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Women Who Reign: Carol Chen

“You better stand tall when they’re calling you out
 Don’t bend, don’t break, baby, don’t back down” — Jon Bon Jovi “It’s My Life

Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
I’m just some kid with dreams of travelling the world from Richmond Hill, Ontario. I’m a hackathon veteran with a current total of fourteen. I ran THacks 2 in October and I also helped run a lot of events in the city and teach lessons at my school. I work part time a software developer and clean code, along with linting makes me very happy. I consider hackathons to be my education and I’ve recently found my hobby to be in competitive programming(of course, work is “work”). In attempt not to seem like a total nerd, I’m also a ski instructor (CSIA Level 1), was on the race team last year and I have a collection of almost a hundred carnivorous plants.

What # would define your life journey?

Favorite website / app:
 I can’t live without postman. I like to build larger web projects with a NodeJS backend and smaller ones with Flask. And with frontends I go to React, though I’ll sometimes use Angular if I want to set simple things up quickly. Databasing varies, though it’s usually Mongo, MySQL or Firebase (and yes I’m excited to try out Firestore).

Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted:
 Can’t imagine naming a single person. A shout-out definitely goes to Kevin Pei who sent me to my first Hackathon, and talked me through countless decisions helped me out with more code than I ever could. Brian Chau for being both ridiculously smart and motivated while taking things easy (and for teaching me algorithms). There are also countless of people I’ve worked with at Hackathons, people who planned Hackathons with me and strangers who just dropped by to help me with a bug. Quite frankly, there are few people I haven’t learned something from.

Song that makes you want to dance:
 Bon Jovi’s “It’s My Life”

Challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it:
Registering for this one Java class in the summer of 2016. Before then, I had been to two Hackathons but I did not like to code. I did just about nothing both times, and felt pretty demoralized about by lack of ability with computer science. Somehow, when that teacher taught those eight two hour classes, I was able to catch on and get past the learning curve of programming.

Ideal Job:
No clue, and I’m not sweating it.

What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
If you ever feel like you’re no good, you’re wrong. It’s ridiculous how fast you can get better at something if you put your heart into it.

Learn more about Carol! Check out her website.