Inspiration for finding your path

Our third consecutive code camp was held in June. Besides teaching the basics of coding, the camp offered some serious inspiration in the form of our guest speaker Reetta Heiskanen. She gave her tips on finding your own thing in life - especially within the tech industry.

Reetta is CCO at Mehackit, a start-up that offers project-based high school courses and events where young adults can get to know programming through art, music and hardware projects. Reetta ended up in the tech industry after a few bends in the road. After coding her own blog, studying communications and consequently becoming fascinated by how different power structures in the world work, Reetta got into journalism.

It wasn’t until she landed a job at Slush that Reetta got really excited about the opportunities technology can offer. Long story short, she now programs robots and spreads the gospel of programming at Mehackit.

Reetta’s journey is a prime example of how finding one’s own path is often a journey with twists and turns. That’s inevitable. So, how do you make sure you’re going in the right direction? Reetta shares her thoughts:

1 If you’re enthusiastic about something, lean stronger towards it.

Reetta encourages people to keep investing time in things that make them tick, no matter what others will think. We often face a lot of pressure from those around us to do things a certain way. Our parents may place their own expectations on us when we’re choosing a career path. Sometimes we might also go with the flow and do whatever everyone else is doing, just because it feels safer. When you’re truly passionate about something, it pays off to invest your time in it and see where it might take you. We only live once, right?

2 Building things from scratch should be a little challenging.

It takes time to become good at something, and there will certainly be some speed bumps along the way. Life is all about successes and failures, and it shouldn’t be something to be afraid of. The same applies to coding. Learning how to code can be tedious at times, but the learning curve makes succeeding even more rewarding.

3 YOU can make anything happen.

Even the president of the United States is just a person. We’re all people here. You can make things happen if you find your strengths and put them to use. You just need to believe in yourself and what you do.

4 Remember to ask for help.

Reetta says that she always had difficulties asking others for help, but she’s recently realized that it pays off. She encourages people to ask advice from those with more life experience, because no one knows everything. Especially women are known to not utilize their networks for their own benefit. So be brave and dare to ask!

5 Try. Try. Try. Repeat.

Again: don’t be afraid of mistakes. Brace yourself, get back up, and keep on trying.

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You can spot Mehackit at SuomiAreena July 11th. See the program here.