Participant story: Sarah
“It is critical that the people who create these technologies are representative of those they are meant to serve.”
1) Tell us a little about your life.
I grew up in Watsonville, an agricultural, predominantly immigrant, Latinx community, on the central coast of California. As a child and teenager growing up, I had serious questions about my ability to pursue higher education and a meaningful career. After completing my MA, I returned to the education industry and taught for 2 years at a high school specializing in work with students with special needs, but eventually realized that I needed to come home to be closer to family. During this time I began to code in earnest and started looking into engineering. I fell head over heels in love with coding and decided to throw my whole life and all my energy into pursuing software engineering. Currently, I’m a plant and cat mom living in San Jose, CA pursuing my dreams.
2) What made you decide to apply for Techtonica?
I heard about Techtonica from a friend whose company had worked with the program in the past. He told me it was a program that aimed at facilitating women and non-binary engineers being able to pursue careers in tech in order to increase representation in the industry. With my background in feminist studies and social sciences, I was immediately interested in the mission of the program. The more I learned about the program, the more I wanted to be a part of it until finally I was able to complete my application and was accepted to the program.
3) What are you most excited to learn while at Techtonica?
I’m extremely excited to be learning the PERN stack. I can’t wait to be able to leverage the power of these programs to be able to create full-fledged applications that people can interact with, learn from, and use for their own growth. I’m also extremely excited to learn more about pair programming and working with a team to create projects cooperatively.
4) What do you want to contribute to or change about the tech industry?
I want to contribute to the representation of Latinx people in the tech industry. I want to inspire other Latinas to take the plunge and defy stereotypes and gatekeeping to pursue their dreams. Tech is the basis for so much of what builds the world around us. It is critical that the people who create these technologies are representative of those they are meant to serve. I hope very much that I can bring the skills I learn in Techtonica and my life experience together to make this happen.
5) What’s your dream project?
My dream project is something that assists marginalized groups in accessing resources and pushing back against gatekeeping within various industries. I want to create something that helps communities that have been historically (and continue to presently be) oppressed, to rise. What exactly this looks like is not clear yet, but I have faith it will become clear as I continue developing my skills in software engineering.