Young Women: Programming Helps!

Young women getting started in technology

January 2018

by Skye Slade

Highschool Freshman & CloudQuant Intern

Hi, I’m Skye. I’m a freshman in high school and just started as an intern at CloudQuant, where my dad is the CEO. When I was around twelve, he started encouraging me to program.

The first book I got was “Hello World”. The book intimidated me, because I saw programming as a superpower, something only my dad was capable enough to do. I tried to learn it, but I just got bored very quickly. My dad, still persistent, decided it was time to try programming something we loved.

Minecraft had been a bit of a family event for us. When we wanted to play, we would all go get our iPods and log on to each other’s servers. Since there are five kids in our house, we never really ran out of people to play the game with. We would spend hours building houses, doing battles, and having races until we got yelled at for staying up too late.

That being said, my dad got me a Minecraft programming book. He got me all set up with a computer account (that part was super exciting for me), and showed me a program called Spyder. He made it kind of a race between my siblings and I, so I flew through the book. I got about halfway through, and then got bored of making things explode from the sky and building houses out of nowhere.

After that, I took a bit of a break for a while. Playing sports, trying to keep good grades, fun stuff like that. The summer after I graduated eighth grade, my dad signed me up for a Coursera class on Python from the University of Michigan. I wasn’t all that excited, programming had never been my cup of tea. However, I still did it, no matter how bored and frustrated I was.

In all, I’m happy I did that class, and worked through the majority of those books, because they actually did help. Even though I obviously can’t do much except the basics, I can understand so much more of what goes on working for this company. Yes, I was mad because my dad made me do something I didn’t want to, and yes, it paid off in the end like he said it would.

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