A friend of mine once told me that coding is like doing magic, and frankly, I am inclined to agree. With a keyboard, a development environment, and a little bit of language skill, you can build an entire world. Despite being heavily rooted in logic, math, and science, there is a certain mystery to it, a sense of illusion and wizardry. The sense of pride and power that comes from successfully finishing an app, program, or website is like no other. I recently watched the film Ex Machina (Alex Garland, 2014) for the first time, and I was struck by one of the lines. In thinking about the success of his creation and what that means for the world, he says, “I’m not a man, I’m God.” And although I wouldn’t say that is exactly how I feel when I turn in a coding assignment, I understand the sentiment. This thesis is going to be a bit different than the one I thought I was going to write. When I started this, I thought it would be about an amazing coding project I had completed. I would write about all the beautiful code and the nitty gritty of the technical aspects. But, the project that I intended to create is not the project I ended up with, and I couldn’t be happier. I finished with something a lot more meaningful, a lot more interdisciplinary, and a lot more me. In this essay and the accompanying coding project, I aim to take you on the journey of building my own piece of digital culture, an app titled “Exposed.” I begin by discussing how the motivation to create Exposed came from the desire to stop using an app made by an internet celebrity and how the values of Gen Z and their relationship with technology influenced and guided the creation of the app. Then I examine the relationship between code and the coder, and how external factors such as being a woman in technology impacts project development. Then I explain the results of the coding process and outline how Exposed turned out. Finally, I consider the meaning of digital culture and how it functions in the creation of Exposed. Along the way this project became extremely personal. I found that the deeper I dove into making the code work, the more I learned about myself and my relationship to technology. If I promise to be honest with you, will you promise to listen to what I have to say?
Included in this item (2)
- “Expose”ing Myself: An Exploration of iOS Development and My Revelations in Building My Own Piece of Digital Culture