Code – Part1

Code Code Code… everywhere I look there is code, everyone talks about developers and code (gross over generalization? maybe, maybe not) and why shouldn’t they? We are living in a world that is highly dependent on technology and I don’t even know what we will do without it.

Butttt this is not going to be a sob story about how we are overly reliant on technology but rather how to OWN it!

Where should I start? Hmm why you should learn how to code? Who should learn how to code? What is code? Where can you learn it? Perhaps a good starting point is to talk about Why Learn To Code.

” You have to obey the forces you want to command.” – Francis Bacon

In the recent past, I personally have observed a rather funny trend, whereby people think that learning to code is going to ensure that they earn bajillions and while the job market Gods have been smiling benevolently on developers, knowing how to code doesn’t necessarily ensure that you will have eleventy gajillion dollars in your bank anytime soon.

So why code?

Because it has the power to change the world. Please. Please. Please. I understand that job security is important. Oh boy do I ever understand! but do things that can actually empower other people because at the end of the day your revolutionary app or product or piece of code is going to be, in one form or another, used by real human beings. Shocker, I know.

Steve Jobs Steve Jobs once said, “I think everyone in this country should learn to program a computer. Everyone should learn a computer language because it teaches you how to think. I think of computer science as a liberal art.”

Learn to code because you can make cool shit with it. Cool shit that others will use. Cool shit that will give you a better understanding of the world and what makes technology so potent. Cool shit that people will be thankful for.

It is not the code that will change the world. It is your zest for knowledge and want to solve problems that will.

So go forth. Think out of the box, aim to solve real world issues and learn how to code.

P.S: You can also learn to code to start a business, for personal projects, for better career prospects and to be a part of the world at large.

The next post will be about resources you can use to try your hand at code and to find out if it is for you. If there is something in particular you’d like to know about coding leave a comment or email me at roastedkeyboard at gmail dot com.

Credits: Thank you Taimoor and Pouyan for reading and editing this!

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Who Am I?

Who am I

I am many things…

a daughter

a sister

a friend

a girlfriend

a student

a traveller

a writer

a lover

a girl

a human…

but why is it so hard to answer the question “tell me more about yourself?” Who am I?

iam

 

De-cluttering

Haven’t written in a while because life got in the way but I am slowly realizing that perhaps I let it get it in the way.

Too many emails… too many phone calls… too many texts… and always, ALWAYS, something to do that distracts me from what I am working on.

Trying to de clutter this weekend and wondering what you all do in order to de clutter your life?

De cluttering

Cambodia: Spiritual Awakening and a Lesson in Humility in the Kingdom of Wonder

The first thing that you notice as you step in Cambodia is the open and warm smiles on the faces of the locals. No matter the time of the day or the state they are in, they welcome you with open arms.

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As I stepped down from my 13 hour plane ride at Siem Reap International Airport, my body was sore and my legs longed for some rest. However, rest was the last thing on my mind, I was in Cambodia, the Kingdom of Wonder and I was ready to commune with the Gods.  It was 5am on a rainy Friday morning and Souhav, the cab driver assigned to me at the airport was eager to show me what his country had to offer—nothing short of majestic.

‘Would you like to see the sunrise at Angkor Wat?,’ he asked in impeccable English; I of course said yes. From afar, I could only see the blurry outline of the famous temples of Angkor Wat but as we slowly inched forward through the throngs of tourists, the details became clearer, solidifying out of obscurity and clustering together like filings around a magnet.

Built by King Suryavarman II in the 12th century, Angkor Wat is the largest Hindu temple complex in the world and it is a miniature replica of the universe, based on Hindu mythology, set in stone. According to mythological beliefs, the mountain Meru is situated at the centre of the universe and the central tower at Angkor Wat is an earthly model of Meru. The five towers correspond to the peaks of Meru, the outer walls to the edge of the world and the surronding moat is a representation of the oceans beyond. A classical example of the architecture of the Khmer period and a stunning respresentation of the cosmic world, Angkor Wat is a UNESCO World Heritage site and for good reason. People from far and near come to this wondrous land, in hopes of finding a spiritual awakening which was in part the reason why I was there too.

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The intricately designed Buddha statues and carvings at every turn in the complex could captivate the imagination for hours. ‘Some of the Buddha statues were decapitated and their heads sold for a fortune in other countries,’ Souhav explained with a solemn expression on his face. The centuries old Khmer architecture has withstood the test of time but unfortunately large portions of the complex were not able to withstand the violence that was rife during the tyrannical Khmer Rouge era.

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Hollywood—in particular, Tomb Raider, starring Angelina Jolie whose action sequences were shot at Angkor Wat—may in part have been responsible for the popularity of Cambodia as a tourist destination. However, the main reasons behind the extreme popularity of Cambodia as a tourist destination, are its rich cultural history and the warm hospitality of its people.

This is my favorite picture from the trip.

Vigilantly working day and night, with constant heartwarming smiles that never leave their faces, one feels a sense of awe, compassion and respect towards this magical land and its people. No matter the time of the day or the state they are in, they welcome you with open arms.

