Confessions of a Woman Developer: I’m a singer and I’m a PC

When I lived in Columbus, I went to see Def Poetry Jam  where people passionately tell their story through poems they’ve written.  I’m not much of a poet, nonetheless, here’s my story.

I’m a singer.  That’s right I sing, I’ve sung evensongs at cathedrals all across England and Scotland, I sang in the Ohio State Women’s Glee Club, and I am a lifelong music enthusiast.  I was a music major when I first started at Ohio State, and I thought I would one day sing in the NY Met … yes, I thought I would be a diva. 

I arrived at Ohio State and discovered that “singing homework” is practice, practice, practice.  And, after many hours in a closet-sized room with its tiny window and a piano squished between two walls I realized practicing was not really my forte.  Instead I wanted to enjoy my new-found freedom and the life of the average broke college student … eating lots of macaroni, staying up all night, drinking lots of PBR, and not practicing hour after hour.

When I got to college, I was the on the low-tech end of the spectrum.  I’d never emailed or im’d, and my computer experience consisted of writing a few book reports with Word … or Word Perfect … I can’t even recall.  In high school, I learned to type on a typewriter.  To quote Journey, “I’m just a small-town girl, born and raised in north Ohio”.  You may be thinking I am old enough to be your mom … but I assure you, I am not.  So how did I, a girl from small-town Ohio, figure out that I could work with computers?

One day I signed up for an Integral Calculus course called Math 152C.  Little did I know that that the ‘C’ in this course meant that this course was Calculus taught on computers.  When I walked into the class I almost died.  Calculus and computers, two challenging things for me.   As it turned out, this class was one of the best courses I took at Ohio State and I signed up to be a Teaching Assistant the next quarter.

The course-style was team-oriented using Calculus & Mathematica to understand the principles of calculus and integration.  It was a great environment to ask a lot of computer questions and a lot of math questions.  It made me realize I like problem solving and logical reasoning.  I found a Philosophy course on Logical Philosophy and thought I would become a Philosophy major. 

As luck would have it philosophy majors have to take a lot of History.  Perhaps my worst subject.  They take not only History of the World, but also History of Philosophy.  This was clearly not the place for me.  I talked a lot with my philosophy professor and he recommended I try a computer science course … what?  Yes, that’s right Computer Science applies a lot of the principals of logical reasoning and problem solving.  So, off I went to enroll in my first computer science course.

The introductory Computer Science courses at Ohio State are really fun and thankfully not very intimidating.  They have created a 3-course series using an in-house language called ResolveC++.  They put you in teams of 1-3 and have in-class exercises.  I never felt like I was behind other programmers.  I still keep in touch with the faculty who developed these courses. 

And now … I’m a PC and that’s my story.   See more stories from PCs around the world.

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