Angie Washburn, a “cool” coding mom thanks to her sons, shares how to find a parent friendly workplace and use scheduling to create life balance. Connect with Angie on LinkedIn.
Where do you currently work? What kind of coding do you do there?
I work for Eleven Fifty Academy, an immersive coding program, as a Lead Developer. We are using a relational database system, FileMaker, to build the Student Information System.
Do you have a favorite story involving coding?
When I first started building our current project, I found myself experimenting with things in which I was not versed. I was so excited when I was able to connect a webhook between two programs (our admissions form and the database I was building). Then, our director of admissions called to let me know that I had just applied to the academy nearly 100 times. I quickly realized that I had created an infinite loop and was in the process of correcting that error when the president of the academy calmly walked over and said, “I think you are stuck in a loop.” I was embarrassed because he gets an email each time someone applies. My loop had sent him 100 email messages!
What is your favorite coding language or IDE? Why?
What ways do you stay current?
I try to gather resources from programmers around me and work to learn new concepts. One of my favorite places to learn new things is Lynda.com.
Do you have a favorite story involving motherhood and coding?
I stayed home for the better part of 15 years with my boys. When I found Eleven Fifty Academy and decided to apply to their immersive program, my family was very supportive. My sons were worried about me and would coach me on how to be “cool” with my younger classmates. One day during the first few weeks, I mentioned NBA2K and someone commented that was awesome that I knew about that.
How do you balance motherhood, a job, and learning to code?
Working full-time, managing my boys’ schedules, and spending time outside of work on my own startup company can be stressful at times. When I plan out my days and weeks, I try very hard to ensure that I can give 100% of my energy to those areas at specific times. Years ago, I learned the concept of ‘Day Tight Compartments’ in Dale Carnegie training. I use that model and take it to an hourly compartment level to ensure I am my best self.
What advice do you have for moms wanting to break into technology?
First, do not be afraid. The best thing that I did was to try it, and as a result, I have learned that the possibilities of what I want to do are endless. Technology touches every industry.
Any tips for moms on how to find a company that supports working parents?
My best advice is to be open and honest in conversations with companies. I know the word “network” is tossed around a lot, but the power of the network you build can help you find the right fit; that is how I landed in my current role. I was transparent about the working conditions that would work with my family commitments.
Is there anything else you would like us to know about you?
Learning to code has not only helped me grow professionally and grow my network, it has given me the confidence to start my own company and pursue my entrepreneurial dream.