One my fears before starting to code was that it was this big daunting field of science that I couldn’t learn how to use. Throughout the years, I would accidently click “inspect element” on a webpage and then I would see all the code and just be so dumbfounded about how people create these webpages and the idea of writing 200+ lines of code made me nervous about the whole thing. But in the recent months, I told myself that I would learn how to code this summer — not even knowing that I would get this amazing opportunity. When I received a message about EMPOWERED from Ms. McClain, the program supervisor, I got so excited because I was finally learning how to code. The first day of coding was fairly simple in my opinion, but the second day was just an overwhelming amount of information to process. Actually learning how to write an html code was a long process, but with each new tag I put into the workspace I got more excited for the coming weeks in EMPOWERED. The third day of coding was really fun because I just turned off the video lessons and tried to personalize my website. I had more fun playing around with stuff and I started to get more familiar with html and css. My website is not very close to being completed, but I am very excited to finish coding the rest of it! Coding now, is not as daunting as it was beforehand and it is just very fun to learn how to code. I am just so glad I got the opportunity to be apart of EMPOWERED.
Pieces of advice from this program that have stuck out to me are to constantly be taking risks and knowing that help is always closer than you think. Vidya spoke to us during week one about her upbringing into the person she is today and about what Glowtouch Technologies was founded upon, and something that she constantly did was take risks. She was in a rough financial situation and she was looking for a job and then one day she sees this flyer of someone looking for a computer programmer. So she taught herself how to code in a weekend and then took the job — and her major wasn’t even related to technology! But what she kept telling herself was “What’s the worst that could happen?”. She wanted the ability to support her family and help her brother, who was having some company troubles of his own, so this company was founded out of need. She told herself, “What’s the worst that could happen?” In Hidden Figures, when Mary wanted to be an engineer but she couldn’t because of the color of skin, she went to the courthouse to get her right to be the first African-American at an all white school. She was very persistent and took a risk — a risk that really paid off in the end. Joshua Jacob also spoke to us during week one about his science fair project. Although I am not a big science enthusiast, Joshua said something that really resonated with me: “Help is always closer than you think.” I don’t ask for help that often because I believe that I can figure it out somehow and not “look like a fool”, but after seeing that Josh asked his mentors so many questions, that showed me that I don’t actually look like a fool when I ask for help. What I realized is that you succeed when you ask for help because now you know more than you did before.
Getting the opportunity to sit on the meeting between Doe Anderson and “Future Up” (the former JCPE Foundation) was a really exciting, interesting, and nerve-racking experience. Before the meeting I was kind of nervous because I wasn’t sure what to expect of the two parties and I wasn’t sure of what they expected of me. Although I was nervous, that was nothing compared to how excited I was to be apart of the meeting. Just knowing that this was a legit business meeting contributed to that excitement. One of the highs of the meeting was definitely listening and understanding the marketing process. I found it interesting to see how marketers make decisions. However, while we were physically apart of the meeting, there were points where I felt we weren’t actually involved in the discussion. Overall, I thought it was a great experience.
After making a website from scratch with html and css, I have learned that I can be a little impatient. I have also learned that even the smallest adjustments and additions to my website excites me. When I hit roadblocks, I play around with it and then ask for help. I am really excited to see how my finished website looks but as of right now, it is far from finished. I learned how to do cool little hover animations which is also exciting.
This week we finally got to start using WordPress to create our websites for the “Future Up” challenge. It is much easier to use WordPress than writing the html and css from scratch because of the simple work space that allows you to choose whatever you want to go on your website. While it is much easier, I do “miss” writing the html and css and I find html/css easier to personalize. For example, not all the themes have the same features so it can be difficult to work around and sometimes the components don’t look exactly the way you want it to look. But within the time-frame we have, I think WordPress is definitely the best option to build our website.
Phew! Finally done with the Future Up project!!! That was such a frustrating, nerve-racking, and amazing experience. I am honestly so happy that I got the opportunity to work on this project because it has taught me collaboration skills, time management skills, and presentation skills. I am also so glad because this was a once in a lifetime opportunity and it was LEGIT! I was kind of nervous going in but as I continued talking I felt more comfortable. I personally thought that it was a comfortable atmosphere so that made it easier to get rid of the nerves. From watching the other girls present to listening to feedback and comments, it was a very empowering experience. #BOSSWORK