@roundtable
Swell Roundtable
@roundtable · 1:51

Swell Roundtable: Never too late to code - by women who code.

I'm going to start with saying it's never too late to code. Good morning and welcome. This is the swell round table in this digital age. We live in. Computers are everywhere. Every device is becoming smart, whether it's your phone or your window shade. Digital interfaces are the means and ways of communicating in future

#womenwhocode A roundtable discussion on coding from the perspectives of women who have embraced it for different purposes.

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@roundtable
Swell Roundtable
@roundtable · 1:07

Introducing myself @sudha

I Hill start by introducing myself. My name is Sudha. I am the CEO and CTO of Swell. I started coding when I was twelve years old and swell so in love with with it that I chose to became a computer science engineer. And the journey that I have traveled since has been one that's been extremely fulfilling and I have had the opportunity to work in some of the best companies with some of the smartest people I know
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@aditi
Aditi Viswanathan
@aditi · 0:44
Hi, I'm Aditi and I currently work as a software engineer at Google. Previously, I worked as a data scientist, a data engineer, and a machine learning engineer at various companies. I agree with Sudha that learning to code it can be an incredibly empowering thing today, especially now that there are just a multitude of resources available online, great tutorials, open source libraries
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@kelly_pl
Pamela L. Kelly
@kelly_pl · 0:51

Introducing myself @kelly_pl

Thank you, Sudha. My name is Tam Kelly and I've worked in information technology for more than 20 years in various roles, including as a computer services manager, network administrator, database administrator, project manager, trainer and technical writer. Took my first computer programming classes at a trade school right after finishing College learning COBOL, Assembler, CIC, S, and C. After that year, I took an entry level computer specialist position that launched my career in it
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@sudha
Sudha Varadarajan
@sudha · 0:10
Pam and Aditi, thank you so much for your wonderful introductions. While we wait for the others to join, I'll go ahead and ask you both a couple of questions individually
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@sudha
Sudha Varadarajan
@sudha · 0:35

@kelly_pl

Your journey is really inspirational and I would request you to share some of your personal struggles in getting to where you have so that others can see that it's never too late to start and seek. You may be surprised by what you find
@sudha
Sudha Varadarajan
@sudha · 0:34

@qwerty

Adity, I know that much of your early career was in India. You did not take the traditional approach of coming for higher education to the US. Instead, there was a time you were amongst the downtrodden in Nepal helping educate and working as a teacher for a nonprofit
@zoya
Zoya Ali
@zoya · 1:21
In addition to that, there are a lot many mentors and technical field which anyone can find through LinkedIn or online forums. And these mentors can also help provide newcomers with great insights, guidance, resources, and opportunities. Hence, it's never been this easy to start coding than it is now
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@sudha
Sudha Varadarajan
@sudha · 0:38

@zoya

All my panelists today have one thing in common. They're all artists. Aditi is the best charcoal and sketch artist I know. Her artwork is extraordinary. Christine is a phenomenon. Nominal designer. Pam is a voice artist whose voice appears on national commercials and is a superb writer. Zoya is very creative and a great painter. Zoya, this question is for you. I can you please help our listeners who come from an artistic background understand how coding can be as fulfilling as the art you enjoy
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@muddybike
Kristine Contento-Angell
@muddybike · 0:38
Hi, thanks for inviting me. My name is Christine Conteno Angel, and I'm a freelance web developer. My background is in design and fine arts, and I came into the coding world through web development. I tend to gear my learning towards whatever problem currently needs to be solved on the project, and I have to agree with everyone that coding is incredibly empowering. Going through the process of finding a solution and executing it is incredibly rewarding
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@sudha
Sudha Varadarajan
@sudha · 0:32

@muddybike

Christine, thank you for that message. You and I are the moms in this group, just as it is never too late to code. Perhaps it's also never too early. Everyone who has two kids is blessed with kids who have opposite interests and who resist everything their parents want them to engage in. So as a parent, how do you recommend we introduce coding to our children? Just as we introduce art at an early age?
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@zoya
Zoya Ali
@zoya · 1:05

art == code

However, I would like to add that only after making a few paintings, I started to appreciate it even more, be it from any new upcoming artist or world renowned Michelangelo's. And hence I believe that even if people don't end up taking coding as a career, it's definitely worth a try. And if nothing, it would make one appreciate all the cool apps we enjoy on the phone recommendations we get on YouTube or the games we play on any console
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@aditi
Aditi Viswanathan
@aditi · 4:43
I worked in Google, India for about a year, and then I moved to the US with intending to start a kind of company of my own within Google's Incubator. Called Area 120, where you could pitch your own ideas and then if selected, it's kind of liqea VC venture capitalist set up where they let you build on your own ideas and form your own team and kind of prove out product market fit and go out to the market and try to get customers and things like that
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@kelly_pl
Pamela L. Kelly
@kelly_pl · 3:56

Full-Stack Coding Bootcamp Journey and My Job at Google

I had spent more than seven years at the company, working with technical teams, engineers, and architects. In my combined experience as a project manager, product trainer, and technical writer, I really found my niche in training and documentation, so I focused my job search on technical writing and business user training roles. Early in my search, I got down to the final round of interviews for a technical writing role at Salesforce. In the end, they went with a different candidate
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@muddybike
Kristine Contento-Angell
@muddybike · 1:23

Generating a child’s interest...

