This is a guest post from Alysia Davis, a TechGirlz Teen Advisory Board Member. The TechGirlz Teen Advisory Board is a group of teen girls in grades 9-12 who want to inspire middle school girls to explore technology.
When I watched crime shows as a kid, I was always fascinated with the forensic unit. They analyzed evidence using programs like facial recognition, and the cases were solved in a span of a forty minute episode.
The most fascinating thing to me was their programming ability. These people could code many lines in seconds and have a result without even breaking a sweat. Unintentionally, I internalized that expectation of people in tech careers.
Many of my peers have also formed this same idea about tech. I always hear about people not pursuing tech because they believe that they have to be a master programmer to do so. It seems like there is this idea of this secret tech society that only allows certain people in.
Just like most crimes take longer than forty minutes to solve, programmers can also take years to develop experience. However, the tech world goes far beyond a person’s ability to program. Your ticket into the tech world isn’t necessarily creating a programming language or a massive social media site.
Instead, it is those passions that you love to spend your free time doing. For me, I enjoy digital designing. I found I had an eye for detail when using Microsoft Powerpoint, and for school and for fun I would create slides with my own custom themes.
I spent hours choosing fonts, color schemes, and playing with animation. Microsoft Powerpoint is a great place to start experimenting with digital design. It allowed me to learn about the movement and organization to create engaging presentations.
Once I got to highschool, I was able to take my design experience and use it in service to the clubs I am a part of. For my battle of the books team, I designed a flier online that was given to other students at a Clubs & Organizations Fair to encourage people to join our clubs.
I have created social media posts to advertise events that my clubs are having, and I have also designed my own logos to support some of my own personal projects. I have been able to take the design experience I developed and use technology to make it into something meaningful.
I have learned that any of the passions that you have can translate over into the tech world. My advice would be to get involved and hone in on the things you enjoy doing the most. If you love to do public speaking, start a Youtube or a Podcast. If you like music, volunteer to create a playlist or even provide songs for videos.
Regardless of what you like to do, all it takes is some creativity, dedication, and initiative to land your ticket into the tech world.
TechGirlz Teen Advisory Board Members take an active leadership role in implementing programs, promoting, and advocating for TechGirlz programs in their communities and nationally. Being only a couple of years older than the audience they serve, they will provide near-peer support and mentorship. TAB provides a supportive environment for members to continue their growth and experience in the technology field.