Friday, January 24, 2014

UX Designer & Developer Tamara: Her Beautiful Transformation into a Maker [Guest Post][Learn-to-Code]

[Guest Post by Tamara] Biography: I studied Marketing at ITESM in Guadalajara, Mexico. I enjoy traveling and I have worked with tech companies in Mexico, China, India and US. I moved to Silicon Valley in 2012 and join Yogome, an educational gaming company, while they were participating at 500 Startups accelerator program. Then I went back to school for a UX design certificate program at UCSC-Extension. In 2013, I joined Coding Dojo’s first bootcamp and went fully into technology and development. Currently, I’m working as a UX designer and front-end developer.

‘Labeling’, the worst enemy of makers

Moving from being a “business person” to become a “technology person” has been harsh. Specially because of prejudices we have about people and careers. If you think that business people don’t like technology or that marketing people can’t understand technology, let me tell you: you are wrong.
I studied Marketing and my whole career I have been working with technology, developing technology products, comparing technical specifications and analyzing marketing strategies for them.

Making the decision to learn how to code and start building by my own was really difficult. I remember when I started my first coding class and the instructor asked me why I was there. I was really shy and I felt I didn’t belong there. Coding was for engineers, so I replied nervously: “I’m here just to try to understand technology, I want to make a landing page, that’s it.” I used to feel I was not good enough or smart enough to become an developer.

I started learning how to code about a year ago. By this time last year I was having headaches trying to make a simple app with PHP and it seems like it was a very long time ago. I have learned a lot and I’m still a beginner, but I now know that I’m capable of building stuff. I know I’m not an engineer, but I’m a maker.

Today, I still have doubts about what I will become at the end of this journey. Getting a job has been hard and I know finding the right position and the right company for me won’t be easy. But I’m happy and I’m learning new things everyday.

This is not the end of the story, I will continue searching for new challenges. But there are two things I have already learned in the past year and I want to share today.
The first one it’s that everyone can code. It doesn’t matter if you are a business person, a history major or an educator. Everyone can learn to code if they want to do it.
The second one, labels suck! I know it’s hard to stop labeling people by their career or education. But people shouldn’t discourage anyone to learn something new just because they are not from a technical career. So please stop doing it, specially to yourself. Throw away all the labels you have for yourself and go try something new.

Tamara Solorzano
Tamara's Portfolio


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