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A cartoon woman uses a computer. Women in IT is spelled out above her, with the IT making a representation of the Old Well

March is Women’s History Month and ITS is celebrating by highlighting Carolina women in technology. All month long, ITS News will share profiles and Q&As to share the breadth and diversity of the Tar Heel women-in-IT experience. For the full list of profiles and to read some ways to get involved, visit Celebrating Women’s History Month with Carolina women in IT.

Why did you choose computer science as your major?

I chose computer science as my major because it’s something I’ve always enjoyed doing. I took a few computer science classes in high school, and I played a lot of video games in high school and middle school. I built a PC to play games on in eighth grade, and I’ve always been pretty logical and decent at math. Another consideration was computer science is possibly the most valuable skill in society today. It’s a tool that can be used to do almost anything. It has interesting intersections with almost every field. It seemed like a smart investment of time and money.

How has being a woman impacted your experience as a computer science major?

I like to hope that my work and my ability will speak for themselves and that I will not face any obstacles because of my gender. I think that’s mostly true as long as you’re doing good work.

What kind of support do you look for or try to provide for other women in tech?

When you learn any skill, especially computer science, you go into it with grand visions of what you’re going to do, what you’re going to create, how smart you’ll be and how fun it will be. If it’s hard, it can be discouraging — especially if you don’t have a support system. If you’re a girl trying to get into computer science, it can be easy to give up if you’re surrounded by people who seem to be on top of it. When I see women or anyone struggling, I try to offer support or resources or help them debug. I look for the same thing — other women and people, even those who may not know more than me, but who are willing to help, whether talking through a problem or giving advice or providing resources.

Sarah Haddix
Sarah Haddix

About Sarah Haddix

Sarah Haddix is a second-year student at UNC-Chapel Hill pursuing a bachelor’s degree in computer science and mathematics. Between classes and hackathons, she is the academic chair for the UNC student chapter of the Association for Women in Mathematics, a member of App Team Carolina, and a member of Talking Over Papers in Computer Science (TOPICS), a club for female-identifying students to meet weekly and discuss academic research papers about computer science. She loves math, computer science, snowboarding, skateboarding and UNC!

What resources do you recommend to other students incoming as they venture into tech fields?

YouTube is a really good resource for a high-level overview of most topics. By watching videos of people talking about tech, you can get a better sense of the sphere, how things interact with each other and what tools people are using. There are a lot of tutorials on YouTube and on the internet too, but my advice with that is just to make sure you’re actually coding things up and trying things out yourself. You’ll never learn anything if you’re just watching hours of tutorials. Textbooks are also a great resource, especially for fields like math and stats where things don’t change as quickly. The general loop is to pick something you want to do, look around a little bit to see what resources other people are recommending and then start messing around with it.


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