Tara Hart, a native of Atchison, Kan., advises girls considering opportunities in tech to think big and recognize the powerful potential of work in this field.
Tara, who comes from a medical family, has worked in the durable medical equipment industry and health insurance and initially earned a bachelor of arts degree in English and Spanish with a minor in Political Science. She’s currently seeking associate degrees in Computer Information Systems and Web Development.
She describes herself as an indie and bohemian at heart, even though her current schedule doesn’t allow as much time for her interests in art and music as she’d like.
“I love art, which lately manifests through photography because I don’t have to dedicate too much time to it,” Tara says. “If I have time I knit, read and get involved in the KC arts and social scene. I’m a bit of magpie and collect all sorts of wonderful and unexpected things.”
Now she is weaving her passions and interests together into a career as a developer:
“My purpose as a developer is to harness key psychological, ethical and artistic principles to create a new user experience,” Tara says. “--one that promotes the user having a different, more intelligent, informed relationship with technology. Technology should be a tool that works for us and not something upon which we are dependent or blind to its effects/consequences.”
She challenges the perceptions that only math whizzes need apply for tech jobs or that women only fit in as web developers. With change happening so rapidly, she encourages girls to pay attention to emerging opportunities.
“There’s some amazing stuff on AI (artificial intelligence) ethics out there,” Tara says. “I’m looking into building a magic mirror or nixie tube clock using a Raspberry Pi for my Python project this semester. This is really cool stuff!
“Privacy and ethical design have become very important to me now; ignorance is not bliss, and I wish I'd made smarter decisions prior to knowing what I do now. Getting into this field will definitely change your worldview. Pay attention to what's buzzing on social media and the news, because it could impact what you create. This field gives you the power to shape the world, change culture, unite people across the globe!
It's really a big deal and lots of fun. If you can dream it, you can do it!”