Volunteer Spotlight: Kristin Henson

TechGirlz Volunteer Spotlight: Kristin Henson

Inspired by a friend’s fancy art portfolio website, Kristin Henson taught herself how to make websites using HTML & CSS in college by pulling apart her friend’s website to see what each part did.

“I wanted my website to look awesome too,” she said, adding that the process involved a lot of trial and error and tons of research on Google for best practices, tutorials, and advice. “Once I realized that I could make things look amazing all by myself, I just kept learning and haven’t stopped.”

Not only does Henson, now a front-end developer at IntuitSolutions, desire to learn more but she also has a passion to teach other young women how to code and, for the first time last year, served as a teacher’s assistant at TechGirlz. She recently led a full-day series of TechGirlz workshops that introduced website development with HTML & CSS and programming with JavaScript to nearly 100 kids at Radnor Middle School as a part of its Computer Science Education Week (read the blog post).

“You could immediately see this spark of excitement that what they were learning was cool,” she said.

When one of her students started adding other CSS properties to their Dabblet page, Kristin told her about a few others that might be helpful. “As soon as she added one in and saw what it did to her page, she got so excited! It was a wonderful feeling,” Henson said. “It’s awesome to be able to expand what people think is possible.”

From her own experience of teaching herself how to code, Henson knows that hands-on activities and trainings are important for discovering what’s possible, staying motivated, and understanding why you’re learning something or why what you’re doing is important.

Henson is now a TechGirlz workshop instructor, leading HTML & CSS workshops. This Spring, she will lead a ‘Designing Mobile Apps’ workshop.

In her free time, she does mobile iOS app development and has a growing interest in wearable tech since according to her it would greatly improve her ability to look super-fly on a regular basis. The next thing she would like to learn is object-oriented programming, circuitry, and Arduino.

Of all the things Henson has learned about technology, the most important discovery has been: “The only barrier is yourself! Anyone can learn.”

Written by TechGirlz volunteer, Malaika Carpenter.