I am a proud mother of three amazing kids. It is my greatest calling and I am honored to invest in three little lives and watch them grow. As my second career, I work as a software engineer for Inventive Group Inc. When I tell people what I do for a living, I get a lot of raised eyebrows. Do motherhood and coding even go together?
Based on their reactions, you would think I were a unicorn. Well, minus the mystical part, it’s not that far from the truth. When I look up from my desk, I am surrounded by teams of very talented, amazing developers… who are all guys. Great guys. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Sure, there’s poor representation of women in STEM roles across the board. But we are looking to change that!
So how does a mom become a developer?
In the days before kids, I was the creative artist type: playing different instruments, writing for newspapers, and doing photography. After I had kids, I began to freelance small design projects during the kid’s nap time because we needed the extra income. It was a great gig and I enjoyed being a stay-at-home mom while still meeting the needs of my clients. Over time, my clients would request small web projects such as splash pages. What started off as a few one-off web development requests turned into a big demand. It didn’t take me long to realize in order to continue my design work, I had to include some coding know-how.
The idea to learn code seemed daunting, but I began to hustle anyway. I dove headfirst in any resource I could find: books, online tutorials, code-alongs, meet ups and code mentors. I was instantly hooked. I found a new family in the coding community. I initially thought my creative background wouldn’t translate at all, but I was totally wrong. Before I knew it, I was creating tools and apps that communicated information, solved problems and touched others. I didn’t know I had it in me.
YOU TOO ARE MORE QUALIFIED THAN YOU THINK!
What started out as a fun side gig turned into an amazing career. Many moms in my circle of friends are also looking for ways to earn a side income. Sadly, the only choices they have involve licking envelopes, typing for pennies per minute or selling obscure products to their friends in the latest MLM scheme. There has to be a better way!
Moms, meet code. Don’t be too quick to dismiss the idea. You are more qualified than you think. Many of the traits that make for a great mother are the same traits that make for a great developer. To top it off, the tech world really needs you! Technology can only hope to improve when the people building it diversely represent the people using it. Right now, there is a disparity in technology because not all parties are represented.
Coding is essential. Even if you think learning a coding language may not be your jam, I would dare say that you will be amazed at what it will bring out in you. By nature, mothers are creators. Writing code is just an extension of that creativity. Even if it may not lead to a career, the logic woven through coding produces great thinkers and influencers in society. Some of the most useful tools we use every day are a result of great programming.
The creative force behind motherhood can drive positive change in the programming world. We can use technology to solve some of the world’s worst issues: homelessness, poverty, slavery, starvation, and disease. Mothers care deeply about the legacy they leave, so why not build a great legacy in responsible, quality technology?
I am teaching my children how to code because I believe when they are older, coding will be as basic of a skill as sending an email is for us today. For my daughter, I especially want to stress that a coding language isn’t just a boy’s game and that it can empower her to solve some of the world’s biggest problems. For moms who are looking for ways to build a great career, earn a great income or just have fun, the coding community welcomes you.