Growing up in the Philippines, I've always been interested in math, science and technology. In high school, I particularly excelled in geometry. Taking my father's advice, I chose chemistry as a major for my bachelors. I would have picked an engineering degree but my resources and support didn't allow that (I was 15 at the time). But I'm thankful there was no question of me going to college (University of the Philippines at Los Banos). I also did enjoy taking chemistry for the most part, since it involved a lot of math anyways, and a lot of thinking and problem solving.
I also enjoyed my experience as a researcher at the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines on methane emissions from rice fields which involved maintaining a gas chromatograph equipped with a huge plexiglass box that collects gas samples over rice paddies. I'll never forget how awesome that job was! I eventually decided to go to graduate school at Texas A&M University, which was recommended to me by one of my college professors. But I remember visiting my first bookstore in the US (I believe it was Borders--now closed) and buying my first book. It was on HTML and CSS. At that time, I had just created a website for a Catholic group I was a part of, using Notepad (it was the turn of the current century). But my interest in web development had been inundated by the rigors of grad school.
After getting my US citizenship (which I obtained independent of my current employer at the time but through the recommendation of my previous superiors in the academe) and having some financial stability, I quit my job as a chemist in a chemical manufacturing company, and explored interests that would bring me more joy. I rediscovered my love for tech and math, and learned how to code. My husband and I are based in the Austin, TX area with our yellow lab, Pogi.