I've always been intrigued by technology. Ever since I was a child, my dad would take apart consoles and discarded hardware he found in our apartment's trash room, and I would watch him put it back together. Amazingly, the mish-mash of parts resulted in a functional computer. This experience taught me that I can build something out of anything.
I wrote my first line of code at around 10 years old thanks to Neopets. Creating and designing HTML pages opened my eyes to a world of using code to make something useful - like a website for my high school biology teacher so students can see current homework assignments and other helpful resources. This experience taught me that I can build something great, functional, and even beautiful.
Around the same time I was part of various online communities called oekaki boards. These oekaki were message board systems - but instead of text, users posted pictures drawn with the oekaki's browser-based painting tool. I was so delighted to draw a picture, post it, and engage with the community; it was a way for artists to uplift one another and give feedback in real time. Loving it so much, I cobbled together my own oekaki board by using a free webspace provider (which at the time gave us 50mb free), an open sourced framework called OekakiPoteto, and editing PHP files. This experience taught me that I can build something that inspires others even with my own limited resources.
Technology will always be something close to my heart. It's a way for me to express myself through creation. And there's always something new - new services, new frameworks, new APIs, new design patterns. Plus, always something to build upon: accessibility, inclusion, optimization. There's just so many different angles to think about technology from, and I'm thankful for it to continuously inspire me and spur me forward on my journey through life.