GirlGeek of the Week
Growing up I never knew what I "wanted to
be." As a freshman at the University of Connecticut I declared Biology
as my major only because of my love of animals. I switched schools
twice more and declared Psychology as my major in the beginning of
my junior year. During this time my older sister gave me her old computer,
a 10 MB DOS something or other that couldn't even run Windows 3.x.
I was able to email her and muck around in the MUDs. This was at the
time when the WWW was just born and most people said "Inter-what?"
bought a new computer, a PowerMac. Because of the fun I had with
my computers and a positive conversation I had with a female Computer
Science professor at my school, I decided to change my major to
Computer Science. I knew I was good at BASIC and at Calculus, but
I was still unsure that Computer Science was for me. Then I took
a Visual Basic course, bought a Windows95 machine, and I fell in
love. I knew then that I had finally found "it" -- something I really
enjoyed doing. Shortly after I finished the Visual Basic course,
that same professor hooked me up with my first computer Visual Basic
programming job. It's been programming of one type or another ever
did you first discover your love and/or obsession with computers
to what I've already mentioned above, I'd like to say that it took
a long time for me to finally get the idea that computers were something
that I was good at. If I didn't have a sister who was setting an
example for me and supporting the idea, I think it would have taken
even longer. I just didn't picture myself in the field because,
before the Internet came along, I pictured computer engineers as
men who were locked up in a tiny white lab room, with florescent
lights and dinners, making back up tapes. Thank God I was wrong.
Too bad that was the impression I had because no one had encouraged
or told me differently in high school.
do you earn a living?
Up until this month I was working full time as
a Perl programmer using Oracle as a back end and a browser for the
front end. I created dynamic and customized web pages targeted at
my company's client's customers, capturing important marketing information
in the process. Right now I've taken a break from this to finish
up my last semester towards my B.S. degree in Computer Science.
I've been on the grueling "ten year plan" because I've been taking
night classes part time. I also was just invited to join Alpha Sigma
Lambda in recognition of my part time status and high GPA. I'm really
looking forward to graduation and on that note, I'm available for
contract work if anyone is interested (shameless plug, I know) firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you consider yourself a Geek?
don't think I look like your stereotypical geek, but when I catch
myself using computer lingo, like "deleted" and "edited" in everyday
life conversations outside of work, I have to laugh because I really
have become a geek. It's a good thing, it's in style now.
is your favorite Website?
I don't have a favorite Website. In fact, I rarely
visit a site more than a few times with the exception of a search
engine because I just don't have the time to surf lately.
do you do when you are not working?
to play around with photography. I like to "paint" on the computer
in Painter and Photoshop. I like billiards, although I haven't played
in a while now. I'd rollerblade more often if I fell down less.
I think when I have the time, after graduation, I'd like to be a
positive example for other young women by volunteering to talk or
teach at local high schools and maybe participate in a program of
"adopting" a high school student at work for a day. I have run into
very few women programmers and I'd like to do something about that
in my own small way. What my sister did for me was in a sense say,
"I did it, you can do it." And now I'd like to say that to other
young women. "I did it. You can do it."