The unlikely story of a female tech junkie
It's hard to imagine getting bored of busy mornings spent drawing still lifes, paintings, and illustrations; and afternoons welding, grinding metal, and taking apart engine blocks. Well, I did.
To boost my technical skills I began a culinary apprenticeship at the local college. Food became my new passion. Nothing was more exciting than getting to the college early in the morning to prepare lunch at the college restaurant; extraordinary meals of roasts and giant pineapple-glazed ham, leg of lamb roulade, and traditional French desserts of pastry cream and chocolate.
The nights I began co-op at a lovely little restaurant in a quaint town. The boss, who has since gone on to make gourmet burgers was the head chef and his wife was the sommelier. The nearby river extended its beautifully idyllic vibe to the atmosphere of the restaurant. We would smoke Cornish hens and serve them with tiny, manicured carrots with a smoothly tapered cylindrical shape, peeled carefully to leave a tuft of green leafy stem at the top just like in the French cookbooks.
The apprenticeship program ended as did my interest in the profession. Cooking had begun to mean manual labor with little creativity involved; I had lost count of how many 20 lbs boxes of bacon I'd unpacked during my short career. Relying on my knowledge of food and nutrition, I grew food in my backyard and lived a cozy yet menial life.
I sought to learn a new trade at University level and so settled on a major that was technical and artistic: Design. Surrounding OCAD U (Ontario College of Art and Design University) was a mysterious aura resulting in a hushed tone of reverence and respect from those who had experienced it. Touching the lives of artists was part of its history as a cultural hub; beginning over a hundred years ago with the historic Group of Seven, whose works found a home next door at the Art Gallery of Ontario.
The coordinator of OCAD's multidisciplinary program was an edgy architect who had designed large-scale walls of colourful light on buildings- an omen of the thousand blinking LEDs in the class' future. He announced that the new program Digital Futures combined art, design, technology, and entrepreneurship with a focus on game design. Technically demanding classes like modeling 3D objects, animation, and programming contrasted artistically inclined classes that tested the ability to integrate imagination into design practices.
Artists and designers alike were given the opportunity to master the au courant technologies of rapid prototyping using laser-cutting, 3D scanners and printers, or interactive mechanical inventions using motors, sensors and LEDs. Using technology as the modern medium, a tour through computing and art history was propelled into a fantastic journey through a digitally malleable world. paralleled by a series of socially existential talks of what ifs based on utopian social, environmental and design ideals.
On my search for answers to some questions I had about programming I was asked one back. I ended up spending 4 straight hours talking with a fellow programmer with whom I had a mutual friend. I didn't know it, but I was given the opportunity to solve real-world problems more complex than OCAD could present. I was consumed by web programming challenges like compatibility, user interface, graphics and format. I was assimilated into a club of programmers who each had a role in the foundation web infrastructure and concentrated learning how to use these foundations to engineer the most efficient technology. this was done by using the most effective design practices with the motivation of reliable display and quickest access to information.
Currency of information is of utmost importance for a few reasons; 1) out-of-date information is useless 2) search engine optimization deems the most recently updated website will appear first. This is why web software should be designed for optimal accessibility.
There's something I found in programming that I couldn't find in the offline world: the power to create technical tools as needed with relative ease, arriving at scientific determinations faster.