Mission / Dreams

Content on this page is similar to the Now page – it may be rough or “uncut”, and hopefully recent.

I’m gradually developing a mission [1], or a guiding compass for what I do in my life. Writing about it in this public place helps me to figure it out and to keep track of how it changes.

December 2, 2021:

My mission is to resist and transform the systems of oppression that underlie exclusion from computing.

November 15, 2021:

My mission is to broaden what “counts” as computing through education, creativity, and social justice.

November 4, 2021:

My mission is to broaden access to computing professions and to broaden the perception of what counts as computing.

October 7, 2021:

My mission is to discover new mediums for informal learning of computing that will enable more people to discover computing the way I did, on my own terms.

My mission is to broaden the definition of programming so that more people can benefit from the joy of computing.

September 11, 2021:

I’m feeling critical of the concept of a mission as I’ve been writing about it here, as my personal goal or something. I guess the idea is to figure out your personal mission, and then find other people with the same mission so you can work on it together. I’m realizing that any mission worth its salt cannot be fulfilled by a single person.

September 8, 2021:

My mission is to equip people from marginalized groups with vocational programming skills so they are qualified for developer jobs.

My dream is to have a career where my skills and passions (programming, education, creativity, people) are directed toward improving programming education for the people who need it most, which will in turn, improve programming education for all of us.

July 9, 2021:

My mission is to create computer science education methods and technology that are accessible to marginalized communities of adults.

My career dream is to contribute these methods to a vocational computer science curriculum through work with institutions and organizations that provide vocational training and job placement. I will continue to invent new technologies and expand the curriculum content through research.

During graduate school, my dream is to develop conceptual models for programming languages and systems (called notional machines) that can be expressed in analog forms, e.g. games, embodiment, and zines.

June 16, 2021:

My mission is to identify the domain-agnostic aspects of computer science that apply across languages, and to make that knowledge accessible to people who learn programming outside of universities.

My dream is to create a computer science curriculum that is accessible to marginalized communities of adults, and delivered to them through a job placement program and support network.

April 2, 2021:

I believe there’s a lot of valuable information about computer science that is inaccessible to a great many people, especially to those who arrive at programming from non-traditional paths.

My mission is to create things that inspire programmers to more deeply understand [2], appreciate, and contribute to topics in computer science. Phrased another way, I create the learning materials I wish I’d found when I learned about topics I felt afraid of, or topics that I avoided because I deemed they were “not for me”.

[1] Credit to my coworker, Rosalie Cabison, whose work helped me to figure this out.

[2] At the end of How to Bake Pi, Eugenia Cheng writes about the “Trinity of Truth” as knowing, believing, and understanding. We have access to so many materials in today’s world that enable us to know about topics in programming, but I believe that there are very few materials that enable us to understand programming. I believe that learning – and life, generally – becomes easier and more enjoyable with understanding. I also believe one of the most important skills in programming – and again, life, generally – is the ability to learn and adapt according to new knowledge. [3]

[3] I am reading Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower at the moment, so this thinking is highly influenced by the philosophy of Earthseed.