November 3, 2022
Code to Communicate: my trampoline to jump higher
Special post by Science Communication Coach, Gisela, CoCo Fellow 2022.
It was 2021, almost two years into the pandemic, and a new COVID wave was approaching in my city. Between my home office, video calls, coffee (and “mate”, as I am Argentinian), and some cats at my desk, I had to prepare one of the most important projects of my scientific career: applying for a research position in my country.
Ilustration by Gisela A. Morán
Planning took a lot of time and effort because I wanted to work on a project that was related to the current climate crisis and that I enjoyed. After a while, I came up with a project idea, but I lacked the necessary skills to carry it out. First, I needed to be able to communicate my project effectively, and then I needed to know how to manage and analyze a large amount of climate data.
Searching through the GeoLatinas community, I came across a program called Code to Communicate, which seemed to hear my thoughts (and I must say that I had my doubts, I no longer know what to expect from the internet algorithm!). I carefully reviewed the program's description to ensure it offered what I needed. Moreover, a further detail caught my attention: their target audience was Hispanic, Latinx, and/or Caribbean people. This meant several things: an explicit intention to include and provide opportunities for these historically neglected communities and that language was not a barrier as the program was bilingual.
A challenge loomed ahead, and the typical questions and uncertainties arose: Will I have the time to complete the course and organize my usual tasks? Will I be able to write and communicate efficiently? Will Python be too difficult? Will it take up too much extra time?
Today, I can say that my time at CoCo 2022 was a trampoline to jump higher! Learning Python allowed me to take a Technical Certification in Data Science, increase my programming confidence and find the tools required for my project. On the other hand, I learned new and improved methods to communicate science, and I am now the editor of an Earth Science Communication magazine. And all was possible because of the CoCo Coaches. They are the best!