developer job. My first question was when I was on the phone was "Is this for a web job?"...."no, software". I was a little hesitant because the only experience I had was at Appstate and I only took one class in visual basic. But in the end everything worked out great and I took the job! I am now working as a C# programmer for a great company! I have definitely learned a lot more being able to apply it to real life projects! But it doesn't stop there! As the technology world grows and things change, you must have the self-discipline to be able to keep up with new stuff!