I remember the first day I was introduced to Linux. I went to a friend/mentor’s house to hang out. We sat down in her computer room that holds dozens of computers making her room look more like a museum on computing than an office. She immediately started a rant about Linux, an open-source operating system. At this point in time I did not even know what an operating system was. I was lost 80-90% of the time, however, I was magnetized by her passion. I simultaneously felt like I was being recruited by the cult of Linux and at the same time what she was telling me started to click in my head.
Linux and open source seemed to me to be exactly what I was looking for at a point when I was jobless and hopeless. My plan at that point in time was to earn a masters in either social work or art therapy. But open source seemed to me to be a tool I could use to help people, connect with a community of like-minded individuals and tech jobs pay slightly better than social work jobs. I wish I knew about this open source and technology years ago.
My journey speeds up after that. I had joined a group called the Linux Chix LA, started dual booting Mint on my computer and started attending all the tech meetups and conferences I could. But there was just one problem. There were too many job choices in technology and I did not know the next step. At this point, I was an artist who just had Linux on her computer but I wanted more. That is when I won the lottery!
Well, maybe not the lottery but I was offered a scholarship to go to an all women bootcamp called Codetalk. Codetalk is a 16-week front-end development bootcamp. The weeks I was a student were some of the best weeks of my life. The women I had the pleasure to study with became a second family. We coded together, we laughed and cried together. This connection to others was what technology meant to me. The ability to improve our connection with others and use technology to improve the lives of the human condition. Everything I wanted to do in social work but without the red tape.
As I write it has been a year since my first day starting my bootcamp. I am even more in love with technology than when I started. I worked as a Web Designer for a digital agency for a few months but was let go because of the lack of work. I learned a lot on the job but WordPress was never my passion. My projects now are Creative Freelance, Co-Organizer of Long Beach Women in Tech and I organize the Codetalk Alumnae group. My future is bright, I am learning React and want to become a better Frontend Developer. This is only part one of my journey. I cannot wait to grow and learn more.