If you could tell a story about yourself in one sentence, what would it be?
I am a geeky air stewardess who is learning to code and believes that technology can democratise education in developing countries.
What is your current day job?
I am currently an air stewardess based in Singapore. Prior to that, I was working in the sales department at Asus in Taiwan. That was where I decided that I am going to realise my dream of travelling around the world and be paid while at it. This is why I relocated to Singapore to become an air stewardess.
What made you interested in coding?
I first became interested in coding after reading Marc Andreessen’s “Why software is eating the world?” article. I have been coding for three months now, and I feel the coding is like a superpower that allows me to solve problems around me!
Recently, I noticed that my passion for coding has superseded my desire to see the world. I stayed in my hotel room to study while my peers were out sight-seeing or shopping when we were overseas, sometimes even after going for 24 hours without sleep. Of course it’s a hard trade-off and it’s something I do feel a little sad about, but I know that programming is something I really resonate with. I really want to create something from scratch, I want be better at programming.
What was your thought or reaction when you first heard of TechLadies?
Initially, I thought it was a branch of Girls in Tech organisation, and then I realised it is a totally new organisation that is very energetic and growing fast.
Why did you want to apply to the TechLadies Coding Program?
I want to join TechLadies for three reasons. Firstly, despite learning how to code for some time, I have not found many opportunities to apply it, and I think TechLadies’ approach of learning by coding a real-world project is a great approach. Secondly, learning to code by myself can get lonely, and I would like to find like-minded friends to learn and improve together. Lastly, I agree with TechLadies’ mission of helping women get into programming, and would like to be part of the initiative.
What do you hope to gain out of the TechLadies Coding Program?
I have been learning how to code over the last three months, and recently shipped my first rails app a simple blog (https://sandytseng.herokuapp.com/). Though it is extremely basic and needs a lot of improvement, the feeling of creating something is extremely satisfying. I believe that coding is like a superpower that can solve problems, and I hope that after the TechLadies course, I will have the skill set to solve more complex problems. My ultimate goal is to use software to provide education for children living in rural villages.
Describe the TechLadies project you’re working on!
We are remodelling the website for an NGO in Singapore called HOME (Humanitarian Organization for Migration Economics), which is focused on preventing the exploitation of foreign workers. I picked this project as I am a foreign worker myself. I remembered facing problems when I just arrived at Singapore so I could understand the pain faced by the migrant workers HOME is helping. To me, what HOME is doing is very meaningful and I am elated to be able to help in their mission!
I would like to use my skills to help provide educational opportunities to underprivileged kids in developing countries.
How would you use your coding skills in the future?
I would like to transition to the tech sector, and hope to join a software company or startup. In the long term, I would like to use my skills to help provide educational opportunities to underprivileged kids in developing countries. I envision a world where children can learn essential skills online, no matter where they are located.
Right now I’m helping out at my boyfriend’s education company, KidStartNow. KidStartNow teaches Chinese to children via a program that provides customised materials tailored for each child. Hopefully, we can bring this company to children living in rural villages all over the world!