Myisha Kinberg: Creating a Community of Code

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“Pick your favorite hobby and have that be your job.“ — Myisha Kinberg

Meet Myisha Kinberg, a graduating high school senior from Ann Arbor, Michigan. Myisha first fell in love with technology when she learned how to make movies using her computer. She hopes to use computer science to spread diversity and create community.

Read more about Myisha in our Q&A below.

Q&A with Myisha Kinberg:

What does being part of the Girls Who Code movement mean to you?

Girls Who Code gave me the kind of education you can’t find in a classroom. Not only was I taught how to program using multiple languages, but I was given the opportunity to talk to women who have successful careers in the field. Girls Who Code made me understand that computer science isn’t just about 1’s and 0’s, it’s about combining your interests with technology to better the future.

Were you always interested in computers?

I was 12 or 13 when I was first allowed to use a computer. I loved using computers to make slideshows with movies. The first film I made was when I was 13 for my Bat Mitzvah, and it was about what it’s like to be black and Jewish.

What is it like?

I live in Ann Arbor, MI and the temples here are not very diverse; my sister and I were the only black girls in the temple. I became interested in learning more about Judaism when my sister and I went to a multi-racial network retreat. That lead me to go to Israel when I was in 9th grade.

It’s becoming more common to find black Jews. I’m currently a TA in the religious school at my temple and there are a few black students. I want people to find their community within Judaism because I would have liked to have more of a community growing up.

You’re planning to study computer science in college. What type of career do you want to have?

I want to be a web developer or work in some other aspect of computer science! I’d like to work with small companies that have large employee-bases of women, like Girls Who Code and Black Girls Code.

What interests you about large female employee populations?

Women have fresh ideas and embrace diversity. It’s also more comfortable to be in an environment with a lot of female employees.

What’s the hardest part of being a girl who codes?

The hardest part is not being afraid to ask the guys in my class for help since I’m the only girl.

Why do you think it’s important to teach girls computer science?

It is so much fun! For example, if you have a talent or a craft, you can use code to create your own unique website to broadcast it! With the technology field growing so fast, there are a lot of opportunities for women to get into coding. Finally, women are just as smart as men and can excel at the same things they excel in.

Has coding made you feel more confident?

In my computer science class last semester, the final exam had no restrictions so I was able to work with my classmates — all men — on it. I was the only student in the class who figured out a question about HTML, and it felt great to have all of the students in the class asking me for help. They weren’t talking to me because I was a girl, they were talking to me because I was a computer scientist who figured out the answer to a problem they all had.

Is coding creative?

It’s really creative because there’s so much you can do with it! No one’s project is going to look the same.

What advice would you give a girl to inspire her to learn to code?

With computer science, there are so many things you can do! Pick your favorite hobby and have that be your job. You can be part of the future environment of technology.

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