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On previous visits, I had the opportunity to visit the famous landmarks and museums but this time, I was adamant to do something that I had never done before and that was to find out more about the people and their lifestyle. As a result when Souhav offered to drive me to the local woodwork shop, I jumped at the opportunity. For what better way to get to know people then to see them work.

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At the workshop, artisans were intently bent over, working away on their magnificent creations. For just a meager 50 cents an hour, they carved intricate pieces that would become centerpieces of a hotel lobby or a home in a far-flung location. ‘We make the best out of the work opportunities that we have’ one of the artisans explained in an ever so patient tone, ‘and this really is one of the better paying and stable jobs.’

After admiring the carvings for some time, we were on our way to a local diner that served steaming pots of delicious Khmer food, fresh, simple and fit for a king. We were served a mouthwatering three-course meal that included the world renowned Amok trey; freshwater fish fillet, covered in aromatic herbs and spices and served wrapped in a banana leaf. While I took my time to enjoy the delicious and generous offerings in front of me, my mind continued to wander and a question arose in my mind, ‘have I found what I came in search of?’

The answer was a simple, resounding and reassuring, yes. That night before I went to bed, I was thankful for this much-needed lesson in humility. I realized that the spiritual awakening many, myself included, seek in this transcendent mecca comes from not simply being in Cambodia but from being around its people who genuinely teach you to reconnect with your humanity. At the end of the day, self-awareness has to come from within but one has to realize that we are a part of something bigger.

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This article originally appeared in the print edition of BOLD Magazine

Edited by: Kate Browning

Identity Crisis Resolved: I am a Liberal Feminist

All was fine in Twitterville yesterday until… well until it broke down but that’s besides the point… I was labelled a liberal feminist. Now, being called a feminist is not a bad thing but the stereotypes attached to it and the extreme hatred with which the words were uttered was nothing short of f*cking ridiculous!

I am a feminist

It was not until last year that I finally began to explore / understand the concept of feminism, thanks to Karen Schulman Dupuis. Prior to that I had a rather negative view of feminism because, well, the media, more often than not, tells us that feminists are bra hating, hairy legged uncivilized buffoons.

media representation

But what feminism really is equal rights for women.

What is feminism

While the movement gained momentum in the 20th century, it has its roots in the French Revolution of the 1700s when women began to push for equal rights, (Side note: I am not a fan of the term ‘fight’ because no one should have to FIGHT for their RIGHTS, in an ideal world that is!) equal participation and being able to participate in equal dialogue with men.

It was started because there was a need for it and as with any social movement, not everything is black and white. There is a spectrum of feminists, if you will, which ranges from radical feminists to those who believe in the idea of feminism but are uncomfortable with embracing and supporting the cause; to each their own.

But what does it mean to be labelled a liberal feminist?

Just run a simple google search on ‘I am a liberal feminist’ and this is what comes up as the top 2 results.

Search results

 

And well according to the trolls, I am one of those women “who thinks women at home means women imprisonment.”

To you my ignorant friends I have this to say:

feminist-housewife-1

So, O’ sweet strange troll I would just like to thank you for making me realize that yes I am a feminist and a rather liberal one at that and that I believe in equality and and and that I will always speak up against bogus ideas and people who are stuck in the dark ages and believe that women belong at home; it should be a choice. Also, Identity crisis resolved!

kate Nash

News and Views: TedxDistilleryDistrictWomen

Pam

Today was super uber fantastically awesome and the team and I finally saw TedxDDWomen coming to fruition. It was a day of many firsts that started off with a cup of coffee and awesome Awake Chocolate bars that are chocolates and caffeine all wrapped into one! Awake

As I munched onto these yummy pieces of heaven… < cause chocolate + caffeine = heaven (duh!)>… I had no idea that I was going to meet so many familiar faces! Until I bumped into this gorgeous lady, Gwen Elliot!

Gwennie

Awesome Tedx color coordinated nails with Tedx painted on!

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Jennifer Kelly, Dr. Sylvia and I

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Lucia and I

Of course there were new people too and the cutest one of them all (no offense everyone!) was Hannah Alper! The notable 10 year old environmentalist who has her very own site and who very graciously offered me her business card! Way to go! I recall when I was 10 I was still making mud pies in my backyard!!!

Hannah Alper and IHannah Alper and I

She talked about her love for environment and animals and urged everyone to find their passion and their community and grow together as one! Truly a young visionary!

Food

There were these yummy wraps, courtesy of EnVille Catering in Toronto and then I just remember going into the longest food coma!

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oooh ooooh and ooooh! Did I mention that all this took place at Arta Gallery located in the Distillery District and that I saw this awesome scultpure? Huzzah!

For those of you who are wondering, the first picture is of Pam, the official photographer for the day’s shenanigans and she refused to look up! Go find her on her webbie cause she is awesome and has a great eye for photography!

We had the good fortune of getting really amazing speakers and for the full list please visit TedxDDWomen’s Speakers’ Page.

