Wahine Coder 'Ohana Q&A

Meet the Team

What inspired you to start Wahine Coder?

I really wanted to push myself and it was a personal call to action to code more. I had a strong desire to stretch my thinking — to be creative and to challenge myself. Ultimately, through Wahine Coder, I want to provide an avenue for women to root themselves in Hawaii’s tech sector. Wahine coder is about being that reflection for other women wanting to thrive in the industry.


What makes you passionate about what you do?

What I really love about coding is its transformative nature. Coding is transformative because it's a medium that develops a certain approach to thinking and creating. I don’t think this part of the coding narrative is being discussed as much as it should be. Coding is a medium that can support dreams, ground imagination and create meaningful change. The true power of code is the desire to dive into the unknown and submit to the creation process without fully knowing what you're going to create. The joy of code is the reward of stepping into the journey and simply having your code compile.

I started coding because I saw it as a way to create ways for people to connect. Interestingly, I was in marine conservation before getting into tech and I saw an opportunity to leverage technology to help us with our work. I started to see a pathway that tech could lend to the conservation world. 




What are some of your hobbies/What do you like to do with your free time?

Nowadays, my free time is driving in the car alone and listening to my favorite podcasts. My favorites are “How I built this” by Guy Raz or TED Radio Hour and of course, my 'gal pal' Jenna Kutcher’s podcast, “Goal Digger”. I also enjoy time in the ocean with my son and taking care of our home garden! 

What are some of your current goals?

I own another company called Kilo Books Hawaii and I’m working on writing and creating our second book. My son is the inspiration behind the company and I wrote the first book for him. I also really want to code more — I have some ideas and goals of what I want to work on. I’m also becoming increasingly interested in learning more A-Frame, which is an open-source web VR (virtual reality) framework. My third goal is to get healthier!

How do you want to show up for your community?

I want to serve others. So many amazing individuals have helped me to get here whether they know it or not. Wahine Coder is not an individual effort, it took a community to start this. I’m most interested in serving others and really supporting their transformation through coding, content creation, and commerce. It’s really about transforming together.

Anything else you would like to share with the WC community? 

I want to continue doing the work of transformation through code. Transformation happens one line of code at a time. You’ve gotta commit to the practice. For me, the practice and discipline you get from coding I think can set you up to be confident in other spaces or interests you may have. Coding is a marathon, it’s important to not give up, just keep coding.

 

What drew you to WC?

I had joined Code For Hawaii (CFH) to practice my UX skills and that’s where Marion and I met and she later brought me on board with Wahine Coder. As a new UX Designer, Marion is so amazing for giving me the opportunity to practice my skills in a safe place. I love that at Wahine Coder, there is an emphasis on changing the lack of female expertise and contribution in the tech community and I love Marion’s “girl power” vibe. 

What makes you passionate about what you do?

The whole idea of UX design is being able to empathize and show compassion — it’s a new trend combining technology and psychology. Through compassion you can change the world by understanding peoples’ needs. It makes sense to understand your customer before you move forward with your business. I’m really passionate about helping people whether they’re the business owner or the clients. You need to genuinely understand what people think and why they think that way and connect it to what you are producing. 

What are some of your hobbies/What do you like to do with your free time?

I like watching people, I know it sounds creepy, but I really do. I like to make up stories about them and what they’re thinking and what their lives are like. But really, storytelling is my hobby. I was a video producer and video editing is my big hobby. I love taking a video and chopping it up and then piecing it back together into a new product.




What are some of your goals in life?

I’m going to be joining an indiginous cultures program. I’m new to Hawaii and I want to learn more about the culture and particularly about agriculture. I’m really into farming, especially urban farming — here in Waikiki there are a lot of rooftop gardens, which work really well for the community, and I want to help develop and promote that.

How do you want to show up for your community?

Definitely donating my time and skills. To me, community is all about understanding each others’ abilities and being able to come together and help each other with their problems. I believe in the idea of a bartering system where you trade your skills and knowledge with someone who needs it, for the contribution of their skills and knowledge in return.

Anything else you would like to share with the WC community?

We’re living in such an interesting time. When people ask me if I’d like to live 500 years ago or now, I always say now because of all the technology we have access to and everything that is possible because of it. If each of us take time to learn about technology we can go so far. Technology is transformational.

What drew you to WC?

I found out about Wahine Coder through an online job board. After visiting their website, I realized that WC was founded by my former college instructor, so I reached out to learn more about the company and here I am! As a designer who is interested in growing her career in tech, I was drawn to WC’s mission to empower female entrepreneurs, developers and creatives and strengthen our local tech community.

