I recently started a new blog at http://andihays.dev. Or as I have lovingly named it, Technically Scattered.
I have loved this home for many years, but I wanted to venture out and try something new. I wanted to learn some more about websites and programming and this new space is perfect for it. I hope you’ll come visit me over there!
This time in our lives is so weird and unique. No one has ever been through this same set of circumstances. We are paving the way for this virus and making huge strides in technology to accommodate life. But we are also making history.
Our parents and grandparents have seen hard times and lived through historical events…wars, illnesses, political events, etc. But none of them have experienced it exactly like this. We can’t say “how did you deal with these things in the past?” “What did you do to solve this problem?” “How did it work out in the end?”
From the beginning of all of this, we have been lucky to have so many advances in technology. This has allowed us to be able to stay in touch with friends and family (which has greatly helped sanity levels I imagine). Technology has also allowed many businesses to stay open by allowing employees to work remotely, made a larger online presence for selling their items and coordinating pickups and delivery of items. Technology has also greatly improved the healthcare system by making virtual visits easier and more accessible to so many and they are learning more each day about how to do it better. Technology has also allowed children to continue learning from home with various distance learning elements and that is also improving and changing constantly as we learn more. Technology has also pushed companies to make their apps and websites and services function better to help serve our needs for effectively.
I am so proud of what we have done with technology and can not stop thinking about how different this experience would be if technology was not to prevalent in our lives.
Yes, I know we will one day need to set new screen limits for our kids and things will be harder in some ways because of all the time we have spent on our devices, but I still think life would have been so much harder without it.
We are setting the path for the future and this whole event will be written about in history books. I would really love for this time to be looked at and have our children and grandchildren say that we did a good job handling this and did all we could. I don’t want them to say “why couldn’t you have just stayed home longer and not been so anxious to get to a Target?”
I know that everyone’s situation is different and not everyone can stay home, But if you can…PLEASE DO IT! The other risk is that everyone stops taking this seriously, goes back to “normal” too quickly and we have to do this all again!! Let’s make sure that the history we are making is one that we can be proud to have been a part of.
There are a number of chatting and video apps available right now (and everyone has their own favorite), but I wanted to remind you about (or introduce you to) **Duo!** It’s the app my hubby has worked on at @google for many years now.
It works on iOS and Android and works between the two. It even comes pre-installed on some Android phones. I have been using it to send video messages back and forth with friends lately. And my family has been using it for group video chats.
And for those that are interested in the back end, it has end-to-end encryption which some other platforms don’t have. So your messages and videos are protected.
It’s a free download (for phones and tablets currently) and worth a try. It’s another great way to stay connected with friends and family right now.
This is not an ad, I just really enjoy the app and I’m proud to say my hubby has helped make it so great! 💙
I read this beautiful book by Reshma Saujani a while ago and I loved it so much. I listened to the book, and then bought the kindle book. It was such a wonderful book about how important it is for women to work on bravery instead of striving for perfection. To tackle some of the hard things they are afraid to do and just be brave enough to try.
Saujani also founded the Girls Who Code movement. She helps get girls interested in and involved in programming and they want to “change the image of what a programmer looks like and does.” There are also some great young chapter books written by them as well. And I think this is important because the younger you can get programming and coding into the minds of younger children, the earlier they will be able to learn how cool it is! Here is a summary of the book from Amazon:
Imagine if you lived without the fear of not being good enough. If you didn’t care how your life looked on Instagram. If you could let go of the guilt and stop beating yourself up for making human mistakes. Imagine if, in every decision you faced, you took the bolder path?
As women, too many of us feel crushed under the weight of our own expectations. We run ourselves ragged trying to please everyone, pass up opportunities that scare us, and avoid rejection at all costs.
There’s a reason we act this way, Saujani says. As girls, we were taught to play it safe. Well-meaning parents and teachers praised us for being quiet and polite, urged us to be careful so we didn’t get hurt, and steered us to activities at which we could shine. As a result, we grew up to be women who are afraid to fail.
