How I Learned to Code: A Letter to Other Girls

Hello, my name is Kimora.

I am a rising senior in high school hoping to major in computer science in college, and the Summer 2016 Vidcode intern.

My first exposure to computer science was in Girls Who Code the summer after my sophomore year. When I was filling out the application for Girls Who Code, I didn’t know anything about what it was actually like to be a programmer. In the months leading up to the program, I was very nervous because programming was so foreign to me.

The first thing that I thought of when I thought of computer science was video games which lead to the stereotypical image of some 40 year old man alone in his basement coding. That was definitely not what I wanted to be or who I wanted to work with. I was going through all the worse case scenarios in my head. What if coding is boring? What if coding is too hard for me? What if I couldn't code? I built up so much nervous energy before the program, but I decided to give it a try anyway. Once I was there is was nothing like what I expected. 

Vidcode intern Kimora, on the left

Vidcode intern Kimora, on the left

I know that many girls like me will be thinking the same things that I did before trying it out. The biggest piece of advice I could give girls is to give coding a chance. That one decision I made in sophomore year to has changed the direction of my life. I enjoyed coding.

There are so many different things that can be done using computer science. Computer science is not some untouchable thing that only geniuses can do. Anyone one who enjoys being creative and anyone one who enjoys solving problems can code. Do not let anyone tell you that to pursue computer science you have to give up on your other passions. It can be integrated with anything you choose to work on. It can be applied to fashion, dance, medicine, and many other fields.

Programming doesn’t have to be the only thing you do. It can be a tool. In the end, computer science and programing is not something to be scared of. Take a chance. Try coding.