About me and why I applied to Outreachy

Barley Field on Sunrise

My name is Dina Saparbaeva. I’m from Kyrgyzstan. My path before was completely unrelated to tech. For about 10 years I worked in the hotel industry, overtime grew from waitress to accountant. But I always felt, something is missing. I changed many sections in the hotel and then finally became an income auditor, where my job was more involved in the hotel systems. I would configure reports and parameters, investigate discrepancies in the system. It was interesting at first, but soon became routine and boring. Because you don’t have freedom to change and experiment in accounting. And also, there was constant need to work overtime, stay late, work on off days, low compensation and slow career progression that are common in hospitality industry. I was experiencing burnout and felt the need for change.

When we didn’t have any modern PC’s at my school, we used to study informatics on old soviet “Corvet” PC’s. They were small and with green screen and you had to program in Basic. It was so much fun, but in 2000’s they replaced those with modern Windows PC and it became really boring. We started learning only Word, Excel and PowerPoint and office utilities. That is first I was introduced to programming. When it came to university I had to choose university with financing, so that is how I went to study and work in tourism.

Then about in 2012, I came across programming book in Russian, it was about PHP, HTML. That time I became really interested and tried early version of Codecademy. But my english wasn’t that good and didn’t find many resources in Russian, also I got promotion at work, so I stopped for a while. I got my second degree in business. But over time, my job became mundane. I lost my excitement, motivation and interest.

Pandemics was a push I needed to evaluate my life. I remembered what I used to like, dived in programming. I liked especially “JavaScript Algorithms and Data Structures” part on freeCodecamp, it was fun and engaging to find solutions.

Why I applied to Outreachy

In August 2020, I was browsing YouTube for the topics related to functional programming in JavaScript and came across one video of Anjana Vakil, where she briefly mentioned Outreachy program. I was curious and googled Outreachy.

I learned how supportive community is and also, and it was and excellent opportunity to use my programming skills, contributing to some real product, that will be used by people.

So that was the reason, I applied to Outreachy program. So, here I am, working with Openstack Manila team. I just started, but even during contribution period I learned a lot and my mentor also was very supportive and positive. It was an amazing experience to get my first commit merged.

Core Values

My core values are autonomy, curiosity and respect.

I value autonomy. I act on my choices and interests. I decided to continue with programming, even when everyone thought, this is some crazy idea I got.

I’m curious. If I come across something, i really need to know how it works and what it is. I value curiosity, because it led me to interesting places, people and opportunities.

I believe everyone should be respected, no matter of their differences from other people. Children, animals, trees, other one’s efforts need to be respected and this is the way for growth and development.

So that is my whole story. Please share your experience and you values in the comments.

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