Sherezz Grant is a web developer who builds websites and apps for artists, creatives, entrepreneurs and start-ups. In this interview to a woman in tech, Sherezz will share with us the true reasons to become a web developer.
I have always been a fan of technology. Since I was a little girl, I have always been drawn to computers and always had a natural ease and adaptability with them. This love of technology expanded to smart tech, wearables, and of course, the apps that help my daily life to be more structured and efficient. I’ve loved that technology changes the way we do things and can make our lives easier. I also love that technology has the power to change lives for the better. Still, if you had told me that I would come to crave a career in tech a few years ago, I would have thought you were joking.
This is because for many years, I was passionate about music. I learned to play the piano at the age of five, and every weekend I went to my grandmother’s house to learn the scales, pieces and music theory. My father’s side of the family was very musically-inclined. In fact, my father is a famous songwriter in my country, and is well known by many for some of the songs that he’s written. So naturally I was drawn to music as well, and because that had been the dominant theme of my life, I thought that this would always be my main method to express my creativity.
Then in 2016, everything changed. The first was that my relationship of seven years ended. My ex was also a music producer and my main music collaborator. I decided that I needed to take a break from music as a result as I associated most of my memories of music with him. The second was that I lost two family members, one of whom was my favorite aunt. Both of my relatives died at very young ages; they were both in their fifties. But it was my aunt’s death that shook me the most. She was my dad’s younger sister, and throughout my life, my parents had always pointed out our similar personalities. We’re both idealistic, ‘see the glass half-full’, do-gooders. My aunt was also very tech-savvy, and even went on to become a Java programmer. She also had a love of music, adventure, and had a bit of an independent streak inside of her, just like me.
When my aunt died, it truly felt like a piece of me died as well. So on the eve of the new year, I vowed to dedicate 2017 to her, and to take a page out of her book. I wanted to live my life to the fullest, and do things I always wanted to do but never had time for. Because I was newly single and no longer working on music, I therefore had a lot of free time to do something that I tried once but never got the time to fully explore: web development.
I now wish that I had gotten into coding years ago. Looking back now, I could see clues that I would have been great at it. I always excelled at math and computer science subjects all the way to university level. I’ve always loved working with computers, and always loved when I had to use the computer for any visual creative opportunities which arose at work. In my day job, I’ve also loved when I had to load and QC well and seismic data, which made use of my love of data and problem-solving.
Although I still love making music, I feel now that I was never quite as confident in my music production ability as I was within a few months of learning how to code. I considered that it’s because the art of sound design is much more nuanced and subjective. There’s no right ‘answer’ to how to mix a track. But with coding, you just have to make your code work well, be clearly understandable by others, and as fast as possible. Because there is often a visual element to coding as well, it’s also much easier to tweak your code until you get the layout or features right, thus making me feel like I could confidently say when I finished a coding project to the best of my ability.
Quite simply, I became a woman in tech because once I got fully immersed in coding, I couldn’t look back. I believe you find your passion and purpose in life when you can lose hours in a day to that passion, and not even feel tired doing it (mostly). I believe you find your passion when you can never learn enough about the subject, and when you keep learning new things, you make synapses and linkages to the other things you learned before, further cementing these new concepts into your brain. Because it gets you excited the more you learn and grow in your field. Because it gets you excited the more people ask you for your help or advice and you’re willing to share your newfound knowledge with others. Because people like me get into tech to change the world and make it better, one line of code at a time.