Room Full of Brilliant Women

My favorite part about Hackbright so far has been that I am working with such smart and driven women who are constantly geeking out on technology. It also adds to the challenge of the experience. We had two alumni visiting today that spoke about how they were amazed by their class but also intimidated whether they were good enough to be part of the program.

I come from a background of many years in the consulting industry where confidence is key. Many times you are thrown into a situation where you have to solve ambiguous problems and pretend like you know what you are doing whether you do or you are getting up to speed on the fly. Based on that experience, I know I have a wealth of knowledge and valuable skills as well as I am very capable at applying myself.

So here I thought I would go into this program ready to embrace where I land without qualms. I said to myself, “Self, this time around you aren’t going to worry about being the best in school, just learning what you need to know to do the things you want to do.” Who am I kidding. I have always and will always be my own worst enemy. And I have found myself in awe of the women in my cohort which has at times left me questioning whether I really belong.

I think what is behind the fear is that many of us have taken a big life changing risk going into this program. Even though I’m all about taking smart risks, its still scary as hell when there isn’t a concrete plan about what comes next.

What I’ve known but still need to be reminded of is that talking to others helps. Sharing with my classmates, alumni and friends my frustrations and concerns and finding out I’m not alone in my concerns is one of the best ways to keep the little fear demons at bay.

The bottom line is that I am here to learn. The program is specifically setup to take complete newbies and make us programmers. Thankfully the team running Hackbright (esp. Christian) keep reminding us that we are at the level we need to be after just two weeks. We also keep hearing how the classes before us have gone through the same struggles.

When I take stock of where I’ve come from to where I am now, I realize I am currently reading and coding in Python on a daily basis after officially 2 weeks in this program and more like 4 weeks of working on understanding python in general. We are officially developers at this point and there is still another 8 weeks in this program.

Keeping perspective is very valuable to stay strong in such a big change.

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