Flow is a mental state of intense focus for programming

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Open Source Bridge is an annual conference focused on building open source community and citizenship through four days of technical talks, hacking sessions, and collaboration opportunities. Prior to this year's event, I caught up with one of the speakers, Lindsey Bieda, who will give a talk called Hardware, Hula Hoops, and Flow.

Lindsey has been coding since age 9 and has a passion for game development and robotics. I talked with her about how she got involved in coding, her day job, game development, and her upcoming talk.

How did you get started writing code?

I got started writing code when I was very little. I was into building websites and the like in elementary school, and by age 12 I decided to try and teach myself C. From there, I was pretty much unstoppable and was constantly learning new languages and how to do things with code. In high school I actually worked on building autonomous robots, which is probably still one of my favorite things I have ever coded (Thanks Mr. Diehl!).

What is your day job? Do you write code for a living?

I'm a software engineer and I write code that deals with e-learning. I tend to mostly work in Ruby on Rails these days with a dash of Javascript and, very rarely, Lua.

What do you like most about making games? Any advice for others interested in making games?

Everything. Everything about making games is super fun. It's another way I can be artistic and creative with code and create something that other people can use and interact with. The game making space has progressively lowered the barrier for entry with new tools like Unity, Twine, and Love2D.

My main advice to people interested in making games is that it can be really fun to start with a language you already know and find a game-building framework for that language and don't get discouraged.

Can you share a few things from your Open Source Bridge talk with us?

Flow is a mental state of intense focus and it's a state that your brain can enter while hula hooping and programming. I'm going to explore how we can mix these two things to enhance skill and learning.

What's your advice for women interested in getting involved in coding and open source?

Be tenacious, be fearless, and accept that when you are new to anything, mistakes will happen. It always helps to have someone else around to give you support, so finding a mentor or a friend to help you along is super important to the process.

Benjamin Kerensa
Benjamin Kerensa is an internationally recognized open source evangelist, community manager, author and speaker with experience in systems administration, project management and open source development that spans a decade.

1 Comment

Great article. Deepak Chopra refers to flow as Dharma. It's a point that you get to when you're so involved in what you are doing that you lose all track of time.

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