Meet RED Web Development Instructor: Mandi Wise
Thanks to her tech-savvy grandmother, Mandi had her first introduction to computers when she was eight years old. Her grandparents had bought the Cadillac of PC’s: a 386 running Windows 3.1 and MS Dos. It’s fair to say it was love at first sight.
Growing up Mandi spent countless weekends with her grandmother, whom she refers to as a “˜tech cheerleader’, eager to learn the ins and outs of the programs. This passion stayed with her well into adulthood. In search of tech opportunities, she and her husband packed up the car and moved to Vancouver a little over two years ago from Edmonton. Though some thought they were crazy for making the journey to the west coat without a job or a place to stay, Mandi attests it was one of the best decisions of her life.
How long have you worked as a web developer?
I’ve been working full time as a developer for 2.5 years. Prior to that I worked in content strategy and writing for the web for three years.
What made you switch from content strategy to developing?
Even when I was primarily a content writer, I would still develop websites on the side as a hobby. I’ve always found it fun. As a teenager I would create websites during my summer vacations.
What was the first website you ever made?
It was a fan site for a TV show I used to love in high school, called Roswell #dontjudge. On a more professional level, I created the University of Alberta’s student blog, which acted as a recruitment tool as well as a source for student life.
Do you have any advice for women thinking of getting into the tech industry?
Don’t get discouraged if you feel like you’re not learning fast enough or if you don’t know as much as your peers. It’s okay to write bad code. In fact, you have to write bad code first in order to write good code. There’s definitely a learning curve that everyone goes through, male or female. Stick with it and you’ll start seeing results.
Who’s a celebrity you look up to?
Neil deGrasse Tyson of Reboot of Cosmos. I’m a loyal listener of his podcasts.
Any restaurant recommendations for those new to Vancouver?
I’m a huge fan of anything Mexican, and thankfully Vancouver has some pretty incredible places to choose from. My top two must-eat spots are Bandidas Taqueria and Les Mezcaleria, both on Commercial Drive.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Teaching has always been a long term goal of mine, which is why I’m so excited to be part of the RED team. In ten years, I foresee myself still teaching people about technology, and perhaps create a web-based product or start-up of my own. I have a few ideas in the works!
When you’re not coding, where could we find you?
I’m either vegetable gardening or shooting with my vintage film photography collection.
Have a question for Mandi? Give her a shout.
Colin is the CEO / Managing Director of RED Academy. He originally started his career as a classically trained musician and sound engineer, before switching to the tech industry where he has been working for the past 15 years. While he sounds British, don’t let that accent fool you; his roots are Dutch, and he calls Amsterdam his hometown.
Also the founder of Drive Digital, one of Western Canada’s biggest digital agencies, Colin is inspired by watching people create and seeing them find fulfillment in doing something they believe in. Colin is excited by the idea that the Internet connects us all, increasing transparency and accountability. He strongly believes that purpose is a bigger driver in people than profit, which will lead us to a better, fairer, more conscious world – values that dictate the foundation of RED.