My fascination with technology began in sixth grade when I received my first iPod Touch. It was a curiosity that I couldn’t quell, so I decided to attend my first hackathon about a year later. The event was filled with determined, self-driven participants, and that’s where the inspiration driving my initial fascination really clicked. When you mix curiosity with dedication, it isn’t difficult to create real, tangible solutions that have the potential to help others.
So why, at 13, do I spend my time taking online courses and reading books about programming when it isn’t required as part of my normal schoolwork?
Some people think I’m crazy. My response? Mobile technology is the happening thing.
Even though I see myself as a lawyer one day and not a computer scientist, it isn’t hard to see the benefits of learning these technical skills now. The only world I’ve ever known has been high-tech, and I can’t imagine that world slowing down anytime soon. So to remain competitive as I look to one day apply to college and then get a job, I’m happy to spend the time now learning the technical foundation that is driving our future forward. Not to mention, creating mobile apps is a fun and rewarding experience.
Just recently I took third at an AT&T Women in Technology Mobile App Hackathon for an app I created called FoodFast, which will enable employees who are too busy to leave their desks for lunch to quickly and easily order food to be delivered from their corporate café. It’s a simple idea that was inspired after I spent a day with my mom at work. She had too much going on to even think about leaving her desk for five minutes to grab a bite.
It was at that moment that I realized I could create a solution for my mom and hard workers just like her with the skills I’m building now in mobile development.
I think that was a defining moment in the difference between my generation and those before mine: We don’t have to be “technologists” to make technology work for us.
Wanting to be a lawyer, I know long days and longer nights are going to be a part of my future reality. But I also know that when I face obstacles in the workplace – like being glued to my desk – I will have the expertise to create solutions that can help ease those problems.