#WomeninSTEM · #WomeninTech

Women Who Reign: Tracy Lum

“The power you have is to be the best version of yourself you can be, so you can create a better world.” – Ashley Rickards

Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
I’m a full-stack web developer and web instructor at the Flatiron School. Before becoming an engineer, I worked in publishing at a podcast network and website, where I was responsible for tasks ranging from analyzing web traffic, selling and coordinating ads, editing blog posts, and coding up HTML email newsletters. Although I enjoyed working so closely with content and media since I have a background in English and journalism, I realized I also loved solving problems and building scalable processes, so I applied and was admitted to the immersive web development program at the Flatiron School. I’ve been here pretty much ever since, building features on Learn.co and teaching.

Fun facts time! I love ice cream and coffee. I’m obsessed with Harry Potter, Downton Abbey, and Gilmore Girls. I recently ran a half-marathon with my team here (Go Flatiron Bolters!), and it was exhilarating/exhausting.

What # would define your life journey?
Oh gosh, hard to say. #learnlovecode probably, because that’s what Flatiron’s all about.

Favorite website / app:
Ah, there are so many to choose from. Possibly codepen.io. I think it’s beautiful and useful for my work. Also, I read the New York Times every day, and I’m super into their interactives.

Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted:
I’m inspired every day by my fellow co-workers. Since so many of them went through the immersive program at Flatiron, we all have the same attitude toward programming, pursuing mastery, and creating a positive work environment/culture. Them and Sandi Metz. Sandi Metz is my programming hero.
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Song that makes you want to dance:
Starships by Nicki Minaj — it’s my jam.

Challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it:
I’m still pretty new to programming, but I think the biggest challenge I had to overcome was simply onboarding to a new codebase after graduating from a three-month bootcamp and learning to work with a talented and impressive team. To overcome that challenge, I pushed myself to go outside of my comfort zone both technically and socially, working outside of official work hours, asking people to coffee and lunch, and constantly asking questions. It sounds simple, but when applied methodically, this approach really helps you level up and build a strong rapport with your team. (Here’s a blog post about it if you’re interested.)

Ideal Job:
At this stage, I think I’d like to be an engineering lead or manager in 10 years. Honestly, I just want to be the best programmer I can be. (And then maybe I’ll write a book about it!)

What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
I’d say that you should find what to love and commit wholeheartedly to it. Even if it seems ridiculous, if you want it, just go after it and find a way to make it happen. You can be an agent for change. Disrupt, experiment, iterate. Eventually everything will work out.



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