As a career changer from the female-dominated education profession to the male-dominated tech sector, I was initially apprehensive about gender perceptions and finding a sense of community in tech. Several women shared their experiences with frequently being talked down to and other socially upsetting work environments, which in their cases were gender-motivated though that is not always the case. It is also jarring to abruptly find myself in situations where I’m one of the only women in the room, if not the only woman at an event. This is not inherently bad, but it can significantly impact the dynamic or direction of a project.
Participating in female-oriented tech events has helped me build a sense of community around navigating issues we face as underrepresented demographics. It has also directed me to invaluable resources in my own development as a programmer. For example, I recently received the following email:
“Congratulations! Women Who Code has chosen you to receive a free year of full-access membership to A Cloud Guru. We value your membership, and appreciate the leadership that empowers this generation of engineers with the skills to advance their careers.”
I had applied for the scholarship under no pretense that I’d be one of the women selected. This news led to an increased focus on cloud development platforms in general, which I believe to be one of the factors that now sets me apart as a programmer. The tutorials available are varied, practical, and engaging. Since I am studying for the Data Engineering on Google Cloud Platform through a Google-produced series of courses, my interests in the A Cloud Guru (ACG) offerings have been mostly Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure courses. They offer a range for each platform that encompasses complete beginners and builds through advanced specialization certification preparation coursework, each with targeted tips to help those that plan to take the Amazon/Google/Microsoft exams.
While the registration fees for these exams are not in my budget at my current salary, I feel that the direction and instruction these courses offer has been more than worth the time I am investing in them. Thank you, A Cloud Guru, for the excellent site and thank you, Women Who Code, for directing me to this scholarship opportunity!