About

Sandy Nielsen
Photo of me.

Hello! Thank you for coming to read ‘About’ me and hertechability.

This website is the mashup of my web and internet and coding interests.

 
hertechability Sandy Nielsen family
Photo of me and my three boys, in 2004.

FORMING A CAREER
For the past few years, I’ve been mulling over ideas for my “second career”, or, “what to do after my kids have grown up”. I loved being a stay-at-home mom, and though I routinely took on volunteer leadership jobs with my kids’ classrooms, schools, and extracurricular activities, and short term paid jobs, I knew that we all benefited with having me available, without a full-time job. We chose a relaxed household over the extra income I could have earned working full time. While raising our kids, I dove into family financial management and administrative functions and along the way, developed website skills.

During the last decade +, in addition to side jobs, volunteer and paid, I’ve also been running a family travel website with a friend. We set it up as a business (with a partnership agreement, bank account, tax id number), but always operated the website less than part time, squeezed in between our family duties. The earnings are still not enough to match any person’s part-time job, but are very helpful to our family bank accounts. We continue to write posts, add content, and I always seek ways to improve monetization, recently expanding further into CPM advertizing and increased affiliate links. We are proud of what we’ve accomplished on our limited scale and proud that our web know-how was completely self-taught.

CHOOSING TO CODE
Now I’m in the second half-century of my life. I love being older. I feel capable and confident. I look forward to pursuing interests and more money, while enjoying thinking of what my husband and I will do in retirement years (much later) and watching our kids move into adulthood. Assessing which of my skills could earn money, I am pursuing proofreading, administrative, and website content management positions. Realizing my favorite place to work is in front of a computer, I’m also learning to code.

Guess it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. I guess I’ve always been attracted by STEM subjects. My high school career assessment questionnaire pointed to Electrical Engineering. (Though I was terrified at the prospect of attending a large university, so I chose a small liberal college, foregoing a science major in favor of general poly-sci and business. No regrets!) When we travel as a family, we seek science museums and engineering marvels. My three kids have each built their own computer. We all love technology. Still, when I began figuring out how to tweak my website within the editor area, researching similar issues and testing solutions, it seemed incongruous. A middle-aged mom dabbling in code? But I loved it. Finding the answer, fixing a problem, was a success that felt like solving a puzzle. I wanted more.

hertechability Sandy Nielsen with husband Kurt
Photo of me and my husband.

MIDDLE-AGED MOM DOES TECH (As suggested by my 20-year old son, this phrase was an alternate website name!)
I began looking into how to learn to code. I found so much! Free online courses, fee-based online courses, university courses and certificates, coding workshops, coding bootcamps, tech conferences, and informal coding meetups and networking, both online and in person. I found blogs about others learning to code, and industry experts advising where to start. And I was pleasantly amazed at the encouragement and resources for women in the industry. I’m jumping in!

Starting with a free Skillcrush course, I learned that I knew a lot about HTML and CSS already! I’m still working my way through the course, and then will decide what to do next.

While I learn to code, I am creating this website, one that can include all the coding and specifically, the women-in-coding items I can find, including my collection of news bits regarding the fascinating women-in-tech diversity topic.

Welcome to

hertechability!

I’d love to hear about your interest in tech and anything you’ve found that could benefit women in the industry. Leave a comment below, or send me a message by email at SandyNielsen@hertechability.com .

-Sandy Nielsen

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