Why did I decide to learn software development?

If you google my name, you will find my Youtube channel, #thepaintedlipsproject. The purpose of the channel is to provide and demonstrate how makeup looks like against different skin tones. Anyone who wants to participate can do so by uploading swatches with the hashtag, #thepaintedlipsproject. The channel was created to help solve the issue of representation and diversity amongst the beauty industry. I receive thank you e-mails or comments daily from viewers, saying that I've inspired them to be comfortable in their own skin to saying that I've helped aid them in their beauty purchases. With nearly 25,000 subscribers, I'm tickled by its growing success and absolutely love what I do. It was this hobby that led me to the path of programming.

When it comes to creating video content for my channel, I've taught myself everything I know from the use of software like Photoshop and Final Cut Pro, to the operation of cameras and lighting. This channel has taught me so much that I consider it to be an asset to my skill sets, but we'll talk about that later. Flash back to about 7 or 8 months ago, I was inspired to create a blog and/or app that would compliment my channel. I knew exactly what I wanted, but I didn't know how to create it. I ran into various content management systems (CMS), like the one I'm using now for this blog, but that didn't satisfy me; I wanted to learn more. (Side note: there is nothing wrong with using CMS. They are helpful tools too!) So that curiosity led me to resources like Code Academy, and shortly after I wrote my first line of code. 

My channel generally revolves around beauty, but I also include bits of lifestyle such as fashion, skincare and wellness. But this month I will be trying something new! I am planning a special video, which I hope will be well-received and spark curiosity amongst my viewers, to consider a career in tech. I'm inspired to use my platform to encourage others to learn how to code, especially since 94% of my audience are females of various ethnicities, ranging from 13 to 54 years old! I would be proud to introduce programming to a demographic who may have never even considered it before. Additionally, why shouldn't career talk be included with the beauty category? Being a smart, independent woman is beautiful too! My channel can be used as an outreach tool to encourage diversity in tech!

Up until now, I've been trying to keep my programming world separate from youtube, fearing that employers would discover it and give me a pass as a result. How naive of me. But like stated before, Youtube demonstrates several favorable characteristics of mine, such as being a: leader, self-starter, creative, passionate and committed person, with a positive influence, amongst others traits. Yep, I'm totally tooting my own horn! Youtube is something I am proud of. Why not use it to show employers part of who I am? Additionally, one time I had a tech interview in which the interviewer asked me about my channel. I was unprepared and surprised by the question because I had never included it in my resume or application! But of course he googled me! Duh! Since the results of my googled name ranks my Youtube above my LinkedIn, I might as well embrace it fully, do good, and bridge my two worlds into one.