What makes you passionate about what you do?



I love that the tech industry is always changing, always progressing. Each project calls for different needs in design, development and digital marketing, so you never stop learning and you never stop discovering new ways to solve problems. For WC specifically, I love that our company values mentorship and community. All of our projects are centered around enabling individuals to achieve their career goals as well as creating a community for entrepreneurs, creatives, working moms, dreamers, etc. to come together. The work we do is about transforming lives rather than making profits and that’s what makes me passionate about it.

What are some of your hobbies/What do you like to do with your free time?


When I’m not designing, I like to express my creative spirit through other art mediums. I sing a little and practice photography here and there. Also, I am currently watching The Office… again.

What are some of your goals in life?

I think we all have pretty similar goals when it comes to the quality of life we want to achieve at home and at work, so I’ll just list some fun random ones here. I’d love to eventually start a blog/vlog, learn to dance and get to a point where I can cook a 10/10 meal without having to Google how to chop a certain vegetable the right way.



How do you want to show up for your community?


I’m still very early in my professional career, but I eventually want to be a mentor for those who are just starting their careers and could perhaps benefit from some guidance while navigating life after school. I didn’t realize until well after college how helpful it would have been to have a mentor or even just someone to talk to as I explored different career paths, so I’d love to be that for the younger generation. I think a lot of the content we consume online — the “hustle” mentality that we’ve fostered as a society — has convinced a lot of students and young adults that they need to have things figured out ASAP, or that they need to achieve certain milestones by a certain age. As I continue developing my career, I want to help others navigate through their lives and careers in their own way on their own time.

Anything else you would like to share with the WC community?



Yes, come say hi! At WC, we are a group of entrepreneurs, creatives and girls with a million ideas running around in our heads just like you, so we’d love to connect and learn how we can best assist you. Come join us for a workshop, get involved with one of our projects, or just simply reach out to talk story.

 

What drew you to WC?

I was notified that I was going to be furloughed from my airline job at the beginning of August and after the initial disappointment and fear, really tried to look at it as an opportunity to finally pursue a career in tech. I had no idea where to start, but during my research, I found Marion’s free virtual workshop on iOS App Development. Through her instruction and mentorship, I fell in love with the joy of coding. I am continually inspired by her efforts to empower and mentor the next generation of women and minorities in tech. She is incredibly generous with both her time and talents.

What makes you passionate about what you do?

I love the possibility and freedom that tech brings to the table — there are new developments and discoveries every day, there’s basically no end to the things you can learn, there is limitless potential for what you can do and create. I say this specifically in regard to coding, but there are also so many jobs in tech that range all over the spectrum. I never really considered that I could be a coder or have anything to do with tech, mostly because I didn’t know any women in it. I’m so thankful to now have my horizons widened through knowing Marion and I’m excited to be a part of doing that for others through Wahine Coder.

What are some of your hobbies/What do you like to do with your free time?

Well, right now I’m a bit obsessed with learning to write code. But I’m also an outdoor enthusiast and find my rejuvenation by being in the ocean. My favorite activities are trail running, free diving, surfing and practicing yoga. When I’m not adventuring around the island, I like to watercolor, play my ukulele, and bike into Kailua Town with my husband.

What are some of your current goals?

Currently, my main goal is to learn to code and become a Full Stack Web Developer and I aim to do that in the cheapest and most time-efficient way. I also have goals to get back into yoga (especially because of how much more time I now spend in front of the computer), and to start getting creative with the collection of seashells I have. Life is about balance, right? So I try to have goals in different areas of my life that will most help me maintain balance.

How do you want to show up for your community?

I want to share my story. All my successes AND failures. As someone with no prior experience in tech, I think that if I am able to learn how to code, anyone can, and maybe they can learn just as much from my mistakes as from my achievements. It would make my journey so much sweeter to know that my learnings could help or inspire or persuade someone to take that next step they’ve been thinking about and dive into a world of opportunity. I’m here to learn, to empower, and hopefully make someone else’s journey easier through sharing my experiences.  

Anything else you would like to share with the WC community?

Don’t let your fear of the unknown keep you from exploring it. Don’t let your fear of failure keep you from trying. DO believe in yourself and all that you are capable of accomplishing. And seek out the people that will help you grow in your strengths and who are willing to call you out on your weaknesses. I believe relationships are the avenue to true greatness (or failure), so invest in them wisely.