Deanna Gray — Overcoming Doubt to Conquer Math and Code

“Write down your goals and never give up. You can do it!” Deanna Gray — WWCode Tampa

Deanna Gray became interested in technology at an early age. However she struggled with a stereotype of herself that held her back from thinking that there was a path for her. She describes this struggle, and her triumph, in her own words:

“I became interested in coding when I was in middle school. But it took me years to overcome my intimidation about math. I had the misbelief that because I was a girl I couldn’t be good at math. It was when I began volunteering and teaching girls to code that I realized I should practice what I’m preaching, and start believing in myself! Since then I’ve realized that I am much better at math than I could have imagined. By applying myself, and not giving up, I’m able to accomplish just about anything I set my mind to.”

Based out of Tampa Florida, Deanna works as a Freelance Senior UI Designer with 16 years experience in Web Design, Front End Development, iOS Application Design and Development and more. Having her own business, Gray Graphics, has afforded her the chance to work on a number of exciting projects. She describes one experience that was particularly meaningful:

“I went to San Francisco to visit my sisters and find a UI design freelance gig, where I could work remote. I ended up finding an awesome company called Dogpatch Technology. The needed a UI designer to help them redesign their iOS app. Working on Flower App inspired me to learn iOS development. I was so fortunate to find a company with such a big heart. Flower was designed to help people support their loved ones during times of crisis. Flower can be used to support cancer patience, refugees, new parents, people struggling with breakups and divorce, and more.”

Deanna spoke about her work, the challenges it presents, and the thrills of overcoming them. “I troubleshoot bugs daily. I usually do a search and read posts from other developers who’ve solved similar bugs. Stack overflow has saved my day on a regular basis. Figuring out and fixing bugs is an adrenaline rush! It drives me crazy while doing it, but once it’s fixed I feel like I’ve conquered the world’s problems.”

She went on to talk about some of the things that she has learned from those experiences, “We are lucky to be in a field where our peers enjoy sharing their knowledge. If I’m stuck on a bug that I’ve been troubleshooting for more than an hour, and can’t find a solution online, sometimes a quick phone call to another developer will help me get on the right path. We are not alone, share your knowledge, and reach out to other coders when you need help.“

A night owl and a dog person, Deanna has a love for all animals, especially Sea Turtles, and she expressed that if she could pursue any goal regardless of money, “I would build a phone app to help save these amazing creatures. It would use geolocation so people could send a report with the location of injured turtles and turtle nests to the Turtle Hospital in Marathon, Florida and the Clearwater Aquarium.”

Women Who Code has also been an important part of Deanna’s professional journey. “I first learned about WWCode while visiting San Francisco. While there I attended a few MeetUp events that were sponsored by WWCode. The events included JavaScript, Ruby on Rails, and Phone Apps. It was so great to meet so many women in the programming field. It encouraged me to continue learning.”

“WWCode has made a huge impact on my career. This group has connected me to so many people who have helped guide my journey in iOS development, from the brilliant women developers I’ve met to my generous mentor, Craig Clayton. Winning the Udemy iOS scholarship has given me even more tools that will enable me to reach my goal of becoming an iOS developer. WWCode is such a valuable resource. I encourage any woman who’s interested in programming to join this fabulous organization and attend their events!”

In addition to being an active member of Women Who Code, Deanna has also taught HTML/CSS classes to Girl Scouts and High School students through her previous employer, Tech Data Corporation, and she is a volunteer for Dunedin High School’s Business Arts and Technology committee, where she’s give lectures on programming and design.

“Thank you so much for the opportunity to learn and grow in my career. The world is a better place because of the volunteers who power WWCode.”

Deanna Gray on LinkedIn


Originally published at www.womenwhocode.com.