For years, Launch Brigade has brought on college students onto our team as Summer interns. A few of our interns have even joined us once they’ve graduated. This year, Misha came on board as an intern to research and work on a web portal project internal to Launch Brigade. We’re proud to bring Misha on as our first Woman Coder, and in this interview, we got to learn more about her and her experience.
How and why did you get into coding/programming/developing?
I’d been coding since I was about eight, to mess around with computer games and websites. I didn’t realize until I took an AP Computer Science class in high school that I could turn it into a career. That’s when I started taking it seriously.
What was it like in the beginning?
When I entered college intending to major in CS [Computer Science], I initially felt intimidated. I didn’t know where to start. I had a deep desire to jump in and start building things, but felt like I had to know “everything” in order to begin, especially because I didn’t want to seem ignorant around my peers. I am several steps ahead of the game now simply because I got over myself, put myself out there, and started networking and taking advantage of opportunities where I found them.
If you could code one thing into existence what would it be?
I’d love to build an app that inspires people to become more involved in their communities, to play or volunteer or attend events. I feel like my generation could really benefit from building stronger and more rewarding communities.
How is learning in your internship different than learning in school at UCSC?
My education so far at UC Santa Cruz has been primarily teaching us theory, which is fascinating and useful. It seems to me that there is less “building”, and less teaching of relevant languages, practices, and other skills that you might use as a professional developer. I’m glad to have both the classes at UCSC and the hands-on experience I get from interning, and intend to keep working as a developer while I’m in school.
Launch Brigade has worked out of NextSpace since the beginning. How do you like working in a coworking space?
Working at NextSpace reminds me of all the benefits I get from working at a cafe or a university library (my go-to study spaces), without the strangers. Unlike working solo, I can look forward to seeing people every day.
You are the first woman to code at Launch Brigade. What’s your advice for other women looking to get into coding?
Take advantage of the plethora of free online resources that will teach you literally anything you want to learn how to code. Online tutorials are incredibly satisfying and often fun. Eventually, surround yourself with other engineers that support, challenge, and inspire you. My relationships have been key to my self-improvement and education.
We’ve had a great time with Misha on our team this Summer, and we wish her the best in school and her future!
If you’re interested in joining as an intern, reach out to us!