your daily code for breakfast

Spotlight 69: introducing you to inspiring web developer Tiffany Yu!

In Spotlight number 69, we’re going to meet Tiffany Yu! Tiffany is a fullstack web developer. She participated in the full time Web Intensive Program at the New York Code + Design Acadamy in Amsterdam (yes, really, in Amsterdam!) and I was very happy to meet her at GitHub Satellite :-). I find her truly inspiring and I’m excited that she wanted to share her story today! Thank you Tiffany :-)

Name: Tiffany Yu
Job: Web Developer, Founder of Diversability
Favorite website, app or gadget: theSkimm
Favorite book: The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz (currently reading Daring Greatly by Brene Brown)

What inspired you to pursue a career in IT?
I built my first website more than a decade ago. Since then, I’ve wanted to learn more about web development and had been attempting to learn to code for the better part of the past three years in my free time. I attended Google’s Women Techmakers Summit in March where Minerva Tantoco,New York City’s Chief Technology Officer, said, “Tech is in everything and should be for everyone.” That really resonated with me. In addition, after seeing some of the projects submitted through the Connect Ability Challenge last year and my work with Diversability, I became more interested in inclusive design and using tech for good and to enhance the lives of all. I made the leap earlier this year and enrolled in the full-time Web Intensive Program at The New York Code + Design Academy.

What does your working day look like?
I’m a big believer in a multi-passionate life, so I love that there really is no typical day. I like the diversity in my life. Some days, I could be spending my time working on a project for a client, updating code, or working on design. Other days, I could be spending my time planning or closing out an event, preparing for a presentation or working on some new projects, or having meetings with different stakeholders to talk about our work at Diversability. There are a lot of meetups for different tech communities in New York City, so I love being able to meet other tech evangelists.

What is the coolest project you have worked on and why?
I finished coding bootcamp a few weeks ago so I’m working on a few things on the side, but I’m really proud of my final project, Map My Members. I created this web application for Facebook Group administrators to help them facilitate offline connection based on Group members’ locations using the Facebook API and Google Maps API. This was something I needed for the online community at Diversability, and I realized others were looking for something similar as well. But stay tuned for more exciting projects to come. :-)

Do you have a hero, or someone who inspires you?
I’m inspired by Karlie Kloss, who also leads a multi-passionate life. She is a fashion model, a student at NYU, an entrepreneur running a cookie business Karlie’s Kookies, and a coder (and paying it forward with coding scholarships for high school girls through the Flatiron School).

Why do you love working in  IT/Tech?
I’m the type of person who loves to grow and be challenged. In my professional career, I’ve taken on investment banking, recruiting, TV journalism, sales, to be continued. Tech is one of those industries where there is always something new to learn. I’m excited to continue learning, exploring new innovations, and building on my tech skills.

Do you have a degree in IT? If so, what taught you the most? And if not, did you miss some important knowledge?
I studied business/finance in university. I personally see myself as a businesswoman/entrepreneur who knows how to code. No matter what industry you are in, tech is likely connected to it in some way. I’m so impressed with how much I learned in such a short amount of time, and how much more I can learn in the years to follow.

What would be your advice to everyone who is interested in a career in tech? (or learning to code?)
My best advice, which is also applicable outside of tech, is to remember your why, and revisit that often. There is an endless learning curve in this space. It can feel discouraging at times, but if you remember why you decided to pursue this path, it can help keep you grounded.

Extra question from Olu: What’s the best thing you’ve ever learnt online? When I first started learning to code, one of my classmates shared this tutorial with me. It is one of the most comprehensive tutorials I’ve come across, and a plus if you are a Star Wars fan. :-)
p.s. Personal note: in the upcoming weeks, I won’t be blogging.  So the next Spotlight will be online on August 26!