Participant story: Meia
“I would like anything I build to have a positive impact on the community in a way that allows them to feel connected and playful.”
1) Tell us a little about your life.
I am a second-generation Filipina-American who was born and raised in the East Bay. While I originally studied nursing to fulfill the expectations of my friends and family, by graduation I felt compelled to honor my lifelong dream to become a software engineer. With the exposure I gained from working at a large social media company, my passion for solving problems with tech only continued to grow.
Today, I participate in my communities through improv, writing comedy, and singing jazz. Starting over in a new environment continues to contribute to my drive for solving meaningful problems in creative, playful, and collaborative ways.
2) What made you decide to apply for Techtonica?
When I first learned about coding boot camps in college, I knew there would be risks involved in terms of starting over in a new career. When I heard about Techtonica, I was immediately drawn by its mission to help folks like me who wanted to grow as software engineers but were unable to pursue it by traditional means for many reasons. In reading about the opportunities Techtonica has provided for others, I studied a little more and said, “Hey — now that is a roadmap I can understand and pursue!” I’m so very excited and proud to be accepted into this program.
3) What are you most excited to learn while at Techtonica?
Personally, I feel intrinsically motivated by my curiosity to solve problems. I like challenging myself in my technical skills and then bringing those solutions to fruition. I’m excited to learn about how all the pieces connect: frontend, backend, databases, and data science. Lastly, I want to see how to apply all of these tools to produce a useful result.
4) What do you want to contribute to or change about the tech industry?
Growing up in a collective of first and second-generation immigrants from different backgrounds, I have learned that I thrive in an environment that values collaboration and diversity. Based on my experience in the corporate world, I am hyper-aware of how the lack of inclusivity can stifle the growth and sustainability of a collective mission because “that’s just how things have always been.” Although I am aware it may require great effort to change, I believe we are currently living in a time when many are questioning the status quo, and I hope the trend to center marginalized voices and perspectives only continues.
5) What’s your dream project?
My dream project would be to build a platform for performing artists, or groups, to digitally congregate in a way that isn’t disruptive when more than two users talk at a time. Performances, such as stand-up comedy or improv classes, are meant to be interactive. I would like to build a kind of tool for video broadcasting that controls the input for how much the performer and the audience can receive. For instance — a stand-up comedian may want to hear the cheers from the crowd in order to know how their jokes are landing in real-time. The audience member may want to hear some laughter in the background, or solely the performer, or the voices of specific friends in the “crowd.”
Performing arts can be healing for a community, and they should be more accessible in times like these. In any case, I would like anything I build to have a positive impact on the community in a way that allows them to feel connected and playful.