Nevertheless, She Coded

By: Elsa Gonsiorowski, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

This post was first published on http://www.gonsie.com/blorg.

In celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8, dev.to is boosting stories from women. Here is some of my story, inspired by Nevertheless, She Coded.

Why I Code

I code to communicate science.

I define myself as a scientist and have had a life-long love of STEM. Coding allows me to achieve highly technical goals, through problem solving and a quick, iterative process (which is pretty much the best part).

There is nothing like taking a problem, programming a quick solution, developing the solution through fast iteration, and knowing that I’ve arrived at the correct solution when my code spits out the right answer. Then, I can share my solution (and excitement) with the world through a programmatically-defined presentation of text.

Why I Care

Frankly, I’m tired of being the only woman in the room. I’m tired of not knowing my acceptance or exclusion is because I’m a woman or because I’m a woman. We need a diversity of experiences and perspectives. I’m just sick of the monotony.

There are too many carrots in this stew; a sentiment best expressed by Flight of the Conchords (NSFW).

How I Support Others

For me, the best way to support women who code is through mentorship. I find that sharing my experiences, knowledge, and perspective is a great way to help someone else overcome the obstacles in their life. I am great at being the voice of confidence and I love cheering on others.

Don’t forget, You are Amazing.

Advice for Allies

Be conscious of your privilege and how you use your power. Understand your own biases (both conscious and unconscious). When given an opportunity to hire or select from a group, take an extra moment for those from under-indexed groups.

More than anything, be supportive of those around you. Do not abide by deprecating jokes, no matter who the target is. Be a force for good and kindness in the world.

About the author: Elsa Gonsiorowski

    • Elsa is an application I/O specialist and systems software developer within the Livermore Computing supercomputing center at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. She received a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY. Her research interests include software tools for understanding application performance throughout the I/O stack, application checkpointing, and parallel discrete-event simulation.