1. Meet the organizers: Audrey from Paris

    Paris c’est toujours Paris - but even for Parisians life can look pretty different once entering the world of technology. Meet Audrey, the main organizer of Rails Girls Paris and read how she went from a set out career in business into a full-time geek and how she sees working in the developer world.  Audrey also got to add a fifth language to her CV - guess what!

    It could have seemed like my future was already mapped out. 

    I graduated from a top business school, I’m half French - half Irish and speak 4 languages, I love talking in public and reading business books… It seemed like I had it all to become a tightly dressed international business woman, in some multinational finance or marketing Firm. 

    Yet no one should take signs for stereotypes or set themselves an “obvious” path. 

    I met Geeklist in San Francisco, when I was interning for a startup accelerator called RocketSpace. At first I was very curious : what’s all this programming thing about? How does it work? What does a developer actually do and what do all those code lines mean? Chris, CTO of Geeklist, spent an awful lot of time explaining jargon, showing me his tools and achievements, explaining how computer programming basically works. It was fascinating. I remembered my childhood amazement in front of the infinity of things to learn in life.

    Then my boyfriend started coding. Wow, that was another good reason to get interested. And then my boss asked me to customize our website a little. Ok that was it, I said to myself, time had came : I was going to learn and put my hands into this stuff.

    I’ve never really taken them out since :) Well, except for shaking the hands of all the fascinating people I have met through this experience. The developers’ world is not only that of {incomprehensible language}, it’s most of all a world of innovation, of tech-enthusiasts, of entrepreneurs: a world of people who want to use technology to make life better.

    Today, I’m not a coder. I don’t develop stuff, it’s not my thing. But I know what it’s all about. I know what the different languages are for, who uses them and why, how code is treated by the machine, why development is so important… I read books, I spend hours watching/listening/talking to developers, I question my boyfriend and my CTO until both are out of breath : even though I have the essential foundation bricks, I want to keep building my knowledge.

    If I hadn’t met the awesome team in San Francisco, if Reuben, had not built up my self-confidence to work in this great tech environment, if I had preferred stereotypes to life-time opportunities, never would I have learned so much and discovered my inner passion.

    In fact, if you think about it, I actually am an international business woman (not so tightly dressed though ^^), but my firm is the most exciting startup, my sector is the most innovative of the world, and I have added a cool new language to my bio: programming.

    Audrey Stewart
    Regional Director France, Geeklist

    audrey [at] geekli.st

Notes

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