Conversation with Kalina Edwards- Women In Tech

Finally Saturday Morning

This is one of the stories of women in technology which I would like to share. I do not want to call them interviews, as they are conversations about topics that interest both parties.

What many of us think of doing on a Saturday morning is to sleep in, rest and start to enjoy the weekend.

This is not the case for Kalina Edwards. Early on the morning of August 20th we were having a tele-conversation about code and life.

I heard about Kalina Edwards through a retweet. This included a video which she had of herself and what tips she was sharing about going to tech interviews. This caught my interest since Kalina happens to live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Kalina chose to start a YouTube channel back in November 2015 which began with her documentation on coding for an hour a day. This is something which I have been wanting to do, but I have not been consistent on sitting down everyday.

HOUR OF CODE

So I wanted to find out how has she been doing with her hour of code per day since November and are there any suggestions she would like to share.

In the beginning she was making sure she would sit for at least an hour a day. The YouTube channel is a way of her sharing her coding journey, but it has now also become as a way to motivate her viewers on following their own path.

Kalina shared that she had attended ITT and took programming courses there. She was going to school and working full time which caused her to get on a schedule. So programming for a day now, is part of her daily schedule.

She is currently at least getting up every morning to sit for a minimum of 30 minutes to code. This 30 minutes gives her a good start to her day, and she feels like she has already accomplished something before walking out of her door to go to work. On most days Kalina will go back home and code for a couple of hours; that is usually depends on what she is working on.

Key point I took: Get it into your routine. Once you have something you want to do as part of your day it will become a part of you. You will not have to think about it and it can potentially not be seen as a chore, task or work, but as part of life.

TOOLS SHE IS USING TO LEARN

After learning that Kalina took some courses at ITT I asked if she could share what has helped her learn how to code, any tips, or tools she wants other to know.

Kalina did want to share that she would want schools which are teaching programming courses to focus more on the programming and coding part. The papers, essays and readings that have to be done do not feel as useful as doing a hands on project, with actual code. Kalina does believe that it is important to know things about the internet, and the history of tech. BUT to write essays on what WWW stands for is not something she expected.

So, for anyone that is reading this and if you have taken a class. Was the programming class a good learning experience or where you focused on getting the assignment done right, fast wanting to get a good grade? Are programming classes a good way to learn how to do it?

Now to happy thoughts. Kalina has found free resources which she shares on her YouTube channel and gives her feedback on them. So far TeamTreeHouse has been her favorite way to learn. Kalina loves the how the information is given in detail, explained well, and doing hand on activities makes programming easier to understand.

Right now she is starting to work on learning some Javascript which she wants to use to update her projects and personal website.

Find out how you learn and use it. Not everyone learns the same way. It can be through classes, free, expensive, boot-camps etc. If one way does not work and you want to learn it, TRY another way.

OBSTACLES WITH YOUTUBE & THE VIEWERS

I am personally not an extrovert which will be filming and sharing their life with anyone and I find that doing videos would be challenging for me. Kalina expressed that she likes videos and has had multiple channels throughout the years. I asked Kalina if she had any obstacles, or challenges with doing videos so far.

The first challenge was to do a video. It became a loop on watching videos on how to make a video. So she just stopped watching and chose to make it.

The other challenge she has encountered are with some viewers and their comments. They can be interpreted differently but she thinks that her viewers just want to make sure that she is legit. There are some people which may expect the person in the video to be perfect, but that is not how things work.

At times she may say she wants to do something, but changes her mind. If this is the case she does tell her viewer why she is changing or not doing something she had mentioned earlier. In short

“Life Happens”

There may be somethings that we are uncomfortable or unsure of doing. We will not know the true outcome until we actually try to do it instead of just thinking about it.

ADVICE TO ANYONE READING THIS

To close our lovely conversation and knowing that there are regular women out there working in the technology field. I asked her if there were any closing thoughts for women or anyone else which may read this.

To not compare yourself with someone else’s journey. This can avoid you from feeling off or like you are failing at what you want to achieve.

I have already committed myself to letting whoever reads this that I am working on learning how to code. I think it’s neat that Kalina is sharing her story through video. I may try this soon. (Once I stop watching videos about making videos :) )

Check out Kalina’s channel