Introducing G{Code}’s Changemakers: Bethlehem A-N M.

I joined G{Code} with hesitation as my experience with prior tech programs hadn’t been the most welcoming to people who look like me. I am so glad I overcame the fear of moving forward. At G{Code} I was able to put aside my doubts and insecurities as a Black woman in tech largely due to the fact that I was now surrounded by many faces that looked like mine. There’s no better feeling than able to openly ask questions and express my frustrations with code without feeling that it would come off as “lack of knowledge”. Coming fresh out of a boot camp where I was one of the only black woman present, I can’t express how comforting that was.

My favorite memory from G{Code} has to be a moment when we were learning new material and I felt stuck. For whatever reason, this code kept running as an error and I started getting a little frustrated with myself for it. That’s when mentor Aizhan came into our breakout room and asked me to share my screen. She too couldn’t quite put her finger on it, so we decided to delete the tag in all and start over. She was so patient with me throughout the whole ordeal and even privately messaged a few encouraging words in our group chat. I also had a very similar experience with Grace who also sent me some very encouraging words as well. It may seem small, but coming from a “concrete jungle” version of a tech program, it helped me see the kinder side of tech that I had yet to experience. It showed that even in tech, human connection is valued and very much needed..

G{Code} has taught me that imposter syndrome among in tech, especially among women of color in the tech, is nothing to beat yourself up over. It’s a normal feeling in a field where little-to-no one looks like you or comes from the same life/educational paths as you have. With my experience thus far in tech, I realized that I became one to “figure things out on my own”, making asking questions my last resort because I didn’t want my “lack of knowing” to possibly be used as “leverage”, but G{Code} showed me that asking for help only leaves space for improvement. There really is no such things as a big, small, or silly question in tech.

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