Meet the drag queen making coding glamorous and fun

“We’re not depicted in the media as being tech people, as being engineers.”

Video Transcript

ANNA LYTICAL: We're not being depicted in the media as being tech people, as being engineers. I love drag. We're going to represent ourselves in tech. We're going to change the world.

Let's build this community. If we are out and in tech, let's highlight more of our voices and let's get people talking about that. Hi, I'm Anna Lytical, the sickeningly entertaining and educational coding drag queen. And you have probably seen me on the internet coding up something fun or fabulous and teaching computer science in a totally glamorous way.

I love to bring the elements of drag, the makeup, the wigs, the sewing, the glamor performances, all of that, into my lessons. And one of the examples is with makeup. I'll take maybe an eyeshadow palette and say, this is just like an array. It's an organized data structure. Every element in here is the exact same kind of thing, the same size, and arrays are one of the core data structures when you're learning to code.

I think a lot of people can find coding intimidating. I was one of those people. It took me so many attempts to even get past basic computer science. I think I took intro computer science classes maybe like 3 times. One of the things I love to do in my content is show fun projects that you can do with beginner material.

So I love to cover topics like web development, intro computer science concepts, algorithms, and data structures, doing coding interview questions, and even some creative coding projects. The purpose of my work is to bring a more diverse group of folks, specifically LGBTQ+ people, into coding and technology. I do this by creating content that is accessible and engaging for us.

And I do this by myself, being an out, successful engineer. Outside of drag, I am a senior developer advocate at Google, working on cloud databases. Honestly, the thing that I do out of drag is very similar to what I do in drag, which just makes it all so fun. So I wanted to show more people that we can definitely increase our representation.

There are tons of places where our voices are not being heard, and our voices are not being represented. So we can do more in that regard. I love that with my drag, I get to have a purpose behind that. I get to show, yes, we're going to center the queerness and we're going to do the coding and really meld the two together.

I want to reach anyone who feels like they don't belong in a computer science classroom. Or it feels like they're not represented in a computer science classroom, or it feels like those lessons are too boring for them. So having this outlet of Anna Lytical and having this voice and this following and getting to show more people that we can do this, and we can be flamboyant and encode.

We can be fabulous and code all rhinestoned-up, or be however we want to be and code. It's not limited in that regard. Find the things that you just enjoy and do them.