I received my degree as a chemical engineer in Venezuela, yet, five and a half years ago when I moved to Argentina, I had a hard time finding a job in the field. Since I am not one to sit and wait around, I looked to my past experiences. I had taken a few classes in college on coding and remembered being quite good at it. So, I started searching for coding bootcamps and found one just for women.
Joining the cohort, I had a lot of internal fear and truly felt the feelings of imposter syndrome because there were 20 women there, and everyone had a tech background. It was a whole new world for me, and everyone else would introduce themselves by saying something like: “I studied computer science” or “I'm a computer engineer”. Then, when it was my turn, I quietly shared: “I studied chemistry.”
I felt out of place, but I was patient and gave myself the time I needed to understand the new concepts. I believe that when you put in the effort, you will always come to understand things at your own pace. I learned from this experience not to compare myself to others because everyone has their rhythm. You always see yourself compared to someone else, but I had to own the process, create the confidence to learn, and keep building myself up every day.
Studying engineering, to me, came down to solving issues. I’ve learned that sometimes we think coding is really hard, but at the end of the day, coding is having an issue and finding a way to solve it. It’s almost like working through a shopping list — you’re writing a list of steps to accomplish something. It’s not about learning a new language or having more tools; it’s about rethinking a problem. Being an engineer helped me reorganize my mind to do what I do now.