Embrace Change

Embrace Change by:Erin Orr

It’s time to buckle down! I am ecstatic to let everyone know that I am now enrolled in a Web Development Blueprint program. woohoo!


This class is offered by There are many different choices when it comes to learning how to code. I have learned so much about technology over the past 30 days. I have reached information overload! That is a good thing, I suppose.  I am looking forward to applying my creative energy to the many web applications I will soon develop. The sky’s the limit in this field.

When searching for the right class, I had to consider the following things.

  • Flexibility. It is very important since I have children who still depend on me. With his course I can day or night, and at my own pace.
  • Being cost efficient is also a big deal. The money I put into this class is well worth the knowledge and skills I will learn in return.
  • The class material is very informative and easy to understand. 

I have also realized how important networking is in this field. 

There are a ton of ways to build up your connections in the tech industry.  Below are some of the venues I have considered:


  • Meet-up! I searched locally for mothers who want to learn how to code or are already on their path of coding. By doing this we will be able to share the experience and help one another.
  • Blogs, blogs, and more blogs….If you don’t have one, start one! You can connect with other bloggers who are sharing their experience.
  • Tweet! Twitter is known for connecting people around the world. 

If learning to code interest you please do what I did, and go for it! 

Don’t wait for someone to ask you to do it. Be the leader. The right time is now. Lets connect!

The power of telling your story

I am currently using to learn and practice coding in HTML. What I like about this specific website is that you can chose which programming language you want to learn. They go into great detail, which helps me better understand the concepts.  Currently, I am learning what each of the HTML tags will allow you to do.  You can choose from any of the following programming languages HTML, CSS, Javascript, SQL, PHP, Jquery, AngularJS, Bootstrap, and XML.  The best part about the website is that all of their information is free!


This week I have also focused on searching for websites tailored to mothers and coding.  Here is a non-profit organization that was formed by a mother who decided to learn programming and realized the marketplace void for this audience.  This website, also founded by a woman provides online programming courses.


I want to provide a quick update on the book I am reading called, “A Whole New Mind”.  I mentioned in the previous blog that the author Daniel Pink, describes 6 senses that need to be used in order to transcend into the conceptual age. I want to focus on one. Story.


People need to hear “stories”.  If  you want to have an impact on others you need to convey a great story.  If you want to change the world, tell your story, and make it great!


The author of  “A Whole New Mind” writes about an awesome place called Story corps .  Here is just one of the many stories told.  I hope you take the time to listen to it. What I find most enticing about Story corps, is you just sit in a booth and record your conversation with another person. It is simple and brilliant.  A low barrier of entry.


Another site that enables the world to tell their story is Ted.  I visit daily and find it useful.  This morning I came across a talk by the author of “Eat, Pray, Love”, Elizabeth Gilbert.  I believe she ‘hits the nail on the head’ while discussing how to tap your genius.  


To come full circle, this is exactly why I am blogging.  To share my story of ‘hacking  my education’ with the world.  I hope that by doing so I can encourage others to learn regardless of how challenging the task may appear.  I encourage anyone and everyone to tackle their challenge and share it with the world – through story.

Free your mind

As I set out to learn programming I am surprised at how STEM has opened a door to creativity. Here is an interesting news article on how STEM can help people become innovators.

I am currently reading a book called, “A Whole New Mind: Why Right Brainers will Rule the Future”. The below image does a good job on capturing the book.

I originally found the picture on Pinterest. I reposted it on Instagram because it reminds me of my husband. His brain is the left, and my brain is on the right 😉

I am currently in the fourth chapter of A Whole New Mind. I would like to share what I have learned thus far. Daniel Pink, the author, states that our country needs to shift from the “left brain thinkers” to the “right brain thinkers.” The intent of his statement is focused on innovation and creating a better future through ingenuity. Essentially, we must transition out of the Information Age and into the Conceptual age. To accomplish this transition we must follow “the 6 senses that guide our lives and shape our world.” They include:


Thus far the book is great and I am really enjoying it. The quote below I found most interesting.

“Good design is a renaissance attitude that combines technology, cognitive science, human need and beauty to produce something that the world didn’t know it was missing. “ Paola Antonelli

I believe the 6 senses described, do in fact shape our world. My best ideas are realized while I am playing with my children, running , blogging, painting a picture or even taking a photo. This is when I am engaging my right brain.

I have included two links below to Ted talks that have empowered me this week. I hope you enjoy watching them. Free your mind!

This mom has skills



I did it! I have formed a habit of re-learning Algebra in the morning for at least 30 minutes to an hour.  Of course, this means that I am rising at dawn – before my kids are up for the day.  Oh what a mom can get done in just 1 hour if she knows the next time she will have to herself is after they fall fast asleep for the night.  Which brings me to the second habit I have formed, reading my ‘liberal arts’ assignment in each night.  I usually read at least 20 pages during this time, if I’m feeling froggy I’ll leap for more!




