Connecting the Dots …

I’m an associative thinker, and perhaps consequently, that made me extremely prone to becoming a nerd. It was really only a matter of time.

This thinking style is the trait that keeps me up at night, and what makes it hard to get out of bed in the mornings because I was too busy thinking through all the never ending connection possibilities. I swear it’s not laziness! Ok, maybe only partially.

In all my endeavors, I’m always trying to connect and integrate things. So here’s a nerd story for the books: when I was a high school freshman, we had a science project that required us to come up with something interesting to showcase. I literally didn’t have a clue what to do, and as usual, procrastinated until the very last minute, leaving the due date to provide the jolt of panicked inspiration I needed. I ended up making a board game that had various lights that would light up whenever the game pieces landed on a certain space. The board game felt too simple, so I decided I needed to do something more science-y… oh, I know! I will make my own battery.

To make a long story short, I somehow got my hands on a jar of sulfuric acid. Two jars if I had to be more precise, because the first one I dropped in front of the public library a few blocks away from my school and spilled all over the parking lot, so I had to request for another jar. It was quite the tragic nerd scene.

The point is, I really liked watching the lights on my board game come up whenever the pieces landed on a space that connected the circuits within the board. That was the spark that really captivated me.

Recently, I found myself similarly pulled in when I attended my first ever ngGirls (the ‘ng’ stands for Angular) workshop in Atlanta that was taking place alongside ngConf, the biggest Angular conference in the world, where Michio Kaku was a speaker!!!

Back to ngGirls. The workshop turned out to be incredibly fun! I was able to dive into the code immediately, and my amazing mentor, Kim Maida, provided real-time feedback to all my questions and tangential musings. Other women in my group also came from various backgrounds in different stages of their coding journey. I have to say that this event had the 3 main C topics covered: code talk, career talk, and cat talk! Even more awesome is the organization’s overseas ties, as it was created by Shmuela Jacobs.

By the end of the day, I had under my tool belt the ability to set up a simple and flexible Angular app in Microsoft Visual Studio. Even better, a random participant also showed me how to find my command line window on my computer, because I’m a total Mac n00b! I really felt more confident walking out of the workshop than I did going in.

After exploring some additional features available with Angular, I found out about Augury and Arduino. (I’m starting to sense a pattern here…) The former is a Chrome extension that will let you visualize your Angular app’s architecture. The latter is an electronics platform, perfect for exploring a full range of possibilities in the world of Internet of Things (IoT). Now the internet can be connected to anything! Just think of that!

So all these lessons in technology has gotten me reflecting on the connectivity of our human-centric world. I’ve always held a more linear mental model of cause and effect, in a controlled, scientific setting. However, given that all things are connected, and it’s really hard to define the boundaries of observation, I can only conclude that everything we do has an impact, like the butterfly effect, if you will. Everything you do is connected to something else, and although its impact may not be statistically significant inside your world, you have no idea how these actions when “crowd sourced” from each of the individual locales can start to make a massive shift of value in our world.

All we have to do is to just keep on connecting the dots…