Kristin Fritsch

tech-lover, maker, frontend dev and convinced cyclist

Skills: JS, HTML+CSS, web technologies
Meet me at: OpenTechSchool Leipzig

A few words about you, who are you?

I am a frontend developer from Leipzig and work remotely for a US Fintech company. At my job I improve the user interface and user experience of a crypto exchange1, fix bugs and add new features to the online platform. Our customers not only trade with currencies, some of them use the exchange to send digital money across the world without using a bank.

Besides work I like to work on my personal projects. Some of them are websites, but I also work on hardware projects or with wood and paper. In addition I volunteer for projects that are important to me. I am a believer in open source2 and I like sharing my knowledge in workshops or at the weekly OpenTechSchool meetup 3.

If I’m not sitting at the computer, then you can find me in nature, on my bicycle or at a festival/concert.

1 At a crypto exchange you trade with crypto currencies. A crypto currency is digital money.

2 Open source code is available to the general public for use for any purpose, or modification from its original design

3 https://www.meetup.com/OpenTechSchool-Leipzig/

When and how did you get interested in coding?

My first website was published in 2001. I don’t know if you can call it programming, but on my website you could find flashing backgrounds, midi sounds, a visitor counter and cool gifs. Today this web design trend comes in brutalism1. I think it’s pretty cool.

I did not realize what my first homepage meant to me until much later. Today it’s pretty common to be able to express yourself on the internet, but it was something completely new at that time. While I was rather shy and reserved at school, I was able to present myself on my website as the person I really was. Only few of my classmates had access to the Internet at that time, nor could they create websites. My fascination for the Internet was born and I still get the same great feeling when a page goes live after weeks of hard work.

1 https://page-online.de/kreation/brutalismus_webdesign/

What do you like about coding most?

For me programming is like a puzzle with many solutions or comparable to Lego, in which you can create something new by putting different pieces together. That’s what I like about programming - it never gets boring.

But most of the time I do not only spend my time solving a task, but also to make the code easy and readable. Because programming is not just about creating instructions for the computer, but much more about making things understandable for other programmers. Because every line of code I write today will later be read by another person and might be changed as well.

What is currently your favourite project?

My favorite projects are mostly personal projects that either improve something in my life or in that of others, or make people think. The Hackerinnen project is currently my heart project, because I hope that we can show that there are great women in IT and also get rid of some stereotypes that still exist about programmers. It would be great if we could get more women interested in IT jobs, that way I hope to have more than one female colleague in the future.

What do you like to try/learn/know?

There is so much. Currently, I find the field of artificial intelligence (AI) extremely exciting and I would like to learn more about it. It would be pretty cool if I could develop an AI that could make a weekly shopping list based on my favorite foods and eating habits. In addition to technical topics, I would also like to learn drumming.

What is your biggest challenge as a programmer?

To be intimidated by eloquent colleagues

If you have someone in the team that can talk very well and convincingly, don’t get intimidated by him/her. Usually nobody dares to ask a question in that case. In technical discussions a lot of terms are used and it’s pretty common that you haven’t heard of them before. Therefore, do not be afraid to ask questions.

Do not be afraid of big tasks

Some tasks are big and complex and they are not so easy to understand. You might feel overwhelmed quickly. You might not accept the task because you think you can’t do it or you won’t be fast enough. This is usually not true. You should have more courage and dare to accept unknown and complex tasks because you can learn so much. And there is always someone who can help you, if you get stuck. Over time, you will be less afraid of failing.

Understand that code is never perfect

In programming there are many solutions to a problem. Most of the time you just have to get started somehow and you should not worry to much about taking the best approach. Code is never perfect. When you finish a task, you will always come up with a better way to solve it.

Do you have role models?

Suz Hinton envolved in the open source community and does live coding session on Twitch. Amazing!

Ashi Krishnan calls herself a code whisperer. She is a very good public speaker and knows how to explain complex facts interesting and fascinating. If you get a chance to see her on a conference you should not miss it.

Which stereotype of a programmer can you prove wrong?

  • code editor and terminal have a black background
  • developer love to work in dark rooms
  • developer are antisocial and self-equivocal

Can you recommend a book / podcast / tutorial / movie or event?

Podcast: She Geeks Out - unfortunately they don’t publish new episodes, but it’s still worth to check out the older ones. Rachel and Felicia talk with great women about their job and other topics that play an important role in their lives

Newsletter: Offscreen - newsletter with a thoughtful, human-centred take on technology and the web

Tutorial: Freecodecamp - great community that publishes videos, articles and interactive coding sessions for free

Event: Chaos Computer Congress - not only an event for nerds. At the Chaos Computer Congress you can learn how to solder, listen to talks, see how a podcast is produced, hack on a project or dance till the next morning

At the very end

This is my favorite playlist to listen during coding sessions: