Thank you, Mom and Dad

When I was in grade school in my tiny two-room schoolhouse in rural Vermont, our school got a computer. One computer. And apparently I used said computer and became interested in computers because I asked my parents to buy me one of the first “personal” computers that was ever available to the public: Radio Shack’s TRS80 Color Computer 2, which was available from 1983-1986. I was 10-13 years old then.

This computer did not “do” anything. It came up with a DOS prompt, and anything I wanted it to do, I had to program it to do. It came with a book of code. It hooked to my TV, which acted as the monitor.

I do not know what made me interested in this machine, but I was. I wrote and saved programs and eventually got my parents to buy some accessories and games for it as well.

I’m not sure why my parents felt compelled to support this interest of mine, which was not exactly cheap. But I’m so thankful that they did.

Eventually I outgrew this machine, but I used very rudimentary computer programs in high school as well. They fascinated me, but I didn’t see them as relevant to life. I also took typing in high school!

I ended up working a BUNCH of clerical jobs in my 20’s, and my computer skills and ability to adapt to new programs came in quite handy. I started dabbling with websites in my late 20’s. And then I realized that I had a real aptitude for programming.

There are not many girls in web design and programming – especially programming. I often forget this fact, but I think it has really helped me in my career to be a female in this male-dominated field. It makes me unique. Along with being female, I am also good at explaining things to people in language they can understand – as opposed to “technie” language.

So, thanks Mom and Dad for believing in me and providing me with those early tools that got me excited about programming. You have no idea how valuable it was to me.