Like A Girl

Pushing the conversation on gender equality.

Code Like A Girl

You are enough — what I learned from a summer of breathe. code. love.

This past summer, I committed myself to becoming a better engineer. I also decided to seriously invest in my mental, emotional and physical well-being.

That led me to spend my days either reading about my programming, practicing yoga, coding, or simply spending time with family and friends.

In my quest to start my yoga routine, I stumbled upon Juliana’s Boho Beautiful channel. It was perfect — most of the videos ranged from 10–30 minutes, perfect to insert into a busy day. I was merely trying to increase my fitness routine but surprisingly found that by the end of the month, I was in the best shape I had every been. I wasn’t in any particular rush to reach any sort of fitness goal but in between guiding me through warrior poses and telling me to take ever-deeper breaths, Juliana kept reminding me that wherever I was in my practice, it was ok. I just needed to be patient with myself and my body and the mastery will come. I was exactly where I needed to be.

Those words came back to me one day as I was scrolling through the dozens of YouTube videos and coding tutorials I had bookmarked — wondering, when, if ever, I was going to feel competent in coding. And then I started to feel panicked — wondering if I was fighting a lost cause. How was I supposed to catch up and learn everything?!? The list of things I knew I didn’t know was growing so much faster than the list of things I knew how to do. And that difference was causing me anxiety.

When you’re just starting out as a programmer, it can feel like you’re staring up a huge insurmountable mountain with no idea how to even start scaling it.

And then you try to Google tutorials and you get results that only seem to expand the list of things you know you don’t know, confirming your deepest fears.

Suddenly, despair sets in and you start to doubt whether you can really program – whether you are really cut out for any of this.

But don’t despair, after two months of starting my yoga fitness routine, I started to realize that while it’s good to push yourself and grow, you should try not to let negative, doubtful thoughts cloud that process. You will feel frustrated with yourself when the code is not behaving as it should. You will feel frustrated when you are simply not grasping a new syntax or framework. It’s ok.

When that happens, I let the emotion run it’s course and then I take a deep breath and remind myself it’s all a journey. I am trying my best. As long as you show up and do your work, the understanding and skill will come. Be patient with yourself. You will get there…the frustration will only slow that process down.

Just focus on your craft and the skills will come.

So wherever you are in your coding journey, if you ever find yourself feeling frustrated that something isn’t coming together quick enough, just have patience with yourself. Breathe. You are enough.