Updated: Mar 7, 2019
MAKING WAVES interviewed Laura from Coder Girl this week, who is respected and loved for her Instagram account, which encompasses tech, startup life, fashion and career tips.
Laura is a truly inspirational woman, her passion for technology has made a positive impact for our future girls. She is breaking a glass ceiling through her voice and content, regularly speaking at tech & programming events and writing blog content as well as Instagram inspired tech posts.
We had the opportunity to work with Laura on a campaign last year with Fin Tech utilising Instagram + Instagram Stories - you can check out a few pics from the collaboration here.
Can you tell the readers a little about yourself and Coder Girl? How did it all start?
I am a NYC based full stack software engineer working in the health tech space. I love technology and the impact it can have on people. When I started working I was shocked by the gender discrepancy in the industry. At the time I was using Instagram and exposed to a lot of fashion, travel, lifestyle etc. I wanted to create a tech themed Instagram account to share what an amazing industry it is and hopefully inspire young girls to enter it. Since then it’s grow to be a space where I can celebrate diversity in the area and also just laugh with all technologists about the classic exciting and frustrating moments in the industry.
You have a full-time job and you create content for a lot of different channels i.e. YouTube, Blog, Instagram, how do you manage your time and juggle all of these areas of your life? Lots of productivity hacks! I have a very strict to do list system. I plan my content on the weekends. I try to make sure I am doing things that give me joy so I stay motivated.
Do you have any tips for influencers just starting out?
Find your voice. Spend time learning how to take and edit photos (there are so many good tutorials out there). Engage with your community. Mix up hash tags and tagging other accounts that will reshare you.
We love that your promoting healthy habits for programmers, you have a really unique and authentic voice! Do you have any advice for future girls (or boys) out there who are thinking about becoming a programmer?
Try it out!! And know that you are going to break a lot of things along the way. I think people can wrongly think this isn’t the right industry for them if they encounter a bug or get blocked. It happens to everyone! Don’t let that discourage you. Find the fix, and then retrospect on what went wrong and what techniques helped you fix it. So you can draw upon those practices the next time a bug comes around and get better and better.
We love the content you create on Instagram, tell us about your content creation process? Depends! Sometimes I want to share a moment, sometimes a product, sometimes I‘ll work off of a list of ideas I have planned, sometimes I’m capturing something in the moment. I like mixing it up!
What does a typical day in your week look like for you.
I wake up around 8am. Go for a run, shower and get dressed. I love picking out my outfit for the day. Then I had to the office around 10 and have a cup of coffee and check emails, pull requests etc. Around 11/12 I have a meeting with my team. After that I grab lunch and will post for the day. I work as a tech lead, so throughout the the day I’m meeting with stake holders, reviewing strategy, and checking in with my reports to make sure everyone is on track/unblock people etc. And then also just writing code. I leave around 6:30 to go home. Then I’ll have dinner. Then I check my blog/IG emails for the rest of the night. I’ll plan ahead any content for the next day, maybe work on a blog post or editing photos. I try to make sure that by 1130PM I’m either watching tv or reading with tea or wine.. aka not working. It’s hard for me to stop!
What was your most successful collaboration to work on and why?
Depends on your definition of success! A favorite of mine was working with Unicef for international day of the girl. It was an honor to work with them. I loved meeting the ATT team and what they were doing. I also loved Intel’s tech learning lab and how they’re changing the education space. In terms of likes/impressions I just did a collab with Philip’s Hues where I shared classic programming moments which was a hit! I think it did so well because they gave me the space to us my authentic voice... and I used it to talk about/poke fun of a very much shared experience.
What are your favourite tools to use to streamline your social media activity / content creation?
For editing photos: Facetune and VSCO. For finding the right hash tag: display purposes
What are some of the most important qualities you think are required to be successful in the industry?
Authenticity, creativity, confidence, kindness and work ethic.
You can find Laura at the links below:
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