Like A Girl

Pushing the conversation on gender equality.

Code Like A Girl

I wasn’t born an engineer

At heart I have always been a hardcore biology person, so becoming a coder is not something I planned. I left the engineering faculty for three years to pursue biology…and then came back. Yes, I’m probably the only person in the faculty of engineering at my university who ever left and then came back, both of my own will. When I went back into engineering, I had 2 goals in mind:

1- To learn how to learn

2- To get comfortable with being uncomfortable

Now, after doing 4 years in a degree I had never imagined I could do and sitting with ambiguity through countless problems, here’s what I have learnt:

We are not limited by our current capabilities and can always pick up new skills. A friend recently reminded me of this. I didn’t code in high school or build circuits…less, even know what engineering was until I started to study it. On top of that, being one of the few females among the many males in the class, I always felt like I needed to prove myself. I felt like I wasn’t ever smart enough, or capable of doing things as well. Even though no one else questioned my abilities, I did. Being in engineering, my skill set had changed but my mindset prevented me from feeling like I belonged. Recently, I have been paying more attention to this type of thinking and have started to question it. It is no surprise that I have found a big difference in the way I approach problems and in my patience when it comes to figuring things out. I now enjoy the process rather than dread it. I have definitely seen an improvement in my proficiency to Google 

The second, is one of the best things engineering has taught me –Ask for Help ❤

I don’t think I know a single person who has gone through engineering without asking for help. The workload certainly nudges you to do so. Why sit and dwell in my misery if I can ask a friend to clarify something and maybe help them with something else? Engineering has shown me the power of collaboration and I am forever grateful to everyone who has helped me get this far!

Now, when I question whether I am worthy of this degree I put forward all the work I have done so far. From the projects, to the hackathons and the volunteer work, where is there conflicting evidence that I am not an engineer? I did the courses all the ‘engineers’ were able to do and solved all the same problems. Now, I have stopped judging myself for who I was, but have started to recognize who I have become from my experiences. I know I have a long road ahead of me as I am about to start my career, but now I have the unwavering support and confidence from one of the most important people in my life- me.

I wasn’t born an engineer, but I became one.