Week 1

Sitting at a desk for eight hours a day for four days and doing something I have never done is literally the most exciting thing I have done this summer. My expectation was I knew what I was getting myself into. I know some of my classmates  who code and the thought of code scared me. On the other hand, I was excited because I never had a job before; As a result, I knew I shouldn’t stress too much because I would learn how to do it on the job. The reality of it all is-  am struggling like the company Uber; however, my mindset has changed for I honestly believe I can actually do this.

My mindset has changed because before all of this I thought I would never even dabble  in the STEM field after the rough experience I had freshman year (oh the horror).  Now I may not be a computer scientist after this or a coding whiz but I know my skills are expanding and I can’t wait to tell people that I code. It is actually easy(ish) once I pay attention to detail and relax. I know I am behind but I’m excited to learn CSS next week and I may be the last one to get it but I will complete my website by the end of seven weeks (on my dear ol’ popeyes chicken I will) On the bright side, everyone and the work is pretty chill.

Week 2

I see myself being a website designer by the end of this whole experience. I know that is scary right? People including myself never seen myself as a computer science geek or a coder. Now i might just end up liking coding. Don’t get me wrong it is very challenging in a scary but cool way. I still get overwhelmed when Nick or Gill talks to fast. I still get confused when I start creating my own html and forget how to start or what to do next. My theme for this coming week is to trust the process and I see myself nailing the concept by the end of the program. I see alot of social justice work with coding unlike what other people see. I see myself making an impact by making cool websites for my church and other non-profits at the end of the program. I see myself being more confident in coding and in personality. I see myself overcoming the sense of defeat and failure. I will succeed.

Week 3

A lot of people think if you major or have a career in the arts you have to be innovative and creative. A lot of people don’t associate creativity with science and technology. But learning how to code, I see there is a lot of creativity involved in computer science. First of all when I learn HTML , I learn the foundation of the website. This was honestly the most boring part and excruciating part of the website i had to endure how to do. After that I learned CSS which is how you style the website and make it fancy. I love this part because this is where the creativity comes into place. The Css is what makes your website different than anyone else’s. You can choose which colors and where you want to put the colors. I learned you don’t just have to type in the value of “blue” or “red” to the property of “color”. You can choose “light blue” or type in the value of a color through hexadecimals to find a specific color like a magenta. Also You can add features such as a slide-show or a parallax on your website. Computer Science is like math where if you don’t put in the right formulas it won’t work. However at the same time it is like acting for you have to constantly improvise and adjust the website like an actor improv and grows his/her character for a movie.

Week 4

This program is going by quickly. In the next two weeks I have to complete a mock website for an organization called Future Up, I have to make my own website design company webpage, and find an entrepreneur to make a website for him/her. The hardest part of getting all this done is procrastinating, and learning more techniques to add features to all the websites. The one thing that is slowing me down is WordPress. I am using WordPress in the user form so that means themes, and plug-ins are very limited. Iishe, my partner in the Future Up project, and I were struggling to find a theme that will fit our vision of what the website should be for our client. To explain, Future Up is a new name for Jefferson County Public Education Foundation (JCPEF). The JCPEF is an organization that mediates donations, financial support that people give them and gives them to specific school programs. They are often confused with the Jefferson County Public School Board. Because of this and their long name they have changed their name to Future Up and created a new logo for the foundation. They currently are trying to make themselves more in the public scene so people can know who they are. Being able to make a website for them is such a privilege. The executive director of Future Up, Sam Corbett, actually contacted us to make his website and be his social media consultants. When I was doing even more research for the website I realized that one of the members of the foundation is actually the co-owners of the job I intern for! I also realized that the chairman of Future Up (James Allen) is the CEO of this investment company called Hilliard Lyons.  Guess what building I’m interning in? The building of Hilliard Lyons! So making a website for this foundation is my destiny! I am slowly overcoming the difficulties of Word press and thankfully there are video tutorials if I need help on how to do something.

Week 5

The most memorable speakers are the ones who put memes in their presentation. I am talking about the women named May Marks. She is a middle aged women who works as a business economic developer at the Greater Louisville Inc. for the Chamber of Commerce. Through my internship as a website developer at Empowered, we have the opportunity to listen to successful entrepreneurs and business women. May Mark’s story was far from your normal ‘rags to riches’ story.  She graduated from NKU with a major in sports management in hopes of becoming a sports agent. That was 2009 during one of America’s worse recession. So obviously that didn’t really work out. Through memes of the pessimistic cat, she talked about how she always felt lesser than others because everyone was either working their dream job or getting married. She had neither. She later tried starting a education publication business with her mom, and they didn’t know much about investing, so that failed in four years. Up until two years ago she was living in her mom’s house, and had no traditional job experience. However besides the memes, one thing stood out to me. She said the keys to success is flexibility and not comparing yourself to others. May was so used to being her own boss but when she was offered the job at chamber of commerce, she didn’t say no to working for others. She took the job and just adapted. If you are working in business in particular flexibility is key. The market changes constantly some things might be “in” and later be “out” in a couple of years.  You also have to listen to people’s ideas. Don’t be stubborn and stick to your one product that you want to sell sometimes you have to go with what is “hot”. The chamber of commerce is a consultant group that helps non-profit and entrepreneurs more on the technology side develop their business. I want to get an internship at a non-profit or work in a nonprofit so I hope there is one in Danville, Kentucky….

Week 6

Being in this Empowered Program this summer has made me realize that fear can prevent people from doing something they possibly might love. A lot of people have a misconception of coding. I am also guilty as charge. People are afraid when they hear the words “coding” or “computer science”. It sounds scary. It’s the fact that it seems hard that gets people turned off from learning how to code. Specifically women. A lot of women in particular get discouraged from coding or think its not for them. It is not just their friends saying its hard the patriarchy of this society says ” a girl can’t do that”. Many women go for the “easier” and more social jobs because that is what society has  told them they are good at.  Like many other women i thought I was better in the social sciences. There isn’t wrong with going into social sciences but I was avoiding a another field I could possibly like even better. To be honest I was overwhelmed at first because I thought learning code will be like learning a foreign language and I was afraid of failing. A lot of people are also afraid to code because of ignorance. What do you exactly do when coding? This is the question one should ask instead of running away after hearing the word “coding”. We assume the person telling us that coding is hard is correct and do not even bother to check it out for themselves.  For me it was not easy. Learning HTML was rough. In contrast, Learning CSS  (took a lot of patience) helped me improve tremendously. I like it now especially because tools like Weebly, WordPress, and Wix makes it easier to make a website.