woman wordpress developer

I just finished an internship at Highforge and I’m excited for my future career opportunities. This wasn’t the path I thought I’d take earlier in life, but now that I’m here, there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.

Hi, my name’s Ashley. And I’m reinventing myself as a woman in tech.

I have a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice that lead to a dead-end. But I’ve always been fascinated with design and code so, as an escape, I started building things on the web and teaching myself how to create digitally. It reminds me of one of my favorite hobbies, surfing. Paddling against the waves and duck diving is grueling work, but at the end, catching a wave turns all that work into a brief moment of clear bliss. But no amount of learning from home was getting me to the waves I wanted to reach, so I started searching for mentorship opportunities. Being selected for a new internship at Highforge changed everything.

I’m proud to say I’m the first woman WordPress developer to join their team. And they’re excited to have me.

In the past three months, I’ve learned more about high-end WordPress development, PHP, Git, and JavaScript than I ever thought would be possible. My mind is on fire with the possibilities. It’s dawning on me just how amazingly customizable WordPress really is. I knew it was a great content management tool, and I was able to customize some CSS here and there but in the past I never really got down and dirty with it. Prior to my internship, I didn’t know much (if any) PHP, let alone how to edit it or incorporate it into a child theme for Genesis (a solid WordPress framework).

Once I started, I learned how to customize a theme to get it to look how the design team wanted it to look. Then the design team showed me some tricks in Photoshop and gave me some direction that put everything I’d learned to the test. Now I’m starting to understand how to convert Photoshop mockups into well-formed code. Mentorship from the leaders on the team has opened me up to the logic behind PHP and my skill set is expanding. At every turn I find myself learning something new and realizing I’m just getting started, that I’m still paddling out to the next big set of waves. The waves will never stop, I will never stop learning or practicing.

While life didn’t take me in the direction I thought it would, reinventing myself has led to an amazing opportunity. Its been amazing to start my journey with so many talented and helpful people. I’m excited for the future, for the next wave, to see not where tech takes me, but also where I can take tech.

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