What is your current professional role and how did you get here?
I’m an independent app developer and stay-at-home mom. After earning a degree in music education, I decided that teaching just wasn’t for me. I sort of floundered for a few years, unsure of what exactly I wanted to do. I loved Apple products and had always enjoyed playing around with computers, so after taking a job as an administrative assistant I began teaching myself to code in the evenings. When my husband and I decided to start a family, I knew I wanted to stay at home with my son. It seemed like the perfect time to start an at-home business making apps!
What was the first app you worked on and what did it do?
My very first app was called “Refining Fire,” and all it did was choose a random Bible verse from a bank that I created and display it to the user on their Apple Watch.
What went well? What could have gone better?
The app itself wasn’t very unique. The user interface was extremely simple, none of the features really stood out, and I did nothing to market it. That said, the experience of making it was invaluable because I learned so much! I learned the ins and outs of Xcode, UIKit, Storyboards, transferring data to the Apple Watch, data persistence, push notifications, and all kinds of other useful things. It was great practice, and seeing something I created on the App Store was really empowering.
At App Camp, we emphasize that it’s important to have interests outside of tech and to take breaks from looking at screens. What are some of your interests outside of tech? What do you do when you need to take a break from work?
Before my son arrived, I used to love reading regular paperback books, and my husband and I enjoyed finding new parks and trails to hike and explore. With an 18-month-old, time away from tech means chasing him around our farm and introducing him to new experiences, which is also really fun!
Why do you support the goals of App Camp?
I would have absolutely loved App Camp if it was around when I was growing up! I never took any computer science classes in high school or college because I figured I’d be the only girl. It’s such a wonderful thing to give girls a comfortable place to experiment with tech and to meet and learn from women who work in the industry.
What do you recommend to those who want to support more diversity in tech?
First, formulate an answer to the question, “Why is diversity in tech important?” It’s hard to support an issue if you’re not completely sure why it’s beneficial. A few other things you can do: draw attention to diverse voices and their projects, listen, be kind and encouraging to newcomers, and of course support programs like App Camp!
How can technology be a force for good?
In the same way that technology can amplify the worst of humanity, it can also augment humanity’s best qualities: our desire and ability to create, to add beauty to the world, to connect with and understand one another, and to improve the human condition in ways never before possible.
Her latest app is SnapThread “I created SnapThread because I wanted a quick, simple way to merge a bunch of Snapchat videos I had taken of my son. The app can merge any number of videos or Live Photos taken in portrait orientation and quickly export the final movie to your photo library or app of your choosing.”
Help more girls learn software development. Contribute to the App Camp For Girls Indiegogo fundraiser, get a cool perk, and enjoy the feeling of having helped the next generation of software developers.