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I'm Not a Nerd


Radial Development Group

February 22 · Issue #51 · View online

Our thoughts on running a company, tech insight, news, and nerd life.

Hi Friends,
I’m not a nerd. I don’t love math. And I am certainly not a man. So, what am I doing here in tech?
That’s a ridiculous question, right? 
Anyone can learn to program computers, or manage IT infrastructure, or build hardware. It’s true that aspects of these fields might involve complex math. So do aspects of biology, but we don’t have that mythology around people who study the living world. 
Yet the cultural belief that you have to be a certain type of person, or even a certain gender, to work with computers, is deeply ingrained in many of us. 
At Radial, we hire a lot of bootcamp graduates. This helps us tap into a group of people who did not initially see themselves as the “programming type.” When I ask them how they got into tech, many of them say they had a friend who went through a bootcamp and recommended it.
That changes the story. Suddenly you see your friend, a former Spanish teacher who loves trail running and can’t calculate a tip to save her life, as someone who writes code for a living. And you think, if she can do it, maybe I can, too. 
In my spare time, I sew, draw, run, read, write, backpack, listen to music, and I like to be as far away from a computer screen as possible. 
I’m also here, writing code professionally, doing it well, making cool applications that improve people’s lives. The more people like me (and not like me!) who work in tech, the greater variety who see themselves writing code as their job. And a tech company with nerds and artists, a variety of genders, math lovers and math haters, will make products that work better for all the different people in our world. 
Tech curious? There’s a place here for you.

We know about Alan Turing, but what about Elizebeth Friedman?
The sport of curling dates back to the 16th century.
Sparking Genius
From our friendly neighborhood nerd Ariana F., at Rosabella Consulting
The Squirrels Aren’t the Problem
For as long as I can remember, people called certain behaviors squirrelly, as a euphemism for being easily distracted by bright, shiny objects. But I’ve watched the squirrels out my window. They’re dutifully munching on their sunflower seeds. It’s the dogs who are easily distracted by the squirrels.
The squirrels aren’t the problem, the dog’s inability to focus is the problem.
The same is true of people distracted by bright and shiny objects. The problem isn’t the possibility of something new and exciting. The problem is your ability to stay focused on what matters most.
Dogs are dogs. They are trainable but don’t possess the cognitive prowess we do. As humans, we have a choice. Blame the bright, shiny object and externalize responsibility. Or cultivate our abilities and discipline to stay focused on what’s most important.
An athlete doesn’t just show up at the Olympics expecting to win a gold medal without training first. They establish a training plan, receive expert guidance and exert consistent effort.
Of course, most of us aren’t world-class athletes. We are leaders with big dreams and invigorating ideas. And we have a choice, blame the squirrels or claim our agency to cultivate our abilities to stay focused on what matters most. Which choice are you making?
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