Here is a blog posted by that explains why habits work.


The new book is “A Whole New Mind: Why Right -Brainers Will Rule the Future“.  My mentor/husband @sorriv chose this one as well because he believes Daniel Pink (@DanilePink) does a great job in explaining the human traits that are essential for personal and professional success/happiness.


I have always been interested in neuroscience so the title of this one pulled me in. Stay tuned to my blog as I highlight the lessons learned from this book.  For those who don’t know me personally I am “right brained”. At least, I think I am.  


I also just finished the 10-day boot camp at and I am coming out of it with a good understanding of what a programmer has to know and understand to be successful.  I feel confident that learning to be a computer programmer is something that I can do.  Kudos for me!  I really enjoyed this FREE boot-camp.  After reading and completing each task for the day I found myself looking ahead to see what I would be learning the next day.  Curious?  I think so!  Would you believe me if I told you it was super fun as well?  I am a hands-on learner and what I liked most was being able to practice what was taught within the interface provided.  I learned the basics of HTML along with some Ruby.  I thought it was awesome to able to go back in the saved code throughout the week and update or change what I did before.  I have bookmarked a great HTML resource and recommend you leverage it too!  I recommend using SkillCrush to determine if you are interested in learning to code. Thanks @SkillCrush

I have had, what I would consider an amazing start to hacking my education! I  finished my first reading assignment, a coding class, and most importantly I’ve formed two habits!  This mom has got skills. 🙂

Bring on the Code!

I am about 10 days into hacking my education.  I have learned so much since starting this journey – and it’s only been a little over a week! I’m still trying to find time to balance meeting the demands of my family and learning time.  If I told you there was a set time of day I am able to carve out, or that it’s easy, I would be lying.  It’s hard work, as it should be.
So let me show you what I have accomplished.  On the first night I wrote some sample code based on a lesson provided.  I did not do this with my imagination, it was part of a lesson. The instructions were to use the HTML tags that were taught in the lesson that day. Nevertheless, it’s a start and I am proud of it.


To the left of the image is the HTML code whereby I programmed a heading and a paragraph.  To the right of the image is the result.
I am very excited about learning to code.  I have signed up for a 10-day boot camp (yes ladies I said boot camp and it’s not the get-you-ripped kind).  The organization that offers the boot camp is called Skill Crush.
Then, the following night I accomplished all of what you see in this picture.

I learned that HTML has over 50 different tags? I’m still learning them all, but I am catching on quick. Skill Crush has also taught me the difference between the Internet and the world wide web.  What a website vs. a web application is, and the type of coding languages used to program each.  It’s amazing how much you can learn in 7 days and still be a stay-at-home mom that plays with kids, does some laundry, has play dates, etc. If this is something you would like to learn I encourage you to join me in hacking your education. You can give advice or ask questions below.
There has been a lot of “talk” about women in the tech world lately. Here is a quote from Sheryl Sanburg, author of Lean In. “Talking can transform minds, which can transform behaviors, which can transform institutions.” So let’s talk!  After all we are the “millennials”.
Bring on the code!

Leaning In

Today I am wanting to shed light on “Lean In”, the book I am reading. First and foremost, I am thoroughly enjoying the book.  It is a great read and I have gained a large amount of knowledge about leadership roles in America.  It has opened my eyes to the need of women leaders for our great nation.  My favorite quotes from this book is “Careers are a jungle gym, not a ladder.”  This was a a saying used at Googlewhen they were a startup.  The author also speaks of a poster hanging on the walls inside Facebook that stated, “Done is better than perfect”. I will forever remember this quote while ‘hacking my education’. I tend to be OCD about things and this is a reminder that it doesn’t have to be perfect… Just do it! 
The key points that stand out for me thus far are as followed. 
  • Having confidence in your leadership abilities.
  • Working with your peers to break the gender bias. 
  • Taking a leap of faith to do what it takes to become the leader you want to be. 
  • Learning to withstand criticism is a necessity for women and learning to control emotions. Although she suggest that you do let your emotions show on some issues that you feel passionate about. 
For those that do not know Sheryl Sanburg is Chief Operating Officer (COO) at FacebookOne of the 14% of women that are in leadership.  She dedicates two chapters to family and husbands.  Making sure your marriage is 50/50….bragging rights… I got lucky or as I tell him, he got lucky 😉 My partner in life does help with family, leadership roles, chores, homework, cooking and bills, etc. This of course on top of his full-time career and part career where he is a Professor at UMUC and now my mentor.  I feel as though I married Superman! So that makes me Superwoman right?! 
So am I leaning in? I believe so.. There is no perfect time to lean in.. you have to have faith.  I am creating my own opportunities right now by #hackingmyeducation at 33 because I want to challenge myself.  Moreover, a career in coding and help change the future of education for myself and my children. I am now curious about every aspect of coding. Here is a good article on why stay-at-home mothers should learn to code.  And I am even more motivated now that I have a daughter.