Every time someone asks me what I do for a living, I just casually say “I work in Computer Science” which is true but not very specific.
From that sentence, two types of people commonly stand out. Those who want to know more (usually boys) and those who don’t want to hear anything related to tech (more specifically girls). And every time I have the same feeling of being judged like this isn’t a legitimate thing for a girl. I’m very conscious about everything so maybe that is just me.
Being a creative
Ever since my early years, I never thought of myself as a creative. In fact, I pretty much have zero imagination when it comes to inventing stories (I dreaded that kind of essays) or drawing. But oddly, I surely love interior design & web design, and I believe these are creative things.
In the field of interior design, I can’t say that I’m a creative in terms of DIY but more in imagining how a room should look like. And in terms of web design, I actually know my way around Photoshop and always did my own website designs.
So in a sense, maybe we can say I am a creative after all, the techy kind. Also, I’m always thinking about new projects and how I can give them life. I swear, if I had the time I’ll put up a billion websites (okay maybe not that many).
Coding doesn’t put you in a box
If you don’t know the difference between web design and web development, just remember that the two are linked.
Web design is more about designing things in Photoshop (or another graphic design software) and eventually doing mock-ups, while web development is more about integrating the design and coding the different interactions between the website and the user. If you’re interested you can read more on the subject in this article by Xomisse.
Anyway, my point is, doing web development as a girl is not so different than any girl being creative in another field. While you could be learning the techniques of painting, sewing or even music, I chose to learn the techniques of code.
Today I’m grateful that I know how to code because I can experiment more things with my blog, while constantly learning new things at work (technologies evolve fast).
All in all, I think whether you like code or not is more of a nature rather than being a tomboy. What I mean is, this is not a field entirely designed for men. I’m an introvert, and as Susan Cain explains in Quiet, quiet and high sensitive people generally just enjoy solving complex problems, and for me, developing is focusing on a special matter to make things ergonomically and functionally work on a website.
In any case, I’m the living proof that a girl can code with her lipstick on!
Is working in a men-driven (or women if you're a guy) environment something you deal with as well?