Shani would to art because we do a ton of art in our family and you can just dump supplies out on the table and kids will make stuff. But when it comes to coding, I think that there has to be a little bit more structure involved. I know that for our kids, we have tried showing them the different online resources and just saying, hey, just go for it. Just do what you want to do and see where it takes you
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@sudha
Sudha Varadarajan
@sudha · 3:21

One last question and opening it to the general audience.

So as you know, I am completely against unions. But the current presidential candidate is talking about bringing about unionization and tech, and I just wanted to open this up to the perspectives of those in this round table as well as invite the general audience to offer their own perspectives and ask questions
@shanibanshee
Shani Banshee
@shanibanshee · 4:59

Artist turned developer, perspectives on unionization in tech @sudha

And I had the opportunity to do some career development work where I was able to be trained to teach basic coding to students in underserved areas in Pittsburgh. And so as I started really following, just the opportunity to learn about coding and block coding and just how to teach it in a way that it could spark interest, I kind of started thinking about it as a career for myself, and initially because I had a background in art, I thought that design would actually be the way to go
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@sudha
Sudha Varadarajan
@sudha · 3:29

https://app.swell.life/swellcast/FShX

So just because somebody does physical work, they need a separate system for human resources, and somebody who does mental work needs a different system for human resources is, I think, also incorrect and old school from where we have come with human resources and revolutions that have happened in human resources. I finally also think that unions are frankly, political machines
@shanibanshee
Shani Banshee
@shanibanshee · 4:16

@sudha, @rachel Serving Private Industries vs. Public and Unions

And while I do believe that it's not physical labor versus non physical labor, so liqea, when I kind of created distinctions of campus workers versus software engineers, I was really saying so to say that we all need to be treated the same way in terms of our equity and our ability to contribute to the company. What our purpose? There is work. At the end of the day, I think this phrase abuse of power comes as no surprise
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@LIQUEAHILL
liqea Hill
@LIQUEAHILL · 0:02
Thank you
@aditi
Aditi Viswanathan
@aditi · 2:12
Right now, I think that tech companies, just by the sheer performance of the industry as a whole, is able to be competitive enough that employees are drawn or candidates are drawn by the perks that they offer. So today a company offers a massage in their office. Tomorrow, the next company will offer laundry and washing and drying services. So I think tech workers are privileged enough in the industry that they're currently in, that there's enough demand and low supply
@sudha
Sudha Varadarajan
@sudha · 1:31
So I do think that we have to embrace solutions such as board representation for employees and so on to get more employee voices engaged in top level decision making without having to bring in unionization as a solution
@arish
Arish Ali
@arish · 1:08

How do you stay on top of the constantly evolving trends in coding?

I don't even know what's current like fashionable right now, but it changes and it happens across different types, regardless of where, which platform you're working on. Things move so fast that unless you stay on top of the knowledge base, the best practices, your skill set will become obsolete very faster. So that kind of makes it a very interesting profession, I think. And my question to all of you is how do you stay on top of it?
@aditi
Aditi Viswanathan
@aditi · 1:57
And I think that the way I approach it is by having more of a problem solving and general developmental mentality and going in with the desire to learn something new rather than focusing completely on technical expertise, which needs to be fluid and flexible. However, I think that I have a good amount of mastery over at least one programming language, so that's Python. And then I'm quite comfortable with some others, like Java and Cvscript and things like that
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@IreniaPodcaster
Irenia Roussel
@IreniaPodcaster · 0:17
Alright. So for a nontechy person like me who wants to learn a little bit of coding, what advice would you have for me? Bye
@sudha
Sudha Varadarajan
@sudha · 0:52

Scratch and HTML

Irenia. My personal recommendation would be Scratch, which is a blockbased programming language. It basically tries to teach you logic without getting having to get into the nittygritty of typing too much. And I think it's an excellent way to start to learn how to code the other, which is older. So it was a little more typing, but equally satisfying. Visually is HTML. And there are I'm sure a number of online courses available and tools available, but my personal favorite and recommendation would be scratched
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@IreniaPodcaster
Irenia Roussel
@IreniaPodcaster · 0:02
Thank you, suer
@Howie
Howie Rubin
@Howie · 0:31
I define coding as writing instructions. And women, especially married women of every size, shape, color, and nationality, have been writing code in every language imaginable to control your husband's. You have done it in such a brilliant way that we husbands have no clue what's going on. Truly, you are great programmers. And truly, you really invented machine learning
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@bookishpodcast
Shahnaz Ahmed
@bookishpodcast · 4:48

Clueless here...

But if I can do it little at a time, if I can learn one Alphabet at a time. I know it's going to take me forever to learn 26 alphabets and then capital and small letters and then putting words together. I get it. That concept. And I look at the scheme of things. I know it's going to take a long time for me. But my question is, what other free resources are there? Someone said, oh, you can learn HTML anywhere
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