It’s time to stop letting our fears drown out our dreams and narrow our world, along with our chance at happiness.
By choosing bravery over perfection, we can find the power to claim our voice, to leave behind what makes us unhappy, and to go for the things we genuinely, passionately want. Perfection may set us on a path that feels safe, but bravery leads us to the one we’re authentically meant to follow. In Brave, Not Perfect, Saujani shares powerful insights and practices to help us let go of our need for perfection and make bravery a lifelong habit. By being brave, not perfect, we can all become the authors of our best and most joyful life.
Reshma also did a TED talk as well and it was a good summary of the topics she touches on in her book. The link to the TED talk is below.
Her book and her message is one that can be universal and not just applicable to women in technology. I think that overall, women are starting to bridge the gender gap and make themselves more of a staple and asset in many other forms of business, not just technology.
Let me know if you end up reading or have read this book already. I would love to hear your thoughts on the book and her message in general.
Around a year ago, I went to a Geekettes meeting. One of the speakers was Meghan McInerny. She was funny and honest and real and someone I wanted to connect with. After 9 months or so, I got up the courage to email her and she agreed to let me come to her office at Clockwork. It was so kind of her to meet with me. She gave me some great suggestions and tips on re-entering the workforce. She also suggested a book for me to read (which I will write about soon) to help me figure out my strengths.
Before I met with her, I knew I needed to read her book (and get it signed when I went to see her). There was something about the book that resonated with me. I don’t know if it was the style in which it was written, the fact that I have a girl-crush on Meghan or just that I was in love with their ideas and descriptions of project management. Either way, I loved this book.
I didn’t know a whole lot about project management before reading this book. I knew it sounded like a fun job in theory, but didn’t really know WHAT a project manager did. One of the aspects that really stood out to me in their book was how project managers needed to figure out a way to deal with each person on the team individually. They pointed out that these are real people, with real issues/strengths/feelings and it’s important to remember this and be aware of it. They talked about how to work with various types of people to get them to work well in a team or group.
Of course, there were many other key points, but I have always felt like a people person, or at least a very social (read: chatty) person and I was drawn to this job requiring some people skills.
I loved this book and will probably read it again or at least reference it when I am going to start interviewing for jobs or thinking more about what I could do with myself.
If you have interest in project management, I recommend this book. It was an easy read and something you could use for certain areas of reference if you are already in the field.
A dear friend of mine asked me if I would help her make a website for a business she wants to start. I couldn’t be more excited that she asked me. I love web design even though I am quite an amateur at it. But this is something I would love to add to my resume as a skill I have for future jobs in the tech field one day. I have helped my dad build a website (of course with help from Chuck) and we will be doing some updates to his site soon, I have had a few websites of my own over the years and I am hoping to do a bit of updating to my site soon. I am so honored that she asked me to help. This is a perfect project for me to gain some more knowledge and skills.
A few weeks ago I went to a Geekettes event. I love their events. They are a great place to talk to women in varying stages in their tech degrees. This time there were some amazing speakers (one I would LOVE to work for one day) and a t-shirt company was there screen printing shirts. I come home from those events so excited and motivated. It’s so fun to hear how people have come into the tech field and what varying positions there are. It gives me confidence that I will be able to find something that is a good fit for me one day.
I also follow some Facebook groups on similar topics to Geekettes and keep looking for events to attend. I had sent out an email to a few people and posted on FB to see if anyone wanted to join me. I didn’t get any takers. Maybe it was because they weren’t free that night or it could be a sign of how intimidating the tech field can be for women.
I have done some more research about various jobs and have a book I really want to read about project management in my list of books (I haven’t decided if I am going to buy the physical book to have the author sign it – which she said she would) or just buy the kindle edition. After talking to one of the speakers, she seemed to think I would be really good at project management. It is appealing to me, but I worry I am too much of a pleaser, not strong-willed enough, or not the right personality for it. But I think those are just my insecurities talking.
After I get my friend’s website up and running and looking the way she wants, I’ll be sure to post it here. I think it’s something many of you will want to utilize!