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A friend recently posted the following request on Facebook:
Teen Tech Day is looking for letters from individuals working in technology discussing how their love of technology started, their careers, and just other inspirational words.
As a woman who has spent a significant amount of time in male-dominated fields (physics and computer science), I think it’s a valuable exercise to determine the origins of my involvement in and love of all things tech so that I might help young girls follow in my footsteps. Here’s a post I wrote about women in science and the reasons why I almost didn’t major in physics.
My introduction to coding? I was about 11 or 12 at the height of Neopets, an online virtual pet world, and I had a storefront for my rainbow pet unicorn, “fairychick28.” Neopets allowed you to customize the HTML of your pet’s storefront. I spent countless hours adding new colors, backgrounds, flashing animations, etc. all the while learning about how the web works. I loved the creative freedom, and I’ve been programming ever since.