Alchemy

I love working in tech. As a software developer, I have the ultimate power: I can build anything. The only things holding me back are my imagination, my time, and my desire.

I’m a modern-day alchemist, making gold out of thin air.

And it’s with my magic that I genuinely want to make the world a better place.

Later this month, I will hit my three-year anniversary of becoming a web developer.

I look back on those first days, when I didn’t know anything or anyone, and all I had was hope. Hope that I could not only be good at this whole Internet Thing, but also that I could help other people be good at it, too. (If the last three years are any indication, I’m actually doing alright; I even gave a talk about my journey, called Evolution of a Developer!)

But over this past year, there have been more than a few moments in this industry when I’ve wondered if this is the right field for me.

The companies, communities, and professionals heralded in our industry are, by and large, the exact opposite of the types of figures that I was hoping to see. Instead of using computer magic to change the world, they’re helping the rich get richer while ignoring the disadvantaged who could benefit from their skills the most.

I see the people who are actively making a difference get denied funding because of their looks, their accents, or their lack of pedigree.

After seeing the same stories repeat themselves over and over again, it’s easy to lose hope sometimes.

But then I open up my computer.

And while I’m no investor or epic entrepreneur of the ages, I still have the power to create. If anything, my power is stronger than ever, because I’ve been levelling up this whole time.

Now is not the time to give up. If no one wants to share the gold, well then we’ll just have to make our own.

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This was originally posted on The Pastry Box Project at https://the-pastry-box-project.net/raquel-velez/2014-december-4