Herstory: Web Developer & Educator, Commander Candy
Candy is a web developer with the mission of making programming knowledge accessible to anyone, regardless of income or gender. She runs the tutorial site CodingCommanders.com full of useful tips and tutorials to help you become a web developer. I interviewed her about her passion and start in programming, here is her story.
What was the first thing that peaked your interest in programming?
My father is a computer science professor. I played computer games as far back as I can remember. Since my sister and I loved computer games, my dad asked us if we want to learn to make them. He taught us how to make little gambling games. I got obsessed!
What was the first language you wrote in and what did you write?
My first language was Basic. The OS was DOS. I consider “The Adventures of Mister Martin” to be my first application. It was a ‘choose your own adventure’ game. The protagonist was based on my dad. I wrote it in Basic when I was about 9 years old.
Who is your biggest inspiration in programming?
Any advice for women wishing to get into the field?
Programming is an awesome career path with lots of opportunities. Having programming skills is always a plus on your resume, even if you decide you do not want to be a full time programmer (e.g. marketing, content writing, project management).
It is something that not everyone can understand and even fewer people can apply. If you study hard, you will become valuable. It is true that today, tech is a male dominated industry. But that is changing. More and more women are working hard and obtaining powerful positions in tech. Employers looking for smart people (which tend to hire for the cooler jobs) understand that talent comes in all genders, race etc. Any employer who allows or participates in discriminatory practices will get left behind. Stay strong, study hard, and don’t tolerate ‘bs’!
In your opinion, what makes a great programmer?
When learning, a great programmer will make sure to understand the concepts. Being able to write working code is not enough. You have to understand why and how it works to own that tool. When solving a problem, a great programmer will look analytically at all available options… even if the best solution is not a common choice. If you do what everyone else does, the best you can ever hope to be is average.