Team ImpactDevs Amsterdam - Part 1

Posted on by Jess

Categories: blog and student posts

team impactdevs at work

Photo taken by Nuno Cruz

Team Impact Devs - Amsterdam

Four years ago I was on the tube late at night in London. Some drunk girls were being noisy and boisterous, squealing and moaning about their painful feet in their high-heels.

A goth-attired man in his mid 30s looked up from his book and said “don’t wear those shoes if they hurt, no one wants to hear your shrieking.”

“Oh, go home and listen to your Morrissey albums!” said one of the girls.

I caught her eye and grinned and asked them where they’d been that evening. They said they had just finished their final exams and were about to graduate and started asking me about myself.

I told them I worked at a startup and I made apps. “Wooaaahhh you are clever!” they chimed in response. I was bending the truth, I edited xml in apps — basically a tester/ proofreader but it felt very good to gain the approval of these impertinent girls.

That’s what set me off on this journey to learn to create applications myself.

After 4 years of going to meetups, hackathons, many online tutorials and a 3-month boot camp, I met my teammate, Vanessa. Like me, transitioning into web dev after a different career — as a water technology and sustainability expert.

Our project is, a Chrome extension which helps scientists organise and search their bookmarks and history. We were attracted to the idea of helping researchers in science and we thought it made a good mix of both our backgrounds.

We are building a notification centre which allows admin users to log on and send updates to users, using Pouch db, React, Mongo and Node.

And now it’s already the end of week 4 and these 3 months are going so fast. Although we are doubtlessly learning a lot, at times I feel like a roiling mess of frustration. Nearly everyday I have to give myself a pep talk in the mirror and spend 5 minutes google image-searching ‘Michelle Obama working out’. However, my kate-bush-song-listened-to-to-lines-of-code-written ratio has fallen from 10:1 or 5:1.

It feels so lucky to be in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, right in the centre, in summer — surrounded by creative, flat-hierarchy companies and awesome people, giving us their limited time and sought-after skills willingly.

We’ve been really lucky to get so much support from our mentors and coaches — so much so that we would like to start a “Male Allies in Tech awards”, to let people know that the tech industry has more than stories of sexism and harassment. One of the prizes will include a t-shirt that says “This is what a male ally in tech looks like”.