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The TechLadies Bootcamp is a 10-week part-time accelerated learning program designed to help women with some basic programming background become professional programmers. Participants are guided by industry experts, creating products for non-profit organizations. 9 ladies were chosen for the first batch of the TechLadies Bootcamp. In this blog series, we will be sharing more about the background and learning journey of these ladies. Hopefully that’ll inspire you to start learning how to code too!

If you could tell a story about yourself in one sentence, what would it be?

Yi is the giraffe that every city needs because of her super ability to continually evolve from acquiring new tongues; she will soon speak computer too.

What is your currently working as?

I’m a final year student at the National University of Singapore majoring in English Linguistics. In addition to school, I am learning three foreign languages (French, Spanish, and German). On Saturdays, I help out at Blk 2 Furever Canines – a shelter with some of the sweetest dogs around. At Blk 2, I bathe, walk, and break up fights between the dogs. Since they are short of volunteers, I also design fundraising posters!

What made you interested in coding?

I’ve always been interested in HTML and CSS since the glorious days of Blogskins.com. I learnt to create my own blog templates through copying from the grandmasters of blog templates, and then editing parts of the HTML and CSS to my liking. It is always fun to make your own layouts and to see the code come alive.

But my passion for programming really started when I took the class CS3216 “Software Development on  Evolving Platforms” in NUS. I was lucky enough to take on the role as a designer during that class; I met the best of the coding talents in the university. It’s incredible to watch an idea turn from something on the drawing board into reality. To watch the coding talents live in action was like watching magic.

What was your thought or reaction when you first heard of TechLadies?

I don’t want to be that person, but… “Oh my god, it’s free!”

Why did you want to apply to the TechLadies Coding Programme?

The main hook was the mentorship that came with the programme. I’m a big fan of self­-directed learning but I’m also a believer in getting help where needed. Mentorship is a great way to kickstart my new learning journey especially so when code looks undecipherable, like an arbitrary combination of letters and numbers, to a beginner like myself.

I want to graduate from this programme with enough skills to inspire other girls to try coding too!

What do you hope to gain out of the TechLadies Coding Programme?

I want to graduate from this programme with enough skills to inspire other girls to try coding too! I know this goal sounds a bit of a stretch considering I’m just only starting out. But I know of many girls who are put off by how scary coding appears. These are girls who excel in Maths and Sciences, but somehow find programming as something unapproachable.

When I’m confident enough in my coding skills, I hope I can teach my female friends programming; many of them are interested in coding, but like me, they find it difficult to get started.

Describe the TechLadies project you’re working on!

I’m working on Asian Film Archive’s (AFA) Emergency Reel Project. We are trying to improve upon the existing process that filmmakers undergo when they upload their films onto AFA. Currently, our team is building more subsections to make the site complete, such as the FAQ and the Event sections.

What do you see yourself using coding skills in the future?

I really want to create my own website from scratch! I would also love to use my skills to create a site for Blk 2 – it would be wickedly helpful in our fundraising efforts and in getting the world to meet our dogs. I’ve not finalised my idea, but it will be an app that drives donations for the shelter and promotes our dogs for adoption.

My ultimate goal would be to create a project related to travelling. I want to marry my love for exploring and visual storytelling with technology!