One last thing before I log off and call it a day. Jennifer Moss, one of the amazing speakers and, as I mentioned on twitter, Gini Dietrich‘s doppelganger, <don’t believe me? go see for yourself!>  told us to make happiness a state and not just a trait. Hence, here is my happy thought of the day: I am grateful for every single person in my life, those who are good to me, those who are negative and everyone in between cause if not for you, I wouldn’t be who I am today. So thank you for loving me, making me stronger and everything else. Cheerios!

happy

For You | Making Friends & Other Assorted Life Lessons

Since I was about 4, ‘Moving Day’ was a biannual event that had to happen.

moving-day

In my 4 year old world, it meant packing all my toys and story books in a box and moving to another city.

Another city. Another apartment. Another place where a new tree house would have to be built!

I hated it.

Not because I had to shift from one place to another and not because I had to make new friends but due to the fact that it meant losing a lot of my toys on the way.

Over the years, my favorite Barbie doll lost a lot of her accessories and few years later, I lost her.

I was devastated.

However, beyond the loss of toys and the personal artifacts, the biannual ‘Moving Days’ or ‘The Day’, as we referred to them in our household, taught me a lot of important life lessons and the most important lesson of it all was how to make new friends.

As a kid, making a new friend, in a new school can be a daunting task. You don’t know if the other kids are going to accept you or whether they will be nice or nasty. All you have going for yourself is courage and in a small person’s world making a new friend takes a lot of courage.

I felt like Lucy as she discovered the passageway to Narnia, scared and excited, all at the same time.

And the simple truth of it all is that the best way to make friends is to be you and let yourself be vulnerable.

Fast forward to 2013, sitting in a friend’s apartment, a friend who shies away from who he truly is… a friend who only shows what he thinks other likes to see and I just want to scream…

‘TRUST AND STAY TRUE TO YOURSELF!’

I ask him why he wouldn’t let others see him?

…and he says, ‘because I hate people, because people hurt me.’

i love you

There are more than 6 billion people in this world, there is a friend for you out there. Also, I love you.

Dreamers and Doers

be the change

‘Be the change you want to see.’

You probably have heard this quote a gazillion times and for good reason, because it holds true.

No one ever did achieve anything great by resting on their laurels. You have to get up. You have to tell yourself, ‘I can do this’ and chances are you probably will and even if you don’t, you will feel better knowing that you tried.

I recall my first day of college, it was a new place, a new environment and I had no freaking idea where my first class was. I nervously looked around and I saw a hundred faces with an expression not too different from mine. An expression of – is this it? what the hell happens after this?

Fast forward to graduation day, with a scroll in our hands we once again asked, ‘What the hell happens after this?’

Some of us chose to take the first jobs that came our way, some of us got lucky and found what we were destined for and others took their time to figure out where they wanted to be and to pursue their passions.

…and yet there are the rest who are still trying to choose the road that they should take.

I am one of them.

…but that is the road I am on and I am staying put. I refuse to quit and I refuse to give up.

Being at FITC will be an opportunity of a lifetime for me to meet likeminded women who refuse to quit and soldier on in the world of technology.

I have this burning desire inside of me to make something happen. I often ask myself, ‘why am I here? there is something bigger than this right?’ and with technology the answer is always yes! I want to be able to make something happen. Scratch that, I WILL make it happen!

Never stop learning. Never stop dreaming.

Finding My Spot

As you guys know, I love love love going to conferences because these things are like networking heavens and provide a chance for meeting awesome people! Also, free food. HEY! A girl’s gotta eat ok?

Hence, when Alex from I DON’T BLOG decided to give away a free ticket to BlissDom  I jumped, quite literally, and submitted an entry to stand a chance to win it! Here’s my entry…

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Yesterday while walking down aimlessly through the halls of my college, because that’s what every hard working student does a week before exams, something unusual happened…

Now you know how there is so much talk about the importance of finding your own voice and your own spot in the world and how it’s easier said than done right? Right.

Back in le undergraduate days, I used to have a study spot in the library that I used to call my own, friends I used to call me own and a blogging voice that was my own but since I shifted from Singapore to Toronto, last year, things have been a little more than complicated.

Now I know that life is only as complicated as you make it to be and that you have to give things time but how much time is considered enough time? Surely, a week before exams was high time that I found a study spot!

As I was walking past a quiet study corner, I saw it, there it was… Sweet Jesus, give me a moment to compose myself… You know how you find a perfect house and you just know it that you want to live there forever? That is exactly how I felt about my spot, as it shall be known as from now on.

Right in front of the loo, next to a vending machine and the water cooler and with a view to die for; yes, that is my study spot.  Hey! It’s all about LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION OKAY!?

What is this incoherent story you ask? How is it related to going to BlissDom you ask? Well, good question my friend! Well, you see, it’s high time that I met more bloggers in real life and found my spot and my voice in the blogging world! I am looking for a community and friends and what better friends to have then fellow bloggers?

As to what I will be bringing to BlissDom? A lot of energy! I am already excited! So where is my ticket? 😉

Oh and just in case you are wondering, here is a picture of the view from my study spot.

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P.S: Like what you read? Then, please vote for this entry over at Alex’s blog! Here is the link!

—-> LINK  <—-