What I’ve Been Up To

What a wild ride it’s been. I left my job at PNCA at the end of June 2016. I had a glorious summer with my daughter — the first one we’d had together since I started grad school in 2013. I also biked a bunch and enjoyed the sunshine.

Starting in the fall I went back into web developing. I spent some time thinking about my role as a woman in tech. About how my leaving to pursue a masters in art had sort of made me a statistic. Women leave tech mid career 50% more than men. I did a great deal of research and soul searching. I thought about my own experiences, and how gender inequality might have been a factor in my decision to leave. After spending some time on this I realized many things. 1. I love to code. I have missed it so much. 2. I would be doing myself, the world, and my daughter a disservice to stay out of tech forever. Great, I took a break, I gained some perspective, I strengthened my art practice. Now it’s time to go back to tech.

The article was great fun to write. I had help from many great friends. My former colleague and tech writer Lynn Beighley helped me strengthen and polish my ideas. Masse university professor Lucas Haley and former cohort at PNCA fed me lots of inspiration and lit a fire under my ass. PNCA Librarian extraordinaire Linden How edited my piece into a finely forged  treasure.

That under my belt, I began consuming online web developer tutorials like a pig to swill. I’ve completed or watched over 60 tutorials on a multitude of subjects like: vanilla javascript (which I’m kinda falling in love with), JS frameworks like Ember,js, React.js, and angular.js, some advanced WordPress templating, git, sass, gulp, node.js, html5. css3, bash, sublime text editor (mad advanced user skills), PHP, I made some IoT projects with my raspberry pi and an Intel Edison board on an Arduino, learned some Python, expanded my PHP knowledge…. the list goes on and on. When I’m not actively coding along, I’m watching videos while I pedal away on my bike trainer in the basement. I’ve built vergepdx.com in ember for my curatorial practice and started a web developer website, which at the moment doesn’t know exactly what it wants to be in React.js. I’ve joined user groups like Women Who Code PDX, PDX Women in Tech, and Portland React.JS, although because I’m a mom, I can’t make ti to most of the meetups because they happen after school and before my husband gets home to take over parenting duties.

I am a force to be reckoned with. All I need now is my forever job. Have you seen it?

Until then, I have a couple of freelance clients and I continue to eat up knowledge.