At some point during my long stint as an editorial designer, I realized I could write scripts and tools that would allow me to get my job done a lot faster. Having a low tolerance for inefficiency, this soon became a hobby where I would identify and fix the multitude of usability issues in my life. I ended up building all sorts of things to address the pain points and bottlenecks, including workflow automation, accounting tools, and browser scripts.

After a while, most of my own problems were solved. Perhaps it was time to solve other people’s problems. I started to wonder whether I could code for a living, even if that meant leaving a profession where I had nearly a decade of experience and had optimized to the extreme, thanks to my trove of custom-made tools.

Why hadn’t I started programming earlier? I’ve been fascinated by computers from a young age — basically glued to a computer screen since kindergarten — yet somehow never learned to code until adulthood.

Was it because the one “programming lesson” at my elementary school consisted of mindlessly typing in a 50-page BASIC program with no explanation? Was it because when I asked my dad to teach me AppleScript he handed me a massive O’Reilly book on Perl, and offered no alternative when I balked? Was it because I’d never seen or heard of a female programmer? (It was a different time back then.) By high school, I was quite sure that programming wasn’t for me. Boy was I wrong.

Anyway, I couldn’t give up the idea of pursuing my newly found passion full-time. I gradually transitioned into the tech industry, doing UI/UX design and web development. Now I’m a JavaScript engineer at Automattic.

In hopes of never letting anyone mistakenly believe that coding might not be for them, I serve as a Director for the Tokyo chapter of Women Who Code, a global non-profit supporting women in technology careers.

When I was a teenager, I was dead set on being a musician. I still love music — maybe someday it will love me back. As a part of my love for music, I also enjoy learning languages.

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