I just wrote up my piece for this month's theme on "how I got into computer science." It's called Behind the Screen:
You'll have to read the rest of the story over at the blog.
I once considered attending a local specialized high school called Canterbury. It’s an arts school, and I wanted to attend for creative writing. After all, I had won a writing contest or two in my day, so I thought I was pretty good at it.
Unfortunately, the bus ride was far too long from my rural home, so I never went. Fortunately, I never let go of my creative side, which also included a love for drama, music, and now photography.
What brought it home so strongly, how hard it had been to be a minority, is that at the time I wasn’t. Extreme Blue Canada had an amazing number of women in the program this year. There was a girl on every team - two on some, including the team I was on. It was noticeable compared to the US teams at expo - Canada had exceeded the magic ratio, at which the women were not minorities, but normal.Inspired? I hope so! Now get out there and write your piece! I'll look out for it in the next few weeks. ;)
It was different for Maggie, who was one of two women in her building. We talked about this - we had very different coping strategies. Towards the end of the summer, I floated the idea of a blog to her - the natural next step from the many conversations we had that summer. We thought that whilst you might not want to brand yourself as a woman in CS (every woman in CS I know is so much more than that, perhaps it’s like evolution, only the most awesome/stubborn/motivated/interesting survive), you could brand a platform, provide a forum for women who don’t have the time, or inclination to run their own blog. Maggie was excited by the idea as well, and we started to sketch out a vision and pitch (EB gave us a lot of practise in that) our idea to people. They were interested. They promised to blog for us. CompSci Woman was born, although unnamed.
With your help, we can build a platform, and a community. Because more people means more mentors, and more role models, and more inspiration. And that - well, I hope it’s just the start.