So I started reading through my blog archives, and I stumbled upon a little project from way back in the day called ADVENTURE OF THE WEEK!
From my blog back then:
For those of you who are new around this neck of the woods, Adventure of the Week is a personal challenge where you make the choice to do something big and scary (to you) before the end of the week for the purpose of deliberately chipping away at your comfort zone and ensuring constant positive growth.
Oh my gosh you guys! How brilliant was 18 year old A.Y. Daring, save the grammatical gaffe of “for the purpose of”? She was seriously dedicated to learning courage and getting rid of her comfort zone. How stupid is 21 year old A.Y. Daring for forgetting all the cool things her younger self wanted to do and become? I did Adventure of the Week for several months and I experience so much conscious growth in such a short period of time that I think I freaked myself out. Let’s bring it back, I don’t want to be afraid of my potential anymore. You should join me. I used to start a new adventure every Monday. Today is Wednesday. That’s OK. This week, I am doing a 4 day adventure.
This week, I am learning how to code.
Actually, I already know how to code. I built websites for pocket money back in high school, and I was pretty good. But I haven’t written a single line of code since 2009 and that’s changing this week.
I did a little bit of research (i.e. spent 20 minutes on Google) to find the best low cost curriculum for learning computer programming. I eventually (i.e. very quickly) decided upon Codeacademy because they were very highly rated (i.e. my Facebook friends liked it, and the program is free). The quick and dirty on them, from their website: “Codecademy is a team of hackers working hard to build a better way for anyone to teach, and learn, how to code.” Essentially, it’s a really fun and interactive platform for learning how to code, and neither TechCrunch nor The New York Times can seem to stop talking about how great it is.
They have 7 basic learning units.
I’m going to do them all in 4 days.
The fun part is that I have absolutely no clue how long each unit is designed to take.
This is a big and scary world for me, because it’s been 4 years since I last dedicated myself to learning code. For those who aren’t familiar with the conversion formula, four Earth years is actually 1,500 Internet years. I am basically starting all over again and I have no idea what to expect with the new internet. What I do know is that the new internet is significantly meaner and hostile towards women than it was back in 2009, particularly towards women who are new to the tech world. Men who just started learning code are generally regarded as learning a great skill. Women who just started learning code are generally regarded as nerd poseurs who are only doing it to find a husband that works at Google.
It almost makes me hesitate to even learn more highly technical skills, because skill building sans supportive community is difficult and none of my friends are particularly technical. That’s why this new endeavour is so far outside my comfort zone. This is the world I’m venturing into:
“ MEN invented the Internet. And not just any men. Men with pocket protectors. Men who idolized Mr. Spock and cried when Steve Jobs died. Nerds. Geeks. Give them their due. Without men, we would never know what our friends were doing five minutes ago.”
This was the first paragraph of an op-ed piece in the New York Times in response to how bad sexism is in the tech industry. Yes, you understood that correctly. This response to sexism is that men created everything, so the sexism makes perfect sense. Boing Boing had the best commentary on the whole thing.
For the record, when I was in the 7th grade, I told my entire class during a “getting to know you” exercise that my favourite shows were Yu-Gi-Oh, Pokemon and Beyblade. Every single person laughed at me and I cried into my deck of Yu-Gi-Oh cards about it later on while InuYasha played in the background. I was the nerd girl. I still am the nerd girl. I built the computer I’m typing this on. I sure didn’t get any positive attention from it back then and I still don’t get any now. Nor should I feel the need to prove my nerd credibility to the internet, but that’s the kind of world we live in.
I’d better get to work, eh?