Breaking Down Stereotypes in Tech One Dress at a Time

Meg Metha - Developer Advocate at Google

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I started college as a music major, where I studied opera performance. After a year of being a music major, I felt like that wasn’t the correct path for me.

I remember my mom telling me to be a software engineer at some point, and I was like ‘No way! That’s not a cute girl career.’

I tried different things and at one point took a math class and wasn’t inspired by it because once you prove something there is nothing else you can do. I tried physics and it eventually gave me the same feeling as math. I had to take computer science courses as part of my program and wasn’t a fan of those either. Then, one summer I went onto Code Academy website and did a Python course and everything made sense to me. Afterward, I took a data structures class and realized how impactful coding can be. I was finally able to discover my passion for computer science.

I was interning with Northrop Grumman and one day after work I was getting gas and my dad called me. I remember being like ‘agh what do you want’ and he told me I got into USC as a transfer student in the computer science program.

I sat on the floor of the gas station and started crying because I was so happy. I knew USC was my school from the minute I walked in and finally getting accepted made me so unreasonably happy. The journey through computer science wasn’t easy though. I had my ass handed to me all the time. I was surrounded by go-getters and it seemed like everyone had internships set up and I was falling behind.

My classmates were such high achievers and the environment pushed me to do more during undergrad and I will always value that experience.

I now work as a Developer Advocate at Google and even though I have days where I can really feel the imposter syndrome setting in, I think STEM is a super cool field. Every day, I am astounded by how I can impact millions of people with the work that I do. One line of code can change so many lives and very few careers can give you that kind of scale. Even though I am in a male-dominated industry, I have not let that wear me down. I am part of a women in hackathon group and there was a comment on how women felt uncomfortable wearing dresses. I remember reading that and being like ‘nobody should feel weird wearing a dress to work’. That’s what prompted me to start @adressyengineer and document what I wear to work every day.  I am unapologetically myself and if more women can see me and be their unapologetic selves then I will have succeeded in my goal.

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