Because apparently, it’s not me.

Take a second to just write down the first three words you think of when you respond to that question.

My answer was nerdy, smart, and has poor fashion sense. Which, to be fair, when I look around my office, is kind of true.

Photo by Kobu Agency on Unsplash

When I picture an engineer in my mind, I think about someone who looks like my dad. Wears old tech t-shirts all the time, jeans that have seen better days, walks out the door without checking his hair. It’s super easy for me to think the paper guy above is a developer.

I usually wouldn’t think too hard about this, because what does it matter?

After two years, my count is still in the single digits

Photo by Dominik kielbasa on Unsplash

Just think about it for a second, and literally count how many women you’ve worked with, interacted with, or even just vaguely been on the same team as.

Write that number down or comment it on this article.

Then count out how many of those women were engineers, developers — women in technical roles.

I just BARELY require a second hand to count those women.

After two full years of working, four different teams at three different companies, my number is 9.

On two out of four of my teams, I was the only female engineer.

On the other two…

A fun way to re-frame your thoughts when you’re ready to scrap everything

Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

Do you ever get frustrated by users

  • getting tripped up on your most basic of flows?
  • completely ignoring your elegantly designed features?
  • abusing your system and then getting mad at you for letting them do it?
  • leaving you long winded angry reviews that don’t seem to say anything?
  • just not being the user you expected to use your experience?

Totally understandable.

But here’s the thing, you’re often designing for users of all demographics. From the grandparents who don’t know how to navigate the internet on their own, to the Gen Z populace who expect everything to be accomplished in one…

I couldn’t picture myself in anything but oversized hoodies and sweatpants

Photo by Calvin Lee on Unsplash

I was actively avoiding mirrors.

I didn’t like the way I looked in them anymore.

I guess that meant that I didn’t like the way I looked anymore, period.

Does anyone else ever get that feeling?

My best self, the self that felt beautiful and put together, disappeared when the pandemic hit.

I used to take such joy in picking out my outfit for work or school. My morning beauty routine was a highlight of my day — a scant 30 minutes I would spend with just myself, self-pampering, and just feeling good.

But once I moved back home with…

Losing someone is never easy, but losing a loved one during this pandemic is just another level of messed up.

Photo by Yousef Espanioly on Unsplash

There’s no closure, there’s no peace, there’s no chance to say goodbye. You watch from your phone as your father, grandmother, sister, friend withers away — too scared to risk COVID to go to a hospital for treatment, too far to hold their hand as they suffer, too busy trying to keep your life going through a pandemic to really have a chance to grieve. People don’t have time to grieve now because they’re too busy trying to make rent and keep food on the table. …

It falsely inflates your sense of self-righteousness and makes you feel unreasonably disappointed.

Struggling to find a job? You’re not alone.

Image by【中文ID】愚木混株 【Instagram】cdd20 from Pixabay

Finding a job is tougher than it needs to be in this day and age. While part of it is that there are more educated people making their way into the workforce, the other part of it is what we do to ourselves psychologically.

Most people don’t work at top companies.

I know, it doesn’t seem like it. In fact, it might seem like everyone is being hired by a top tier company because all you see are these kinds of posts on your feed.

“So excited to announce that I’ll be…

You shouldn’t have to choose another person’s happiness over your own — even if that makes you seem selfish.

Photo by Alvin Balemesa on Unsplash

My parents always told me to be nice to everyone. I’m sure many of us have had that beaten into ourselves in our childhoods. My younger self took that as being friends with everyone, which meant keeping up the conversation and being there for them when they needed a shoulder to cry on.

I really took this to heart in elementary school and high school. My phone would blow up with texts on the daily, I would always be playing games or having lunch with different people, and I lived a very social life.

Unfortunately, this made me really exhausted…

Trying to find a balance between absenteeism and claustrophobia

Photo by Djim Loic on Unsplash

“Don’t you need some alone time?”

“Why would I? There’s no such thing as spending too much time with your partner.”

This is how my conversations sometimes go with my friends. I’m a strong believer that there definitely is a limit to how much time is a good amount of time to spend with someone, but some people aren’t.

Usually, the conversation goes into how once you’re married and living together, you’ll have to spend every day with them constantly existing in the same space. Sure you’ll go to work, but you’ll spend most of your evenings, nights, and mornings…

Quick and simple ways to speed up the front end of your website

Image by Diego Velázquez from Pixabay

Performance is huge when building web applications used by people across a variety of browsers and computers. It seemed hard, though, to find ways to optimize a website’s performance when you want to keep all your functionality and design — until I took a deeper look at Chrome’s Dev Tools.

I won’t talk about what reflow and repaint mean too much here, but check out this great article first if you need a refresher!

TL;DR: Repaints and reflows are expensive, and they can often cause your website to seem unresponsive or laggy.

This article will go over two common issues…

We’re always wondering if there’s something better, but we aren’t really looking

Photo by Austin Chan on Unsplash

We grew up on romance movies where there would be big romantic gestures, picturesque displays of affection that would get framed and looked at for years to come.

This is what I thought romance was, at least until I actually started dating.

Part 1: Acknowledging that romance movies aren’t everything

My first boyfriend in high school was all lavish gifts and flowers and sweet pet names — like a modern day romance movie — but I was still unhappy.

From then on, I had it ingrained in my mind that all the romance in the world wasn’t always enough to make me happy, and the key here is…

Allison Chow

Engineer-in-Training @ uWaterloo / Defender of the Summoner’s Rift / Navigating my Twenties

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