MEET THE AUTHORS
Sophie Houser and Andrea Gonzales met at a Girls Who Code summer coding program in 2014. The two teamed up and created Tampon Run, a game to combat the stigma around menstruation. The game went viral and threw them into the limelight of the press, the public and the tech world. When Sophie and Andy are together, you’ll often find them eating blocks of mozzarella cheese and scrolling through Google images of pizza (this is not a joke).
From a young age my parents pressured me to pursue one of three career choices: doctor, lawyer or engineer. They both immigrated from the Philippines in their 20s seeking financial stability. To them, financial stability meant happiness, and they wanted that for me.
I chose engineering and from a young age began pursuing my future career path. I did coding summer programs and robotics after school. But over the years I began to wonder whether I was pushing myself to pursue engineering because I really wanted to or because it would satisfy my parents’ expectations. I had so many passions and didn't want to be spending my time on something just to fulfill their wishes.
Through Tampon Run I’ve come to realize that I, separate from my parents, love to code. And also that I can find an intersection between coding and all my other passions since coding is so creative, and since everything runs on code.
I’m currently a first year Robertson Scholar at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill. I’m taking Computer Science classes and exploring my other interests as well.
Growing up, I was a shy, quiet girl with an intense fear of public speaking and no self-confidence. That’s because I used to think that anything I had to say was dumb. I was even terrified to say anything in class, so I always just kept my mouth shut. Through building Tampon Run and the insanity that ensued when it went viral, I learned that I do have a voice and that I want to use it. By reaching millions of people around the world almost overnight, I learned first-hand that coding is a great way to speak up. And through the Tampon Run journey, I have also realized how much I actually love public speaking.
I’m in my sophomore year at Brown University where I’m studying Computer Science. Last summer I was an intern at Facebook’s headquarters in Silicon Valley. This summer I’m returning to Facebook as a software engineering intern in their New York office. Although I’m not sure exactly what I want to do when I’m “grown up” (which is pretty soon??), I know I want to continue to use code to speak up and create positive social change, and to create change using other mediums as well.